- Lose Weight
- Get Organized
- Spend Less, Save More
- Enjoy Life to the Fullest
- Stay Fit and Healthy
Yet despite our best intentions, within a few months many of us will fall back into old habits. Forty-five percent of Americans make New Year’s resolutions, yet only 8% actually achieve them (Journal of Clinical Psychology). How can you be part of the 8% and keep your resolutions? Here are three steps for success:
- Make realistic, attainable goals and develop a specific action plan – Don’t just resolve to lose weight; set a goal to lose a specific number, say 20 pounds, and to drop a pound a week.
- Establish confidence in your goals and publicly share your resolutions – The social pressure creates accountability, because you don’t want to report back about a failure.
- Track your progress regularly and reward success – For example, weigh yourself on a weekly basis and reward yourself with a manicure or facial for every five pounds lost.
- Use slip-ups to strengthen your resolve – Avoid self-blame during times of weakness, but resolve to do even better.
- Cultivate social support – Find an accountability partner who will support you in your efforts to make lasting changes.
- Create a plan to deal with slips – Stick with it. We all fall victim to temptation. The difference between successful resolvers and failed ones is the ability to bounce back from relapses.
- Think of your goal as a marathon instead of a sprint – Remember it take three months for a change to become routine.
Do you struggle with achieving your goals? Maybe some of these quotes will give you inspiration. Here are my favorite quotes on goal-setting and goal achievement. See if one of more of these quotes resonates with you. Post it in a place where you’ll see it on a daily basis – on your bathroom mirror, your calendar, the dashboard of your car – to give you motivation.
“None of us will ever accomplish anything excellent or commanding except when he listens to this whisper which is heard by him alone.”
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
“If you want to live a happy life, tie it to a goal, not to people or things.”
~ Albert Einstein
“Goals are the fuel in the furnace of achievement.”
~ Brian Tracy
“There is no happiness except in the realization that we have accomplished something.”
~ Henry Ford
“In the absence of clearly defined goals, we become strangely loyal to performing daily acts of trivia.”
~ Author Unknown
“A goal without a plan is just a wish.”
~ Larry Elder
Effort only full releases its reward after a person refuses to quit.”
~ Napoleon Hill
“The more intensely we feel about an idea or a goal, the more assuredly the idea, buried deep in our subconscious, will direct us along the path to its fulfillment.”
~ Earl Nightingale
“Life can be pulled by goals just as surely as it can be pushed by drives.”
~ Viktor Frankl
“You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.”
What is your favorite quote on goals? Please share with other readers.
Jessica set a goal at the beginning of the year to eat right and exercise more. She joined a gym and started a new exercise program. Jessica was motivated to lose those excess pounds she had gained over the holidays. She exercised four times a week and made healthy eating choices. Then just eight weeks into the New Year she was lucky to make it to the gym just once a week. Work kept her so busy that she often ate on the run — gobbling down donuts and coffee for breakfast and fast food for lunch. What happened to her motivation and determination to improve her health?
Jessica’s story is not uncommon. Oftentimes we start out “gung ho” about our goals, but then lose momentum and motivation along the way. How can you stay focused on your goals and priorities, whether they involve growing your business, strengthening your marriage or improving your health? Here are tips to help you focus on your goals.
Visualize the desired end result. If, like Jessica, you want to lose weight, imagine yourself 20 pounds lighter. Imagine how good you’ll look and feel in a bikini this summer. If you want to earn a promotion to management, imagine yourself as a manager of employees. Imagine yourself leading your team to success.
Review your Goals
Review your goals on a regular basis. Ask yourself, “Is what I’m doing right now helping me to achieve my goals?” Always keep your goals in the forefront of your mind. Review your progress. What steps are you taking to achieve your goals? Give yourself a pat on the back for making progress.
Work with an Accountability Partner or Coach
If you know you need to report your progress to someone else, you’re more likely to follow through. By having an “accountability partner” you can help keep each other on track. Choose someone who is also striving toward a goal. Meet once a week to check in. Share what you’ve accomplished in the past week and what step(s) you plan to take in the coming week to achieve your goal.
Better yet, hire a professional coach. Coaches are trained to help you succeed. They not only help you stay accountable, but also help you see the bigger picture, overcome obstacles by exploring different ways of doing things, and give encouragement and motivation to succeed.
Choose a reward for attaining your goal. Be sure to choose a reward that is motivating and commensurate with the effort required to achieve the goal. What is rewarding to you? For one person it may be an elegant dinner out or a weekend getaway. For another it may be a shopping spree at Nordstrom’s or a full-body massage. Choose something that you’ll really look forward to, which will increase your motivation to succeed.
By visualizing success, reviewing your goals, working with a partner or coach, and rewarding yourself, you’ll stay motivated and focused on your goals. Only by focusing on your goals will you actually attain them. So keep on keeping on!
For more information on goal achievement, listen to my CD on How to Set and Attain Your Goals.