How to Gain the Momentum to Accomplish Your Goals

momentum

HAPPY NEW YEAR! It’s 2016 and I’m so excited about what’s to come. The new year is such a wonderful time! It offers us a fresh start and a fresh perspective. This is the time that we feel like we can do anything. The sky is the limit. I definitely try to take advantage of this moment of hope and expectation. I don’t make “resolutions”, but I do set goals. I set them throughout the year, but I kick off the main ones at the beginning of the year. The rest of the year I set sub-goals.

I have to say, I typically do pretty well with most of my goals. I tend to get at least 60 percent of them accomplished. I do well with the professional goals, but I often fall short on specific health goals. I think I self-sabotage my efforts. I start out well, and then when I begin to make progress on the scale I usually slack off. I workout with less intensity and eat with fewer restrictions. It’s not intentional. It’s an unconscious pattern. So, that will be something I can work on this year. I really want to make some headway with my weight goals. I need a break through. I know once I get it, I can help others more effectively.

Nevertheless, I do believe I have some insights to help you reach your goals. I have a proven track record of success. So, please allow me to share some of the strategies that work for me. These will work regardless of the type of goals: professional or personal.

  1. Put your goals in writing. The main reason you need to do this is to get it out of your head. Your goals become real once you can see them. It also gives you a means to track your progress. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve stumbled on my goals list months or even years later, and have been able to see how much of it has come to pass. That’s such a blessing.
  2. Break down your big goals into small actionable steps. Identify the small steps you need to take to get the ball rolling. If you want to buy a house, there are several steps to get that done. Get your credit score to see where you stand; pay off small debts to reduce your debt to income ratio; start building your savings account to pay your down payment and closing costs; get pre-qualified, etc. There are so many steps to take. You can do a little bit at a time. All of a sudden it no longer feels overwhelming.
  3. Take immediate action towards completing those small steps. The sooner you start taking action, the sooner you’ll be able to generate some momentum. Those small steps will lead to big steps and before you know it you’ve accomplished your goals.
  4. Get an accountability partner. Immediately tell someone you trust what you plan to do. Be certain it’s someone who is supportive and will encourage you. Not someone who will tell you how impossible it will be to accomplish your goals. If you tell someone about your plans they are likely to occasionally ask you how it’s going. I encourage you to make it more formal by asking them to follow up with you. If you know you have to account for your actions, you are more likely to do it because you don’t want to disappoint anybody else.
  5. Evaluate your progress on a regular basis. Set up intervals to check your progress. These will be your milestones. It can be weekly, monthly, quarterly, etc. Just whatever works for you and will keep you motivated. I don’t recommend letting it go too long without checking your progress. I’d say at least quarterly intervals are appropriate.

If you follow these suggestions you will find it much simpler to accomplish your goals. So, if you haven’t already, I encourage you to make a list of what you’d like to accomplish this year and then get to work. This year is going to pass by whether you do anything or not, so wouldn’t you rather reach the end of it and have made significant changes in your life. You alone are responsible for your destiny. There’s nothing holding you back but you. So, get to work and make 2016 the BEST year ever!

Why is Hard an Excuse to Stop?

no excuses chalkboard

For the past couple of days I’ve been on a quasi-detox. It’s not a full detox, but I’ve been juicing. I’ve been avoiding solid foods and caffeine. I started it because I wanted to reset my body and get some discipline. I just feel off track. I was hoping this would give me the jolt I need to reach my health and fitness goals.

If you’ve ever done any kind of detox you know the first couple of days are the hardest. For that reason I tend to start mine on a weekend when I don’t have to work. I know from experience that on the first day I’m tired, hungry and irritable so it’s not a good idea to be around people during that time.

Well, as usual, day one was pretty tough. It got so hard towards the later part of the day I almost gave in. I had every excuse in the book come to mind as to why I shouldn’t continue. The best excuse I could come up with was – “this is hard.”

It was at that moment I remembered something I heard Carolyn Myss say earlier that morning while I was watching Super Soul Sunday. She was speaking to an overweight woman who sought her advice about her lifelong weight problem. She mentioned that every time she tried to lose weight she would sabotage herself. One of her comments was “it’s hard.” Carolyn’s response to her was “Why is hard an excuse to stop?”

What a powerful question. I had to ask myself the same thing. When I wanted to quit on day one of my detox that question came to mind. I’d forgotten about why I was doing it in the first place. I’m trying to end a pattern of quitting before I complete my weight loss goals. I don’t often do that in other areas of my life where I’ve set goals. But for some reason I’ve been doing that with my weight loss goals. So it’s important for me to see this process through.

I know I’m not the only person who deals with this challenge. Let’s face it, we’re three weeks into the New Year and there are so many people who have already abandoned their new year’s goals. That’s why I want to offer some reasons why you should hang in there.

