3 Ways To Achieve Your New Year’s Resolutions By Building Goal Infrastructure

behavior

3 Ways To Achieve Your New Year’s Resolutions By Building Goal Infrastructure
The odds of hitting your target goals is improved by building ‘goal infrastructure’. Shutterstock

Every year most of us make New Year’s resolutions. Eat healthier. Exercise regularly. Invest more in valued relationships. Learn a language. And so on. Often they are the same resolutions as last year.

Why do our resolutions often so swiftly wither away?

A prime culprit in this annual rollercoaster of optimism and disappointment is overconfidence in the power of our intentions.

The excitement of a new year (and perhaps the fruit of celebrating a little too hard) cloud remembering a hard fact of life: good intentions readily evaporate without a trace in the face of everyday experiences such as exhaustion, temptation and long-standing habits.

Fortunately, academic research on goal-setting can help. Studies over several decades have identified some effective ways to overcome these common obstacles to realising your plans.

Beyond SMART goals

It’s well-known (and also true) that New Year’s resolutions are more likely to be attained if they are “SMART”:

  • Specific (about exactly what you want to achieve)
  • Measurable (with clear indicators of progress)
  • Achievable (given your available resources, constraints and other priorities)
  • Relevant (to what you most value)
  • Time-bound (with the specific date by when you aim for mission accomplished).

Crafting SMART goals is a good start. But the odds of realising your resolutions will be improved by building what I call “goal infrastructure” – that is, resources that enable goal attainment.

Below are three powerful ways to build goal infrastructure.

1. Link your goals to your cherished values

Useful insights about how to do this may be drawn from a study of how a goal-setting program could help struggling students improve their academic performance.

The research involved 85 students at McGill University in Montreal. Participants given the goal-setting intervention answered questions about their ideal future, qualities they admired in others, things they would like to do better, things they would like to learn more about, and habits they would like to develop.

They then developed and prioritised the goals they were excited to pursue, before writing about the specific positive impacts they thought achieving each goal would have on their lives and the lives of those they cared about.

Compared to students in the control group, those who participated in this goal-setting intervention significantly improved their academic results four months later.

Why not brainstorm your own responses to the questions addressed by the study participants?

Then develop a compelling rationale for working persistently to achieve your highest priority goal(s), by answering the following questions:

  • what benefits do I expect to flow from reaching my goal?
  • how might achieving my goal enhance my life and/or the lives of those I care about?

Write down your answers and put them where you will see them often.

2. Create implementation intentions

Implementation intentions supplement SMART goals with details of when and how you will act to attain your goals.

Two types of implementation intentions are:

  • if-then-plans (“If situation X arises, then I will Y”)
  • when-then plans (“When situation X arises, then I will Y”).

For example, “If I feel upset by an email, when possible I will wait until the following day before sending my response.” Or, “When it is 5.27pm, then I will have left the office for the gym within the next three minutes.”

Several hundred studies have shown that deciding ahead of time when and how you will act in accordance with your goals helps you get started and avoid being derailed by tiredness or other distractions. As a result, goals are far more likely to be reached when paired with implementation intentions.

3. Establish peer accountability

What gets measured gets managed! This maxim is particularly valid when you feel accountable for acting in accordance with your goals.

The Agile software development methodology features mandatory morning stand-up meetings where team members publicly answer the following two questions:

  • “What did you do yesterday?”
  • “What will you do today?”

Knowing that tomorrow you will answer the first question helps brings focus to what you do today. Why not try this for a week so see if it works for you?

Another way to harness the power of peer accountability is to partner with someone else (ideally other than a life partner) who is also serious about adhering to their resolutions.

Text or email each other what you commit to do each day for a month (for example, swim 1 km, not open email after 8 pm, no screens after 10 pm, call a friend, do 50 pushups, pray for 10 minutes).

Then in a brief phone chat at the same time each week, ask each other whether you adhered to each of your daily commitments during the past week. Make no excuses and provide no explanations. Simply answer “yes” or “no” regarding whether you kept each commitment.

The anticipated satisfaction in saying “yes” to those scheduled questions, as well as the powerful drive to avoid having to admit failure, can be a powerful motivator to keep yourself on track.

Of course, there’s no magic wand to materialise your New Year’s resolutions. But if you are serious about making a change, play with the possibilities to discover what “goal infrastructure” works for you.The Conversation

About The Author

Peter Heslin, Associate Professor, UNSW Business School, UNSW

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

Related Books

The Goal Formula: Completing the Big Picture of Your Life

behaviorAuthor: Erik Therwanger
Binding: Paperback
Studio: BalboaPress
Label: BalboaPress
Publisher: BalboaPress
Manufacturer: BalboaPress

Buy Now
Editorial Review: How Important Are Your Goals? Every year, millions of people set goals. Unfortunately, they tend to set the same goals, year after year, but never experience the life-changing benefits from accomplishing them. Setting and accomplishing goals are two completely different disciplines. Setting a goal should be exciting and uplifting. But those feelings can quickly turn to frustration and disappointment as we lose focus, fail to stay on target, and give up. Imagine what it would feel like to finally accomplish any goal you desire, no matter what circumstances you face. More than just another New Year’s Resolution, your goals are critical pieces to an important puzzle – the Big Picture of your life. The GOAL Formula™ introduces you to a new way of perceiving your goals and how to accomplish them by combining the necessary elements that will allow you to succeed – no matter what circumstances you face. The GOAL Formula™ provides you with: • Strategies to identify your Big Picture • Techniques for Time Mastery • New ways to Enlist the Help of Others • The structure for your 90-Day Run




Business Habits For Increased Productivity And Sustained Success: The Art of Setting Goals In Business And Completing Them With Confidence (business, best ... business books, business plan, rich habits)

behaviorAuthor: Max Douglas
Binding: Kindle Edition
Format: Kindle eBook

Buy Now
Editorial Review:

Business Habits For Increased Productivity And Sustained Success: The Art of Setting Goals In Business And Completing Them With Confidence


This book contains proven steps and strategies for maximizing productivity for your business and professional life.

