Did you know that January 17th is Ditch New Year Resolution Day? No surprise that resolutions are as effective as an umbrella in a typhoon. While new year resolutions are a common practice, most people fail to stay on track for more than a few weeks. You may have great intentions, but change requires more than that. So turn a new year resolution into something more inspiring.
Motivation + Goals + Action = Success
Motivation is key to accomplishing any goal you want. But overwhelm, procrastination or impatience often cause us to give up or hit a roadblock. It is why a new year resolution doesn’t stick. So here are a few things you can do to increase your motivation and accomplish your goals.
Why is the Goal Important?
Before setting any goal, clearly identify why successfully reaching this goal is important to you. The reason why or meaning is the motivation behind your goals.
I want to lose 10 pounds so I have more energy to go hiking with my family is far more motivating than I want to lose weight. I want to increase my income by 20% so we can buy a house is more inspiring than I want to make more money.
Master the why and you will likely overcome a big roadblock – procrastination.
How Will You Get There?
Write down how you plan to achieve your goals. The SMART principle can help:
- Specific (What exactly do you want to accomplish?)
- Measurable (How will you know when you have succeeded?)
- Achievable (Is the goal you have set possible?)
- Realistic (Does setting this goal make sense for you right now?)
- Time-bound (What is the specific time frame to accomplish this goal?)
Vague goals create vague results. So, when you write down your goals, make sure they are specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-bound.
What Actions Do You Need to Take?
To quote Nelson Mandela, “A vision without action is just a dream”. The same can be said for goals. So now comes the critical part. Make a to-do list to accomplish your goals.
- What steps or actions do you need to take? If the tasks are too big, break them down into smaller, manageable pieces.
- Set deadlines for each task.
- Schedule time to work on and accomplish them.
I use the Task App on my computer and phone to list the tasks – with deadlines. I then use my calendar to schedule time as needed. It makes it easy to track and prioritize what I need to do – and I enjoy checking things off when completed. Give it a try.
Share Your Goals
Invite others to help you stay on track. Your team, family, and friends may be willing and able to hold you accountable or inspire you to keep going. If focus and accountability are holding you back, get rid of the distractions and find a good accountability partner.
Related: Need Accountability?
Track Your Progress
Review your ‘to-do’ list at least once per week. Are you meeting the timelines you established? If not, where are the stumbling blocks? Are you procrastinating or easily distracted? Or were you too aggressive – and now feel overwhelmed?
It’s okay. Be kind to yourself on occasions when you fall short. And remember to build in small rewards too for your accomplishments. If necessary, reconsider some of the challenging aspects of your goals. Make changes to your plan. Be realistic and keep going!
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About Joan Nowak: I’ve been helping business owners turn ideas into profits for more than a decade. My whole-business, common-sense approach empowers my clients and drives improvements in critical areas, including revenue, operations, team development, customer satisfaction, and profitability.