There’s something so invigorating and exciting about setting goals for the new year—especially when it involves buying a cute new planner! It feels like a fresh start and like anything is possible. Unfortunately, setting goals is only one small part of the equation. Once the high of new year motivation dies down, many of us promptly abandon our goals quicker than you can say “new year, new me.” In order to stay on track, you need to have strategies in place to keep you accountable and motivated. Read on for 5 ways you can ensure you *actually* stick to your goals in 2019.
Often, the reason many of us don’t achieve our goals is because they’re not the right goals for us. There are a couple of reasons why this might be the case.
Firstly, you may not have a strong enough ‘why’ attached to this goal. This is often the case for goals that are superficial in nature, such as getting visible abs. In many cases, there’s no strong motivation behind it—we just think it would be nice because we see fitness girls on Instagram with abs and they look so happy!
On the other hand, a goal like ‘master bodyweight pull-ups so I can feel strong and badass’ or ‘improve my health so I have the energy to keep up with my kids’ tends to have a stronger ‘why’ attached to it.
Other reasons we may not achieve our goals is because they are unrealistic or too vague. Each of your goals should be measurable and have a realistic timeframe attached to it. For example, you may want to earn $5000 from your side hustle in the next 6 months. If it’s something you’re truly invested in and there’s a deadline attached to it, you’re going to be far more likely to stick to your goal even when the going gets tough.
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When it comes to your goals, it can often be a case of ‘out of sight, out of mind.’ Whether or not you believe in the law of attraction or think it’s a little ‘woo woo’, there’s no denying that having constant reminders of your goals makes you more likely to stick to them. Research shows that people who vividly describe or picture their goals are 1.4 times more likely to achieve them.
You only need to look at the example of Jim Carrey to see this in action: As an unknown actor in 1985, he wrote himself a cheque for $10 million for ‘acting services rendered’ dated for 10 years in the future, which he kept in his wallet. In 1995, he found out he was going to be paid exactly $10 million for Dumb and Dumber. Spooky!
What this looks like in your own life will depend on what works best for you. Some people like to create vision boards and keep them where they’ll see them every day — founder of The Remarkable Group Lorraine Murphy even laminates hers and keeps them in the shower! Other people like to set them as their phone or computer wallpaper or write out or recite their goals every morning.
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Some highly productive people swear by the 12 week year to ensure they achieve their goals. Created by Brian P. Moran and Michael Lennington, this system involves shortening your execution cycle for goals from a year into 12 weeks. The idea is that shorter time frame makes you more likely to take ‘massive action’, meaning you achieve more in 12 weeks than some people do in a year!
The Best Self journal is an excellent planner that allows you to break your goals down into 13-week cycles (an extra week to give you a little wriggle room!). It’s split into daily, weekly and monthly sections for planning and reflection to ensure you stay on track with your goals.
Research shows that you’re 65% more likely to stick to your goal if you’re accountable to someone else. It’s kind of like keeping a food diary to submit to your nutritionist—you don’t want them to be ‘disappointed’ in you, so you’re more likely to stay on track! There are a few different ways you can implement this in your own life. Firstly, you could enlist a mentor, accountability or life coach who you check in with regularly with to discuss your progress (as well as ask for advice) The same goes with having a health and fitness coach or financial advisor when it comes to health and money goals.
However, if you don’t have the budget for this, you could also team up with a friend who was similar goals to you or join one of the many Facebook groups dedicated to accountability and support. You can also use an app like Coach.me, where your goals are made public and you receive ‘kudos’ when you achieve your daily targets.
If you’re someone who has many different goals in the various areas of your life, you may find you become overwhelmed and give up. It’s a fruitless task to try and massively change your life in more than one way at a time. However, a way around this is to dedicate just 10 minutes per day to a task that moves you towards each of your goals. This could include working on your passion project for 10 minutes per day, meditating for 10 minutes per day and updating your budget for 10 minutes per day and so forth. While it may not seem like a lot of time to dedicate to your goals, the consistency can take you far.
You can check out A Girl In Progress here.