New Year, New Approach to Goal Setting by Kellie Brungard, GPC

What about January makes us habitually declare resolutions that will result in a new and improved version of ourselves? It could be that following a season of holiday parties and socks filled with candy, we need a hard reset. Or the accountability en-mass as like-minded individuals dredge out of their homes to the gym. Research shows goal-setters have a higher success rate when starting the commitment to pursue a goal after a temporal landmark (e.g., a new week, month, birthday, or holiday); this is called the “fresh start effect.” This phenomenon of New Year’s resolutions is more common in the United States. A poll conducted for the last three years reports that 44% of U.S. participants set a new goal, while only 12-18% of Swedish residents make a resolution.

The way a goal is framed can increase your likelihood of success. For example, most New Year’s resolutions focus on behavior changes related to physical and mental health. In a Swedish study, three groups were evaluated for adherence and success to their resolutions throughout the year. Individuals who made approach-oriented goals rather than avoidance-oriented goals were significantly more likely (58.9 percent versus 47.1 percent) to keep their resolution. In addition, those who received extra support, such as follow-up and motivational emails, and those who set interim goals throughout the year were significantly more successful.

An approach-oriented goal has a positive outcome, while avoidance-oriented goals have negative outcomes that one works to avoid. For example, if your goal addresses health-focused, an approach-oriented goal would be “I want to be healthier by increasing the fruit and vegetables in my diet” or “I want to be healthier by going to the gym.” Avoidance examples of these same goals could be “I want to lose weight by cutting out fast food, sugar, and alcohol” or “I want to exercise more not to be lazy and sedentary.” The takeaway is that having a positive-outcome focus, support, and plan for reaching your goal will increase the likelihood of success.

As we embrace the fresh-start effect of January 2023, Assel Grant Services (AGS) is excited for a year of opportunity after a successful year of grants. While the numbers are not all in yet, our staff wrote a total of $72,183,575 in successful applications; the second highest grossing year we have experienced. In response to requests and staff expertise, we plan to increase the number of clients and projects we will work on in 2023. We have new staff coming on board in January and aim to continue adding to our team.

If you are interested in grant services, training, or federal review services, or are interested in our career opportunities, Julie Assel, CGMS, GPC, President/CEO, will be happy to talk with you about this opportunity and provide you with a quote for grant services.

This BLOG is aligned with the Grant Professional Certification Institute’s Competencies and Skills

Competency #3: Knowledge of strategies for effective program and project design and development

Skill 3.1: Identify methods of soliciting and incorporating meaningful substantive input and contributions by stakeholders

Skill 3.2: Identify methods of building partnerships and facilitating collaborations among co-applicants

Skill 3.7: Identify existing community resources that aid in developing programs and projects

Discover more from Assel Grant Services

Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue reading