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3, 2, 1 … Happy New Year! I cannot believe how quickly 2012 has come and gone. The last year seems to have raced by even faster than the one before, with the holiday season ending as quickly as it began. I hope you all have had a wonderful and restful holiday.
Ringing in the New Year can often bring a resolve to renew oneself. There is something energizing about a New Year and new opportunities. The tradition of New Year’s Resolutions is a way for many people to set goals and to move closer to accomplishing the things we want to accomplish.
But for some, resolutions may be losing their appeal. According to the Toronto Star, 68% of Canadians made a resolution for 2012, with only 31% of Canadian women and 23% of Canadian men regularly making New Year’s resolutions. Sure, these may be somewhat low numbers, but are resolutions really that important?
There are a lot of experts out there who would tell you that setting goals, not necessarily resolutions, are very important. According to Brian Tracy and his work around the “Psychology of Achievement” having goals are absolutely critical to achieving success; however, less than 5% of people have goals and less than 1% of people write these goals down. Tracy describes four reasons that so few people have goals:
1. People do not understand the importance of goals.
2. People do not know how to set goals.
3. Fear of criticism or rejection from others.
4. Fear of failure.
Tracy suggests that of these 4 reasons for not having goals, fear of failure is probably the most important. This makes sense to me. Now I understand why I have always been reluctant to say my New Year’s resolutions out loud! Fear of not achieving my goals. According to Tracy, I’m not alone. He suggests that the fear of failure is one of the greatest obstacles for adults. However, he also emphasizes that this fear stems from the fact that many people do not understand the importance of failure in achievement. In order to succeed, one must first fail.
To me, this concept is refreshing. Knowing that we can strive to achieve yet still embrace when we fall is reassuring. It means we don’t have to be afraid of having the carpet pulled out from beneath us, which is bound to happen from time to time. It means learning to accept those low points, and learning how to pick ourselves up and carry on.
But, there are also ways to set yourself up for success. To learn more about setting achievable goals, check out Meredith’s New Year’s post from 2012 on making S.M.A.R.T. goals.
This year, I’m planning to stay more connected to family and friends. What’s your goal for 2013?