In this book, you will find numerous, easy-to-follow ‘Business Habits’ that maximize the likelihood of your business’ success, especially in the long run. Outlined in each chapter are fundamental lessons to help you achieve the greatest productivity and get real results!

In Business Habits For Increased Productivity And Sustained Success, you will learn:

  • Being an Innovator - Including four mindsets that limit the potential of your business and a business habit that will enhance your innovative ability
  • How to set SMART goals - Including ways to create short-term goals from your long-term goals and an activity to help you get started with SMART goals
  • How to move from procrastination to productivity
  • Organization and prioritization skills with simple workplace organization tips for better productivity
  • Managing your team - bonus habits for sustained success
This book will introduce you to a process that begins with your own personal development and moves outward into workplace productivity. You will identify and begin to practice some of the essential habits for lasting improvement in productivity. Don't forget, however, that success, just like productivity, is an ongoing experience. You have to fight for it every single day, and prove that you deserve it more than anything. This book is a great step in that direction.

Take action now.

Scroll to the top of this page and click the BUY' button. That can be your first step to success! After that, you can begin reading Business Habits For Increased Productivity And Sustained Success: The Art of Setting Goals In Business And Completing Them With Confidence on your Kindle device, computer, tablet or smartphone.





Tags: business, best business books, success, setting goals, business books, business plan, rich habits




Walking & Running To Marathons: Boxset: From Walking & Running to Marathons. 3 Book Guide on Completing Your Fitness Goals (Jogging, Marathon, Walking Training 1)

behaviorAuthor: Sam Hignett
Binding: Kindle Edition
Format: Kindle eBook

Buy Now
Editorial Review:

********** 3 Books For The Price Of 1 **********FREE WITH KINDLE UNLIMITED**********



Walking & Running To Marathons 3 Book Box-Set

Walking for Weight Loss, A Guide on Walking for Weight Loss, Getting Fit, and Feeling Great



Are you self conscious about jogging in your neighborhood to get fit? Do you want to lose weight and feel great? You don't want to spend your hard earned cash on expensive gym membership?
If you have answered yes to any of these questions then this book is for you. Walking is something we all do in our everyday lives and by taking just a few extra steps each time you can take one big step to becoming slimmer and more healthy.

Walking is a fun and rewarding challenge. What can be easier than doing something we already do everyday without too much thought to get fit. Lets face it going to the gym or running around your neighborhood doesn't sound too appealing most of the time, not to mention the added cost of gym membership!

Here's A Preview Of What's Inside...


  • The Health Benefits Of Walking
  • Selecting The Right Walking Kit
  • Essential Information To Get You Started
  • Strolling Or Power Walking
  • Preparing and Warming Up
  • 10,000 Step Program
  • Staying Motivated
  • Cooling Down Routines
  • And Much More!


************************************************************************************************************************************

Running for Weight Loss, A Guide on Running for a Healthier and Thinner You



Are you like the millions of people around the world who have tried diet after diet and are still not managing to lose weight! Well this book can help you achieve your goals. By adding a simple running routine to your calorie controlled diet will see you shed that weight and lose it forever.

Running is a fun and rewarding challenge. The release of endorphins after running leaves you feeling like you're on top of the world and this results in the perfect motivating factor in your quest to lose weight. Running whether preparing for a Marathon or for Improving ones mental and physical health offers a great deal more than just weight loss.

Here's A Preview Of What's Inside...


  • Why We Put On Weight
  • Nutritional Advice
  • Essential Information To Get You Started
  • Health Benefits of Running
  • Preparing and Warming Up
  • 8 Week Running Program
  • Staying Motivated
  • Cooling Down Routines
  • And Much More!


************************************************************************************************************************************

Marathon Training. A Practical Guide to Preparing Yourself for Marathon Running



Completing a Marathon and finishing those 42.195km is the top of any serious runners to do list. If you just started your running journey and would like to take it to the next level then this guide is for you. In this book we will cover all the basics and some of the more in-depth subjects you will need to give yourself the very best chance of succeeding in your quest to become a Marathon Runner.

So, whatever your motivation, whether it be raising money for charity or it is simply one of the goals on your bucket list, download this guide now and find out how to get started on your journey.

Here's A Preview Of What's Inside...


  • What is a Marathon
  • Selecting The Right Kit
  • Essential Information To Get You Started
  • Correct Nutrition and Hydration
  • Marathon Training Plans
  • Staying Motivated
  • And Much More!




behavior
enafarzh-CNzh-TWtlfrdehiiditjamsptrues

follow InnerSelf on

google-plus-iconfacebook-icontwitter-iconrss-icon

 Get The Latest By Email

{emailcloak=off}

follow InnerSelf on

google-plus-iconfacebook-icontwitter-iconrss-icon

 Get The Latest By Email

{emailcloak=off}