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2 Reasons Resolutions Fail: Get SMART and Set a Big DUMB Goal

Part 3 of 3

Do you know what is special about January 15th?

It is statistically, the day in which 92% of resolutions are abandoned.


Well, we are waaayyyyy past January 15th. How are you doing with your resolution or goal?

You probably started the year with high hopes and big dreams. But somewhere around Jan 15th, it is likely you began to feel the weight of doing the work to meet your goal. There are a few reasons why resolutions fall short.

The first reason most resolutions fail is because you may have set a goal that doesn’t inspire you. When you focus on what you don’t want, what you don’t like, and what you want to stop doing, these feel like WORK. Ugh!

The best goals are the ones that feel good. The ones that make you feel joy, peace, calm, or happiness. When you visualize yourself at the end destination and you feel awesome, this is a goal that will be easier to stick to. This is a goal that will pull you through the hard times.

This is why you need to set a big DUMB goal. DUMB goals are:

Dream Driven: Dream big and then dream bigger. Forget about what is or isn’t possible, dream large. Only your imagination is the limit. What is it that you truly desire? What lights you on fire? What goals align with your ideal picture of yourself and your life?

Uplifting: Your goal needs to be fun, uplifting, and positive. Your goal needs to inspire you and make you feel good. An uplifting goal will make you feel so jazzed up you’ll feel inspired to start it RIGHT NOW.

Method Friendly: To work toward your big audacious goal, you need a method or process. You need to know the first steps that will get you on track. Don’t worry about ALL of the steps, you’ll get to those later. For now, just map out the first step or two that you need to take. Start to create a practice or method to get into the zone. If your resolution is to change careers, this is the time to make it a habit of looking at job postings, talking with friends about making a change, working on your resume, and networking.

Behaviour Trigger: To accomplish anything, you must take action. You must do the behaviours and take the steps in your method to see your dreams come to light. It’s easier to take each step if you set a trigger or a cue that reminds you to act on the behaviour. For example, you might check job postings every morning before breakfast, or network with a new person every Friday afternoon, or work on your resume each evening at 7pm. When you set specific times or identify triggers (such as before you eat breakfast), these cues remind you of the small actions you need to take to build up to the big dream.

The second reason why most resolutions fail is because the goal might feel too daunting, unattainable or too lofty.

Even big DUMB goals need to be specific enough that you have an exact marker of where you are going. You need to know your end destination otherwise you won’t know if you’re on track or not. For example, saying “you’re going to lose weight” is very different from saying, “you’re going to lose 15lbs by March”.

In order to stay motivated, you need to be able to track your progress and see how far you’ve come. This is part of setting a SMART goal. SMART goals are:

Specific: You need to break your BIG end-goal and into small, specific, well-defined steps.

Measurable: Your goals need to be concrete so you can measure your progress. You need to be able to say, “yes I walked 10,000 steps today or no, I didn’t”.

Attainable: Attainable goals are tiny goals. You need to set them so small, that when I repeat the goal back to you, you will laugh at me and say, “of course I can do that”. If there is a pause or delay in your response, the immediate goal is too big. To meet your big DUMB goal, you need to achieve the small marker goals along the way.

Relevant: Each baby step needs to clearly relate back to your big, ultimate dream. If you plan on losing those 15lbs, your goals need to relate to water intake, physical activity, healthy eating, and good sleep, etc.

Time-bound: A clearly defined target end-date is essential. If you don’t have a deadline, it’ll be easy to fall off track and become busy with everything else in your life. Having an end-date will help you to prioritize your longer-term goal over everyday distractions and busy-ness.

What resolutions are you working on for 2021? Stating your dream goal out-loud and in writing is the first step to getting started. Post your comment below.

If you’d like a hand with goal setting or support to stay on track, call or email to book an appointment today.

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