January is a popular time of year to set resolutions for physical fitness, personal finance or new career directions. But with the declaration of failed resolutions in February becoming as much of a ritual as the resolutions themselves, it’s worthwhile to take a look at how you approach setting and achieving your goals. Angus Reid polled Canadians on their goal-setting habits and found that, while most Canadians set goals regularly, many could benefit from some simple strategies to keep them on track.
According to the survey, more than half of Canadians keep track of their goals using a ‘running list’ in their heads. Only about 15 percent write their goals down, while twice as many (30%) do not keep track of their goals even though they report aspiring to greater goals in life.
This latest survey is part of a growing body of research from American Express Canada that reveals a rising class of Canadians, know as ‘potentialists’, that take a focused approached to realizing their personal potential. Whether it is a desire to volunteer more, embark on adventure travel or learn a new skill, these ‘potentialists’ bring a proactive attitude to
other pursuits, defining success based on how fully they are able to realize their aspirations.
If you’re looking to broaden your resolutions this New Year, take some inspiration from potentialists and try one of the following ideas:
Track your goals like you track your finances
If you’d like to visit the African continent next summer to help build a school, ask yourself what you need to do tomorrow to get one step closer to that goal.
Pre-empt what might tempt
You should be hitting the books for that new language course but your favourite TV show beckons. Prepare yourself psychologically for temptations that will surely come your way and have a strategy and study schedule in place to deal with it before it happens.
Combat the fear factor
Twenty percent of Canadians surveyed cite ‘fear of failure’ as a reason why they don’t meet their goals. Recognize when irrational fears are getting in the way of your progress.
Willpower is like a muscle
Giving into little temptations can set off a domino effect. Be aware that if you don’t exercise willpower regularly, you may lose it.
This article is written by or on behalf of an outsourced columnist and does not necessarily reflect the views of Castanet.