Every year on January first people wake up committed to making changes in their life. Today is often a day of great hope and resolution. It is estimated that over 40% of Americans make New Years resolutions but unfortunately, only around 8% of people actually achieve their goals. What can you do to be one of the few people that achieves your desires? Achieving your goals is not a matter of will power or moral character but rather about following some simple steps to improve your chances of experiencing success.
- Make your goals measurable: Be sure your goals are specific and measurable. Instead of saying you want to lose weight, determine how much weight, with specific goals for each week. Breaking your goal into smaller chunks gives you more experiences of success, increasing motivation.
- Figure out your why: Dig deeper into why your goal is important to you. Again, if your goal is weight loss, ask yourself why you want to lose weight. Is it because you are unhappy with your appearance or you want your clothes to fit better or maybe you want to improve your health? Everyone has different motivation for their resolution. Being clear on yours will give you a touch point to return to when your motivation starts to flounder.
- Enlist a friend: Find a friend or partner who is working on their own New Year’s Resolution. I know sharing something you might actually struggle to achieve can be hard but having an “accountability” partner can be just the push you need when you feel your motivation slipping. We are often good as letting ourselves slide but knowing we have to report our progress to someone else can be very motivating.
- Be prepared: Set yourself up for success. If you want to start running, be sure you have running shoes. If you want to lose weight, be sure you have healthy nutritious food in your house. If you want to start saving more money, be sure you have decided on how much you are going to tuck away each week and where you are going to put it. Being prepared takes away some of the excuses that often lead to failure.
Making lasting change can be challenging. Slips are inevitable. But you can do it! Don’t let temporary slip ups derail your goals. If you have a set back, just go back to your why or check in with your accountability partner. Refocus and start again. 2017 can be your year to achieve your goals.