New Year’s Resolutions? Bah humbug! They say that 80% of resolutions fail by February.

They also say that 80% of statistics are made up on the spot. But I digress…

I prefer to set goals because just having a resolution is too vague or often too broad. “I want to lose weight”. Too broad. A goal is specific and measureable. “I want to lose 25 pounds”. Specific and measureable. “I want to pay off $8000 of debt” – specific and measureable.

You can find details on SMART goal setting all over the internet but the basic metrics of what constitutes a good goal is:

  • The goal must be Specific. What exactly do you want to achieve? Ask your goal what, where, why, how, and when questiond.
  • The goal must be Measureable. Lose 25 pounds. Pay off $8000 in debt.
  • The goal must be Attainable. Hmm….$8000 over a year might be vague – but $666 a month is more specific. Is it attainable? If it isn’t, based on your projected income, then adjust your goal! The idea isn’t to be a super-human, the idea is to achieve something you didn’t have at the beginning of the year. Go get it!
  • The goal must be Relevant. “I want to play the piano”. Do you own a piano? Do you play any other musical instrument? Do you want to practice the piano for 1-3 hours a day? If not…the goal may not be relevant to you. I once heard someone say “I’d like to be an astronaut. I don’t want to go through any of the stuff they go through, but I want to be one.” LOL
  • The goal must be Timely. Give yourself a deadline. By when do you want to lose 25 pounds? Three years? Or three months? Three months is 8.3 pounds a month or right at two pounds a week. Ah, now that starts to sound like a plan that you can track on a weekly basis.

I have set goals for 2018 in a few different areas, including financial, fitness, career, and relationships. I didn’t start 2017 with defined goals in fitness, but by March they were clear. Christie and I started eating less processed food and sugar and started losing weight. That led to a goal of 100 pound weight loss and running a 5K. I ran the 5K on December 9 and the 100 pound weight loss goal is set to be attained one year from starting, in March 2018. I’m on track. And if it takes a little longer, I’m OK with that.

What has been your experience with setting goals? Do you have any defined for the new year?