Holding Yourself Accountable To Your New Year's Resolution

Many people feel that this is a time to start anew and make resolutions in their personal and/or business life. Are you one of those? If so, please heed this WARNING! Studies have shown that only 4 percent of people reach their resolutions.1

In order to stick to yours, it would be wise to set a clear, measurable, challenging — yet attainable — goal that has a specific deadline. Studies have shown that those suggestions found in SMART goals will help you achieve the resolutions you have set for the new year.2

The SMART goal tool is a wonderful guide that will support you in achieving the objectives you wish. However, it is missing a few key components that can increase the success rate of accomplishing these goals.

One such component is accountability. Plenty of people set goals, but few create a way to be accountable for them. Studies have shown that people who write a goal and identify a way to be accountable for it are twice as likely to achieve that goal than someone who thinks about it or writes it down.3, 4

Goal accountability means that you are responsible not only to set and achieve goals but to find some way to be accountable to someone other than yourself.

Here are some suggestions:

  • Tell a friend, co-worker or manager
  • Join an accountability group
  • Use technology, such as Outlook calendar or an accountability app
  • Hire a coach

Don’t let your resolutions end up as empty promises made to yourself. Reach out to someone, share your goal and make yourself accountable.

Come back next week to find out what the second item is that you should do while setting your SMART goals. In the meantime, sit back, relax and enjoy your family, friends and traditions. And start reflecting on what you would like to improve on this year.


  1. Statista Research Department. (2019, January 8). United States - sticking to New Year's resolutions for 2018. Retrieved December 23, 2019, from https://www.statista.com/statistics/953562/share-of-americans-who-stuck-to-their-new-year-s-resolutions/.
  2. Bovendeerdt, T. J., Botell, R. E., & Wade, D. T. (2009). Writing SMART rehabilitation goals and achieving goal attainment scaling: a practical guide. Clinical Rehabilitation, 23(4), 352–361. doi: 10.1177/0269215508101741
  3. Matthews, G. (n.d.). Study focuses on strategies for achieving goals, resolutions. Retrieved December 23, 2019, from https://www.dominican.edu/dominicannews/study-highlights-strategies-for-achieving-goals.
  4.  Matthews, G. (n.d.). Goals Research Summary. Retrieved December 23, 2019, from https://www.dominican.edu/academics/lae/undergraduate-programs/psych/faculty/assets-gail-matthews/researchsummary2.pdf.



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