  1. There was a valid reason that you started. Think back to your “why”. Why did you set this goal? What’s at stake in your life if you don’t reach it? How will your life improve if you do reach your goal? If you think back to why you started this process, it will give you the motivation you need to continue.
  2. You will never reach your goal if you stop. If you keep going you have a shot at making things better for yourself. If you don’t hang in there you have no chance of reaching your goal.
  3. You never know how close you are to your breakthrough. It’s always the darkest hour before the break of dawn. Usually when things start to seem unbearable it’s because you’re near the end. Unfortunately, we don’t always see that or remember that when we’re in the midst of our trials.
  4. Change happens outside your comfort zone. As you begin to push pass what feels comfortable for you, you will experience the change you desire.  If you don’t ever push yourself to your limit you stay in a place of comfort. Consequently, you maintain the status quo and nothing changes.
  5. Real change takes time. Whatever situation you find yourself in that you want to change – whether it’s your weight, finances, or health – you didn’t get there overnight. You have to remember that getting out of that situation won’t happen overnight either. Too often we’re unrealistic about how long it takes to experience real change. Just know that it takes as long as it takes, but you will get there IF you don’t give up.

Just as I wanted to give up on my first day of juicing, I can tell you that I’m glad I stuck it out. Day two has been much easier. I’m less hungry and I have more energy.

So, if you’re telling yourself that it’s too hard I encourage you to stick it out. You’re much closer to reaching your goals than you think.

I’d love to hear your response to the question I posed in this blog. Why is hard an excuse to stop?

5 Reasons Most People Won’t Reach Their 2015 Goals

Let me start by saying Happy New Year! 2015 is underway and I’m excited about it. Like many of you, I’ve set my goals for this year and I’ve already started tackling them.

readysetgoal

Setting goals is actually very effective for me. It’s something I do on an ongoing basis. I get great joy from looking back over my goals at the end of the year and seeing all the things I managed to get done. In 2014 one of my biggest goals was to participate in a triathlon. I’m happy to say I did that in July of last year.

Despite the fact that I enjoy setting goals and accomplishing them, statistics show that most people who establish goals or “new year’s resolutions” abandon them within two weeks. In fact, it’s estimated that 25% of the people abandon them after one week.

There are several reasons people fail to reach their goals. Here are a few of the most common:

  1. Unrealistic – Too often people set goals they can’t reach. For example, if you haven’t worked out for months or years or ever – then it’s not a good idea to set a goal of working out an hour a day every day. If you do manage to start out doing it, it will be very difficult to sustain. When someone can’t sustain an activity, they are more likely to abandon it.

  2. Not specific – When setting goals it’s important to make them as specific as possible. If you vow to eat more veggies, be clear about it. Indicate that you will eat at least one green vegetable during lunch and dinner. You can even go a step further and indicate which type of vegetable you’re going to eat. The more specific you are, the easier it is to track your progress.

  3. No timeline – Along with being specific you need to give yourself a time frame for accomplishing your goals. So, instead of saying you want to lose 10 pounds, add a date. You want to lose 10 pounds by March 1st. Having a timeline creates a sense of urgency.

  4. Lack of accountability- If you don’t attach any accountability to your goals, then it’s easy to let it go when times get hard. Years ago, I joined Weight Watchers. I’d been on tons of diets before then with very minimal results. But on Weight Watchers I lost 23 pounds! I can tell you without a doubt the accountability of that program helped me. Just knowing I had to get on that scale every week – whether I had a good week or not – was all the motivation I needed to stay on track. So, if you’re working out find a partner. Share your plan with family and friends who you know will consistently check in with you about your progress. Just have someone to whom you are accountable.

  5. No plan of action – I’m sure you have heard the saying – “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” Whether you want to save money, lose weight, or buy a house, you need to have a plan of action. How else will it get done? To go one step further, put the plan in writing and keep it before you. People who write down their goals are more likely to accomplish them.

So, if you can avoid these common mistakes then I can say with certainty that you are off to a great start and on your way to success. All you need to do now is put in the work. Also, be consistent. It’s not the things you do every now and then that makes the difference. It’s the things you do consistently over time that will incite the greatest change.

Question: Which of these suggestions will help you the most as you set out to accomplish your goals for 2015?

How to Gain Momentum and Reach Your Fitness Goals

For the past month I have been working with a trainer to try to get ready for the New Year. There are some things I want to accomplish professionally, and for me, the success of those endeavors start with me being fit. I want to be my best self as I launch out into unchartered territory. If I feel secure with myself it gives me the confidence to pursue my dreams.

leapingimage

Prior to starting this process I was feeling really disconnected. I actually sought out a trainer to help me get some motivation and gain some momentum before the New Year. I had been working out and eating right, but for the most part, I was just going through the motions. That led to a plateau. I was no longer making any progress on my own. I might be a health coach, but I certainly find myself in situations where I need a little inspiration and motivation. If I don’t take care of me, I can’t be there for others, including my clients.

I know if I’m accountable to someone I tend to do much better. I also know if I’m paying for a service, I perform better. I don’t believe in wasting money so I have to get the most bang for my buck. I have to get the results I’m paying for.

I struggled the first couple of weeks. I floundered around trying to get into a groove. I needed to get accustomed to working out in the mornings again, and most importantly trying to track my eating. For months I’ve been winging it. That was not working for me.

Now that I’m a month into this process, I’m learning some lessons that are helping me get some footing and hopefully make some traction before I wrap this up this month. So, I wanted to share some of those lessons. Here are some things that make it easier to accomplish your health goals.

