It’s a new year, a fresh start, another beginning for all of us. And I think it’s safe to say we’re all guilty of making resolutions that—while made with the best of intentions—still get put back on the shelf to collect dust after a few months. (I see you nodding over there!)
Sometimes it’s because we can’t find the willpower to stick to it long-term.
Or we give into temptation…and then feel guilty after the fact. So we give up on our goal altogether to avoid that icky feeling of failure.
Or maybe we just lose sight of our goals when our busy lives take over, and put them off until “a better time”. (Even if, deep down, we know that time will never really come.)
The truth is: When you fall short of achieving your goals, it’s usually because you’re focusing on a blurry, all-encompassing dream rather than a specific behaviour that’s rooted in change.
But it just so happens that today, I’ve got 3 surefire steps to set yourself up for goal-setting success in the new year. You ready for this?
1. FOCUS ON BABY STEPS
Abstract goals and aspirations are impossible to achieve unless tied to a specific behaviour—or to put it more simply, a habit.
It’s the difference between visualizing change and actually making it happen.
To create these new habits and instigate change, you’ve really got to jedi mind trick yourself into creating a structure that’ll support you in taking action. And doing it in tiny increments will seriously increases your chances of long-term success.
Let’s check this out in action…
Your goal may be to stop drinking coffee. So the habit you could create to achieve this goal might be to only drink your morning cup of coffee, and to combat the 3pm grab. The structure you could put in place to replace your caffeine habit might be hitting up a gym class with a friend or drinking green juice at 3pm to keep your energy from fizzing out!
Or let’s say your goal is to lose 10 lbs. The habit you could form might be to get up 30 minutes earlier every day to go for a power walk. The structure you could use to support your new habit might be to use a song that pumps you up as your alarm, so you’re rarin’ to go as soon as you wake up. Or you could even use a fun playlist on your iPod to keep you motivated on your walk. You getting the feel for this?
One more! Your goal may be to crowd out all the stress and overwhelm of your busy workday. So the habit you could form to do this might be to establish a morning meditation ritual or sign up for a weekly yoga class. The structure to create this new habit might be signing up to do it with a girlfriend to give yourself the accountability you need. Make sense?
Focus on the “pit stops” instead of the final destination. The goal isn’t to get there the fastest way. It’s to get there without getting hungry, running out of fuel or breaking down altogether.
2. MAKE YOUR GOAL REAL
A lot of us are guilty of making goals, but keeping them inside our heads and hearts. One of the easiest ways to hold yourself accountable? Is to make your goal real.
First, write it down. Then tell everyone you know. Hey, you could even create a support group with your girlfriends and work towards your resolutions together! This will help you stay committed and on track, and you’ll be THAT much more likely to stick to your goal.
Want to send those excuses that are standing in the way of your dreams hiking? Then declare your intentions, instead of just letting them take up valuable mental space.
3. BE YOUR OWN BIGGEST CHEERLEADER
Positive feedback and self-love play a major role in going after those goals with gusto. Negative self-talk and letting your inner mean girl get the best of you can be a total motivation buzz kill.
In a world of 7 billion people, you’ve got to believe that you’re not alone in slipping up once in a while, so it’s important to love yourself even when that happens!
Remember to be kind to yourself. Don’t play the blame game whenever you drop the ball or slip up a little, and remember to reward yourself for even small accomplishments! You deserve it.
Your mission this week: Decide on one big goal you’d like to focus on in 2014 and try putting these 3 simple steps to good use. Share in the comments below what your resolution is, and what you’re planning on doing to make it happen. I’d love to hear about what works for you!