I love to make lists for anything and everything; work lists, to-do lists, packing lists – you get the point. So when a new year comes, making a list of resolutions is in my alley. So much so that this year I’m making 20 of them. Yes, by 2020, I am setting 20 new goals.
Now, before I get started on how excessive, unreachable this seems and therefore, against all the goal setting tips you have learned, let me clarify …
I don’t expect to do all 20 when the clock strikes midnight on December 31st. After all, I’ve been taking several resolutions for some time now and had my fair share of flaws. For example, I haven’t become a morning person yet, and frankly, I don’t think that happens (no matter how much science says waking up early may benefit your health).
But I don’t hit if I can’t get everything on my list. (FWIW, sometimes it’s also good to give up New Year’s resolutions.) Instead, I focus on what I do because achieving even a few smaller goals on my list is better than just making a singular resolution and not following it. . And let’s be honest, this happens often (perhaps because of these common mistakes). In fact, about 80% of resolutions fail or are abandoned in the second week of February, according to U.S. News & World Report. With a list of 20, however, you should finish at least one, if not more, of these micro-goals and feel a sense of accomplishment.
Similar to last year’s 19 resolutions for 2019 (and 18 to 2018, 17 to 2017, and so on), this year’s summary is not full of big business, like losing 30 pounds or running a marathon. Instead, it ranges from bigger goals, such as promoting a dog to smaller feats, marking the perfect gold hoop earrings, and trying out the new fashion fitness classes – which, by the way, are goals I managed to accomplish in 2019, the That was rewarding.
Interested in adopting this kind of goal setting for the new year? Here is what you need to know about setting multiple micro goals.
Why Setting Multiple Goals Can Work
By setting only one high resolution, the chances of achieving it are in your favor, as you can devote all your effort to that, right? Eh, not necessarily, says Carla Marie Manly, Ph.D., clinical psychologist and author in Santa Rosa, California.
“The psyche can become overwhelmed when presented with a major ‘do or break’ goal,” says Manly. “When you create small goals that seem very achievable, you create a sense of self-efficacy that allows you to move forward in highly beneficial ways.”
Therefore, if you are unable to achieve some of your resolution list items, the goals you have achieved will be highlighted. You will be left with the feeling of accomplishment rather than a failure to achieve that one goal.
How to Tell If This Kind of Goal Setting Is Right for You
“The 20-item premise is ideal for people who are intimidated by a big New Year’s goal,” says Manly. “Such individuals tend to do better with more freedom and flexibility.” In addition, this approach has “a more fun feel and is much less intimidating” than one that focuses on a single resolution, Manly adds.
It is worth noting that this methodology is not for everyone. While some may find it an overwhelming challenging goal, others may look at a list of 20 goals and panic attacks. In fact, for some people – such as those who are most internally motivated – setting a high resolution may be more viable. For these intrinsically motivated people, instead of rewarding themselves each time they accomplish a smaller goal, they tend to see the process of working toward and ultimately achieving a larger goal as the reward itself. And it is because of this strong inner unity that they may be most suited to a higher and higher goal.
But that does not mean that if you are more reward-oriented, you cannot achieve big goals. It just means that you need to follow your path to success with more steps and set aside time to celebrate these smaller victories.
If you’re interested in changing your typical New Year’s resolution style, try my “20 to 2020” method. Here are some quick tips on setting Manly’s various goals to keep in mind:
- Focus on your wins. The most important thing to keep in mind when setting a goal list at any time of the year is to pay attention to the items you actually cross, whether it’s number one or 20. Focus on the positive. (Try this final progress journal for help.)
- Remember it’s a marathon … not a race. (Although you are looking to physically run 42 kilometers, start with this 18-week beginner training plan.) “It’s important to realize that change takes time – it takes an average of 66 days to instill a new habit,” says Manly. “Change is not being perfect; it is making small and constant changes that bring joy.”
- Be a partner. Setting these goals with a friend, family member,
- Print this. Your list of resolutions, that’s it. Hanging a hard copy somewhere you’ll often see it (for example, a bathroom mirror) can also help keep it on track.
- Have fun. While it’s easy to get involved in what you might be doing wrong, Manly emphasizes the importance of doing the opposite. “It’s much more effective to give a lot of self-reinforcement to the small changes being made.” So as you progress through each goal, take a second to focus on the achievement and how good it is to remove from your list.