Lose 10 pounds. Pay off debt. Spend more time with my family. Save more for retirement. Exercise five days a week.
Are any of these “resolutions” familiar? 80% of people who make New Year’s resolutions will break them. 60% or more don’t even make them because they know they are going to break them. How do we set and achieve real, actionable, trackable “goals”, to keep in front of us every day versus “resolutions” which tend to fade all too quickly?
First of all, think about whether you are living the life you want to be living next year (or 10 years from now). Spend a few days on this. Are you happy with your health? Financial fitness? Family relationships? Career advancement? Where you’re living? Vacation savings? Exercise frequency? Jot down these initial ideas.
Next, determine what you want to accomplish in the areas you’ve identified. Make a list and for each item use a separate sheet of paper to develop an action plan. If you want to lose 10 pounds by May, how much do you need to lose each week? How will you do it? How will you keep it off? Assign a realistic deadline for each item on your action plan and for each goal. For example, what do you need to do in January to achieve your goal with a deadline of August? Give yourself mini-deadlines and mini-rewards at steps along the way.
Lastly, place your goals and action plan where you can see and read them frequently – weekly or even daily. Remembering your goals will help you stay motivated and accountable to them. Don’t get discouraged if you don’t meet all of them. Few people do. But by setting and reviewing our goals on a regular basis we’re infinitely more likely to reach them than if we don’t set them at all!
If your goals include exercise and you need help getting started or staying accountable, let me know. I can help!