Sticky Goals – New Year’s Resolutions That Stick

(Originally posted February 2015)

One down, eleven to go. The first month of 2015 is now behind us, 31 days that we’ll never get back. I think this is a perfect time to evaluate the goals set for the year ahead and see if we’re on track. But before we do, let me share my perspective on this so that all of those who set, (and perhaps already failed), their New Years Resolutions, won’t tune me out.

First off let’s get one thing straight. If you set New Year’s Resolutions or goals for the year ahead, and find yourself lacking the willpower to follow through, give your head a little shake. It’s still very early in the year. Just because you haven’t succeed yet, doesn’t mean that this can’t be the year that you do! Think of it, let’s say you set a goal to eat healthy this year, and already you’ve succeeded in packing some decent lunches for work, you’ve even had breakfast a couple of times and your fridge is stocked with real, unprocessed food (that perhaps your tastebuds haven’t grown accustomed to yet). Yet you caved and ate your go-to, not so good for you, guilty indulgence a few times. Okay great! You’ve begun the process!

Pat yourself on the back for the steps you HAVE taken, and keep on pressing on!

Why do we allow ourselves to feel guilty for 3 steps forward, 2 steps back? I’m no mathematician, but I’m pretty sure that’s one step further than you were before. Celebrate your victories and don’t give up! Okay so, back to the evaluation. It’s really quite simple.

  • Know Your Goals

By now, I have my goals for this year memorized. Thanks to a challenge from Terri Saville Foy’s Podcast, I wrote my goals out every day for 21 days. (If you haven’t done that, it’s not too late to start!) Taking the five minutes to write them down every day brought clarity to the small, incremental steps necessary to eventually reach those goals within this calendar year. Which brings us to February.

  • Baby Step

Do you know the small steps you’ll need to take that will add up to you accomplishing your goal successfully?

Small, manageable steps, done consistently result in big change.

For example, if you have a goal of getting up by 5am and you currently roll out of bed a 7am, don’t set your alarm for 5am! Set a course of action that is manageable. For the next month, set your alarm for 6:45am. Once you’re in the groove of that, bump it up an additional 15 minutes and start getting up at 6:30am. Do it consistently and make it your lifestyle, before bumping it back to 6:15am. By the end of summer you could be consistently getting up at 5am! And that’s who you want to be right? You want to be that person who gets up, and is productive in the morning, gaining hours that you didn’t have before. By the time the New Year rolls around, you’re already living a lifestyle that right now is just a wish. So write down the small steps and begin to do them.

And finally,

  • Set Checkpoints 

Checkpoints are dates in the future you mark on your calendar for the purpose of evaluating if you’re on track. I have multiple checkpoints depending on the “seriousness” of the goal. Check in and assess how your small steps are going. Evaluate what you’re doing well, and where you need to step it up a bit.

By having predetermined checkpoints, you’ll be able to honestly evaluate if you’re on track to reach your goals. If we’re not proactive, this year will slip right by. If you’d like more tips, here’s a short video on the same topic.

I know what it’s like to be staring at a list of goals, feeling like a failure for not being disciplined enough to follow though on goals I set just one year earlier. With a little bit of determination, your goals – broken into smaller steps, and checkpoints can keep you on track for your most successful year yet!

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