Happy New Year! Welcome to 2015 – doesn’t it look nice and shiny? That’s because it’s a new year – with plenty of opportunities for you to make goals that stick… and there can be the problem, right?
You want to make goals and resolutions, but every year you do this… and every year, those goals and resolutions just don’t stick. Here’s a couple of reason’s why that might be the case:
- Your resolutions lack accountability
- Your resolutions focus on a weakness
- Your goals lack measurable outcomes
- You don't put any real thought into what you want to achieve
- You can't really be bothered, so you just go with the same ones you had from last year
Sorry if that seems a little in ya face, but if you’re honest with yourself, I’m probably right. This was me last year, so I don’t get off lightly either!
So how do you make your goals and resolutions stick? I’m glad you asked…
How to Make Resolutions and Goals That Stick
1. Figure out your focus:
It all starts with focus. We are constantly distracted in our daily lives, which makes it difficult to remember where you’re heading and what you’re trying to achieve. And it doesn’t take long to veer off course and end up moving in a direction that wasn’t even on your radar.
So to combat distractions, you need to focus on what you’re looking to achieve this year and into the future.
Mark Joyner, CEO of Simpleology, suggests setting only three major goals – a short term, medium term and long-term goal. Then he suggests further that when you set your daily to-do lists, that you review these goals to make sure your to-do’s are moving you toward those goals.
In my previous post, I talked about my goals for this year. I have 7 areas that I focus on and then mini goals within those. My to-do list is then created and linked to the main ‘focus’ area it pertains to. I use Todoist as my to-do list, but Simplelogy is also a good option.
Find the tool that works for you and then set yourself up for success by reviewing your main goals and linking them to your daily actions and tasks.
2. Make resolutions that focus on your strengths:
While it might make sense to make resolutions to improve an area you feel you’re weak in, this can actually set you up for failure right from the get-go.
If you want your resolutions to stick, look at focusing and harnessing your strengths. Ask the question, “Am I trying to change a weakness or am I playing to my strengths?” This is from the author of “Now, Discover Your Strengths,” Marcus Buckingham.
If you choose to focus on and increase your strengths, you'll feel more passionate and engaged about what you're doing, which leads to an increased inclination to follow the resolution through.
So for me, one of my resolutions is to remove sugar from my diet. This is a difficult resolution for me because I have a massive sweet tooth. It also means I'm not super passionate about really doing it. I know that sugar is bad for me, but my willpower is zero when it comes to eliminating it from my diet.
So a better resolution for me would be to focus on eating better foods and reducing my sugar intake rather than trying to eliminate sugar from my diet - which if I'm really honest with myself, ain't gonna happen!
Don't focus on or try and change your weaknesses, focus instead on your strengths, which will ultimately balance out those weaknesses anyway.
3. Look for obstacles:
Making goals and resolutions isn't easy and sticking to them is even harder. If it was easy, you wouldn't need to make a big deal about setting them in the first place, right?
Part of making your goals and resolutions stick is in being aware of potential obstacles ahead of time so that you can plan around them.
So how do you anticipate the obstacles and plan for them?
Set up rewards for sticking to your goals and resolutions, particularly if you're a bit of a procrastinator (like me!).
Make them big rewards too, and not rewards that could potentially undo your hard work... like take my resolution of eating healthier foods - my reward should NOT be to spend a day eating a bunch of sugary crap. Instead, a better reward would be a day at the spa or a massage.
Put baits in place to keep you interested and focused on achieving those goals and resolutions.
Identify the obstacles ahead of time and plan how to deal with them and then just deal with them. Reward yourself when you do and hey presto those goals and resolutions have 'stuck.'
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By following these three key steps you'll ensure that this year, your goals and resolutions will actually stick.
But there's one other key ingredient... can you guess what it is?
That's right, you still have to take responsibility, take action and follow through. All the above steps do is help you set yourself up for success - you still have to actually do the steps, right?!
What are your goals and resolutions for 2015? Leave them in the comments below and we'll hold you accountable!
Do you have your own 'trick' for making your goals stick? I'd love to hear about that too - you know the drill, leave it in the comments below...