5 Simple Tips to Make Those New Year's Resolutions Stick

Margrit Harris

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What will you do when February rolls around and you’re sticking to your New Year’s Resolutions?

Yes, that’s right you’re loosing that weight.

You’re paying off those credit cards.

You’re getting angry less often with your spouse.

Sound incredulous!

One of the reasons we groan at the mere thought of New Year's Resolutions or setting personal and business goals is bad experience. Until just now hadn’t you all but given up on setting some viable goals for this coming year?

Why are we so lousy at sticking to our goals?

Well, when it comes to setting goals most of us fail to be SMART*!

But not this year! This year is different.

Because being SMART will change all that. . . and that's a promise!

SMART goals do get results ~ even for the most ardent “unbeliever".

This “secret" to outlining goals that truly leads to action and accomplishment may not be new but it works every time if we follow five simple principles.

Goals that get results must be. . .


Motivating goals are clearly defined so that we know exactly what we are doing and where we are headed.

For example: A set of missionaries sets a goal to. . . 'Solicit 1 prepared referral from each church member visited. '

Although this sounds specific, if the missionaries take it one step further and define “prepared" they will be significantly more successful.


Knowing whether or not we are making progress is key to sticking to our goal. This requires that qualitative goals are somehow quantified by using percentages or numbers.

For example: A couple commits to communicate more effectively. . . 'Three out four Sundays a month we will have Companion Inventory [structured process used to discuss pertinent relationship issues]. '

This couple is doing more than hoping they'll communicate better they are taking measurable action to assure they do.


Assessing where we are, is critical to determining where we can go. Sure we must set lofty goals that make us stretch, but if a goal is unrealistic we will abandon it in frustration somewhere along the way.


Making sure that our goal leads us toward an overall, long term objective keeps us on track. Effective goals are in harmony with our Vision & Values.

For example: Business partners who both want quality family time. . . 'Joint weekly production goal of $xxx must be met in 5 working days. '

A goal outlined in such a manner focuses on generating revenue without loosing sight of why it is needed in the first place.


Setting a dead line for completion with detailed, practical steps leading from here to there, and regular check points to evaluate progress goes a long way to eliminate, “I'll do it tomorrow".

So there you have it, five straightforward principles.

To get started, jot down your general goal and work it with the SMART system. Yes, it will take a little more time. You may also want to set fewer goals. It is far better to have one or two highly effective goals than to have 10 you'll give up on.

This New Year as you set goals, be they personal or business, make them SMART goals.

God bless you and may 2006 bring you joy and great rewards and be the foundation for great things to come.

*for more information about SMART and other great stuff check out ‘Leadership for Saints’ by Rodger Dean Duncan & Ed J. Pinegar available at Amazon.com

Margrit Harris, Your Relationship Expert, provides Helpful Answers to Tough Relationship Questions for life and business. Business clients include Wachovia Securities, Morgan Stanley and a variety of small business executives. While life clients range from college students to seasoned professionals. Author of StrataTips, practical weekly free Relationship Advice , and the popular goal setting ebook VisionRoadMap . Visit StrataTeam's estore today.


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