What Do I Do When I Fail at My Goals? – Part One

Most people overestimate what they can accomplish in one year and underestimate what they can accomplish in five years.

Every year we get a fresh start. In America we have this phenomenon known as the New Year’s Resolutions.  Business Insider posted an article this year on the failure rate of New’s Years Resolutions.   They claim that 80% of New Year’s Resolutions fail by February.  Assuming this is correct why do people keep setting New Year’s Resolutions?

It’s natural to look at a new year as a clean slate.  We’ve had a chance in December to review our life over the last year.  We tally our successes and our failures.  We get a chance to spend time with family and friends on a more concentrated basis during the holidays.  For some of us spending time with family and friends is a wonderful time and for some of this it can be a painful time where old wounds are reopened.

As we go through this introspective time in December it’s natural to gain motivation and declare next year is going to be better.   I’m going to be a better person.  I’m going to accomplish more.  I’m going to improve my relationships.  I’m going to get out of debt.  I’m going to start saving more.  Then the New Year’s Resolution process begins.

I contend that part of the reason why 80% of New Years Resolutions fail is that most people on set goals once a year.  Think about this for a moment.  If I only set goals once a year, what are the chances that I will succeed in this endeavor? If I wanted to run a marathon, what are the chance I will finish a marathon if I only run once per year. The chances of success are low when someone only performs a task once a year.

Goal setting is a continuous process.  There has to be continual refinement and adjustment in order for the process to be valuable. One has to have the right tools. One has to focus.  One has to be accountable to.

On my next post I’ll detail the goal setting process I use.


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