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How Are Your New Year's Resolutions?

Did you participate in the annual ritual of making New Year's resolutions this year? About a third of Americans do, but how many are successful at it? According to Discover Healthy Habits, about 78% of those people failed by February. What makes these resolutions so difficult to keep? 

 

The most common resolution among US respondents, according to Statista, was to save more money, followed by exercising more, eating healthier, spending more time with family and friends, and losing weight. These resolutions don’t seem too challenging, so there must be something more to keeping them. 

 

It might have to do with where you live. WalletHub tracks the best cities for keeping resolutions and found that out of 182 cities, Seattle, WA was the best city to help you keep your resolutions, while Newark, NJ was the worst. Des Moines, IA ranked 85th on the list, just a little better than halfway down. 

 

Personally, I don’t participate in making New Year's resolutions; however, I do set goals. To aid in achieving my goals, I use the S.M.A.R.T. goal-setting method. This method requires goals to be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-Based. This simple process sets you up for success. 

 

The more specific your goal, the easier it is to accomplish. For instance, a vague goal like "getting healthier" lacks a clear plan for daily actions. Defining how you'll achieve better health provides a clear path. For example, setting a goal to establish an emergency fund equivalent to 6 months of expenses by year-end is specific. 

 

If your goal isn’t measurable, it isn’t really a goal. For instance, using the above example, knowing your annual expenses are $24,000 means setting aside $12,000 for 6 months, requiring monthly savings of $1,000. This measurable aspect ensures you can track progress regularly. 

 

Many people set unachievable goals, setting themselves up for failure. While it's good to challenge yourself, setting realistic goals is crucial. Adjusting your goals based on your current situation can make them achievable. 

 

The actions you take to achieve your goal must be relevant. For instance, volunteering for overtime or packing lunch instead of eating out aligns with a savings goal. These actions directly contribute to reaching the objective. 

 

Setting a specific deadline for accomplishing your goal is vital for maintaining motivation. Without a deadline, it's easy to procrastinate and never reach the goal. 

 

The start of a new year might inspire goal-setting, but goals don’t have to be bound by January 1st to December 31st. Short-term goals, lasting a month or a quarter, can be more effective. For example, aiming to save $300 by the end of March for a birthday gift means saving $100 each month in the first quarter. 

 

Rather than focusing solely on specific outcomes, my goals revolve around accomplishing activities that lead to desired outcomes. For instance, aiming to walk 10,000 steps each day instead of a year-end weight loss goal. Achieving daily tasks is easier than facing the pressure of a year-long ambition. 

 

Categorizing goals into spiritual, family, business, financial, and personal aspects ensures improvement across all areas of life. Balancing goals across these categories prevents overemphasis on certain areas while neglecting others, ultimately improving overall life quality. 

 

In addition to goals, I adopt a "One Word" for the year. Choosing a word that embodies my focus for the year brings clarity to all aspects of life. My word for 2024 is "Passion." I aim to infuse more passion into my business, leadership, family, relationships, health, and activities. This stems from feeling beaten down in 2023; I aim to approach everything with renewed passion. 

 

If you have any questions about the methods I’ve discussed, please feel free to reach out. I’d love to help if I can. Do you have any special goals for the year that you’d like to share? I’d love to hear from you. Here's to hoping that 2024 will mark a significant positive direction for you. 

 

References 

https://discoverhappyhabits.com/new-years-resolution-statistics/#2024-statistics 

https://wallethub.com/edu/best-cities-for-new-years-resolutions/28749 

https://www.statista.com/chart/29019/most-common-new-years-resolutions-us/  

 

Norwalk IA Real Estate – Jon Niemeyer, Broker/Owner/REALTOR® at EXIT Realty North Star. I list and sell real estate in Central Iowa including Norwalk, Des Moines, West Des Moines, Cumming, Indianola, Carlisle, Waukee, Urbandale, Grimes, Clive, Johnston, Ankeny, Altoona, and Pleasant Hill in the Counties of Warren, Polk, Dallas, and Madison. Call Jon Niemeyer at 515-490-4675.   

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