December 30, 2015
By Jeff Cattel
We drank the holiday Kool-Aid, and now we’re full of warmth, cheers, and yes, sweets. We’re feeling optimistic as January approaches. This is totally the year we’re going to save money, meditate or learn to speak French.
But the stats aren’t in our favor: Fewer than 10 percent of people who make New Year’s resolutions actually keep them. “It’s just a wish,” says Edwin Locke, Ph.D., one of the pioneers of goal-setting theory. “If you’re going to be serious, you have to plan, keep records, and you may even need outside help.”
The good news is that Locke and other researchers have conducted decades of research to figure out the foolproof way to make and achieve goals. All that science boils down to seven steps, which we’ve shared in the handy, printable checklist below.
One question to ask before you get started: Are you ready? Sure, it sounds obvious or even a little silly, but you really need to figure out if you’re prepared to make a change, says Caroline Adams Miller, a goal-setting expert and author of “Creating Your Best Life.” If the answer is “yes,” start with step one below: