If you are the best at setting shape-up intentions but the worst at following through, Google Calendar's new Goals feature could save your (soon-to-be-firm) butt. It helps you go full-in on that goal by automatically slotting time for it in your schedule.
That little bit of assistance could make all the difference in hitting your target, research shows. Resolutions often fail because we set lofty goals without getting concrete about the little steps needed to make it happen. One new study, in the British Journal of Health Psychology, found that the key factor that determines whether a person will achieve an objective is having a clear plan for implementation.
This is how Google Calendar Goals—which launches today on Google Calendar's 10th birthday—can help: You grab your iPhone or Android and either choose a goal from their menu of universal ones (like do yoga) or set your own custom one (train for half-marathon, say). Prompts will ask you how often you want to work toward it, and how long each session should be. You also get to load in your best time (morning, afternoon, evening, or any time). Then the technology scans your calendar and schedules in the workout sessions. (Alas, it doesn't actually reserve you a place at a yoga class. Google: next version, what do you say?)
Expect some tough love. If you try to schedule a boozy brunch instead of your planned Saturday morning run, Calendar Goals will move the workout to another time. If you keep canceling, Goals will keep on rescheduling, just like a kickass personal trainer. And if you always override your early am weekend workout? It uses "machine learning" to understand that you can't get your butt out of bed first thing but are raring to go after work.
No need to only use Goals to go after fitness aims. Google suggests you try everything from meditate to learn to code, or you can DIY your wish list. Finish my novel, give up added sugar, Marie Kondo my house, become more like Gwyneth Paltrow, become less like Gwyneth Paltrow...the dreams are endless. Just be careful what you wish for, because you're now going to have to follow through.