OSB Professional Liability Fund

Setting Achievable Goals for the New Year

January 3, 2018
by Rachel Edwards

The concept of “New Year’s resolutions” may have a negative connotation for many of us. It is estimated that on average, New Year’s resolutions fail at a rate of close to 80%. The problem is that we create resolutions that are too vague, making them impossible to implement, track, and carry out long-term. They are merely declarations, with no actual substance or thought behind them. Thus why many of these resolutions quickly fall to the wayside. Below is a suggested action plan for establishing realistic and achievable New Year’s resolutions:
  1. Create specific, measurable goals. Start by reflecting on what matters most to you. Rather than setting goals based on what someone else or society thinks you should do, reflect on what you actually want for yourself. It is much easier to pursue and remain dedicated to achieving a goal if it’s based on something that is important to you and excites you. Start with an overarching goal, such as “I want my practice to be more efficient,” and then determine the specific, measurable goals that can help you achieve it.
  2. Focus on one goal at a time. It can be overwhelming if you try to achieve all of your goals at once, while still carrying on with your daily routine. Focusing on one goal at a time can help you to achieve it sooner and give you the confidence to continue with the next goal.
  3. Be self-aware and monitor the goal. Keeping yourself accountable is an important part of achieving a goal. Monitor the goal by writing it down, and consider utilizing an app designed to track your progress. Options include Nozbe, GoalsOnTrack, and LifeTick.
  4. Be flexible. Rarely is the path to a goal straight and narrow. You will likely experience ups and downs along the way. If you are struggling to meet the measurable steps within an overall resolution, be flexible and consider adjusting the goal. It could be that the measurable steps are not realistic, or other events have transpired making the goal less of a priority. Allow yourself to reassess and determine if the steps towards the goal can be readjusted. Also remember to stay positive. Punishing yourself only leads to negativity and a decrease in confidence.
  5. Remind yourself of the reasoning behind the resolution. As with any goal you set, there will often be moments when your path towards achieving the goal is not going as you hoped. It may not be happening as quickly as you would like, or challenges arise making it difficult to continue. In order to stay motivated, remind yourself why you set the resolution in the first place. Thinking about the potential benefits allows you to reset, get motivated, and move forward.