A Digital Marketing company, iQuanti, recently pulled data from Google to find the most popular New Year's resolutions. Here is what they found:
- Get Healthy: 62,776,640 searches, a 13.77 percent increase over last year during the same time period, when it was searched 55,177,290 times.
- Get Organized: 33,230,420 searches, dipping by 7.41 percent compared to last year's tally of 35,888,700.
- Live Life to the Fullest: 18,970,210, spiking by 13.04 percent from last year, when it maxed at 16,782,030.
- Learn New Hobbies: 17,438,670 searches, up 4.72 percent from last year's total searches of 16,652,950.
- Spend Less/Save More: 15,905,290 searches, up 17.47 percent from 13,539,500 in 2016.
- Travel: 5,964,130 searches, down by 0.82 percent from 2015's 6,013,550,
- Read More: 4,746,560 searches, down 5.63 percent from last year's 5,029,790.
I think it's safe to say these are pretty common resolutions. I mean, who wouldn't want to be able to do ALL OF THAT this year?!
Looking at this list, the reason resolutions like these don't work is that they are not SMART! If you have any management or business training, you likely know what I mean by SMART. For a goal, or a resolution in this case, to be effective it needs to meet certain criteria. You can use the SMART acronym to simplify the criteria. So, for a resolution to be SMART, it must be:
- Specific: define the specific results to be achieved
- Measureable: what exactly needs to be accomplished in terms of quality, quantity, cost, or timeliness or a combination of these
- Action Oriented: goals should be process oriented as opposed to outcome oriented
- Realistic/Relevant: goal should make sense in terms of abilities, responsibilities, and resources
- Time Bound: the expectation must state a certain date by which results need to happen
So, let's use the common New Year's resolution of getting organized as an example (of course!). How many times have you said you were finally going to get organized? To make this a SMART goal, maybe we can say:
Starting tomorrow, I am going to spend 15 minutes per day organizing the paper in my office. A complete paper management system must be in place at the end of 30 days. OR
This year, we will plan our meals for the week, grocery shop, and prepare our meals on Sundays. OR
With each new piece of clothing I bring into the house, I will toss or donate two pieces that I haven't worn in a year. At the end of each month I will bag the items in the donate bin and drop them off at a local donation center.
Can you see how these can be much easier to attain being specific and action-oriented?
So, if you are one of those that has completely given up on New Year's resolutions, what do you say you give it one more shot? What specifically would you like to accomplish in 2017? What are your SMART resolutions?
Professional Organizer & Senior Move Manager®