  1. Have a plan. It’s important for me to structure everything. I schedule when I’m going to workout and when I’m going to eat. Having a schedule helps me avoid getting off track. Also, plan for the unexpected or scheduled deviations. If you know you are going to be getting home late or traveling a lot, pack your meals and your snacks. This will keep you from getting hungry and avoid fast foods.
  2. Track your food. Logging my food is the best thing I can do for myself. Writing down everything I eat helps me avoid eating bad food. For me, I find it less appealing to eat a bag of potato chips when I know I have to log it later. When I don’t write down my food I tend to underestimate how much I’m eating.
  3. Get plenty of rest. If I’m going to be successful with my strenuous workouts I have to get my rest. If I’m working out at 6am, I can’t stay up until midnight. Recovery is so important when you’re trying to lose weight, and especially build muscles. Research shows that people who get inadequate sleep weigh more because they tend to snack more on sugar and caffeine to help them get energy.
  4. Make small sacrifices now to get big results later. I have to say no to things that will interfere with my eating and workout schedule. I know that I can’t alter my schedule too much because it’s so hard for me to get back on track. Therefore, I consider it a small sacrifice to skip a few events or dinners with friends so I can feel great later.
  5. Count every victory. I have to admit that I get really frustrated when I don’t see big gains on the scale. I’ve had those moments during this process. But I have to still acknowledge other gains I’ve made. I’ve lost inches in my waist and hips. I’m stronger and getting more tone in my arms. These are things that encourage me when I want to give up.

I’m using these lessons to help me complete this process. I hope you can adopt some of these lessons for yourself. Just remember, change is not easy. It doesn’t happen overnight. I’ve only been at this for a month. I never intended this to be a quick process. I understand that it’s a journey and there will be highs and lows throughout. Nevertheless, I have decided that I will stick this process out as long as it takes for me to hit my goal. I won’t quit when I’m tired, I’ll quit when I’m finished.

By the way, if you need a little extra support to gain some momentum to reach your 2015 goals, I will be offering a 21-Day Jumpstart Challenge in January. Check it out. If you feel it’s for you, I hope you’ll join us.

Now, I want to hear from you. What do you do to help you stay on track when you’re pursuing your goals?

It Doesn’t Matter How You Start – Just FINISH!

One of my favorite things to do is to watch Ironman triathlon events on YouTube. I can sit for hours watching old episodes of Ironman Kona, Ironman Xterra, Ironman Auckland, etc. Without doubt this is one of the hardest athletic competitions on the planet. These athletes complete a 2.4 mile swim in the ocean, a 112 mile bike ride, and a 26.2 mile run over the course of 17 hours!! That is INSANE!

ironmanfinishI enjoy watching this sport because I get so captivated and inspired by the sheer determination of everyone out there. Of course the elite athletes start out first and they typically finish within 8-9 hours. But it’s the regular folk who inspire me the most.

They all start out motivated and are propelled by their excitement. But after a few hours in, it takes a lot more than that to get them to the finish line. Some sprint across the finish line, some jog, some walk, some crawl, and some just pass out at the finish line. But guess what? At that moment nobody cares that they barely finished or that they finished at the last second. They are not judged because they didn’t have a perfect, storybook finish.

Let’s not forget about the people who continue their race long after the clock has run out. There are many people who compete in Ironman who don’t make the midnight deadline. Nevertheless, they keep going – despite injury and fatigue- because they are determined to finish what they started. That is what really inspires me. Those are the people I remember, even more so than the elite athletes who finished in record time.

The moral of the story is - It doesn’t matter how you start. What matters is that you finish.

As 2014 continues to wind down there are many of us who have yet to achieve the health and weight loss goals we set when the year began. At the writing of this blog there are 70 days remaining in this year.

If you haven’t met your goals, I don’t want you to get discouraged or feel convicted. Forget about how many times you’ve fallen short this year in areas you wanted to see progress. Let all of that go and begin where you are. You can get back on track TODAY. Let’s commit to FINISH STRONG!

Here are some things you can do to finish strong:

  1. Make the decision to begin again. The great thing about life is that every day it gives us the opportunity to start over. Every 24 hours we get a second chance. Once you set your mind to do this it’s as good as done.
  2. Set some goals and make them plain. Be specific about your goals. Don’ make broad goals and just say you want to lose weight. Attach a number and a date to it. For example, “Lose 10 pounds by November 30th.” If you don’t like the scale, just say “Drop 1 dress size” or “Lose 2 inches from my waist.” Just be very clear about your goals.
  3. Devise a plan.  We’ve all heard it said – “if you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” Plan your meals and your workouts. As you plan your meals, include when you will go shopping for your meals, what time you’re going to eat, what time you’re going to stop eating every evening, etc. When you plan your workouts, include what type activity you will do, how often, and for how long.  So, for example – “run for at least thirty minutes three times per week.” Get your plan in writing and keep it before you. Post it in plain sight so you see it every day.
  4. Schedule it on your calendar. What I put on my calendar tends to get done. Schedule your meals and your workouts on your calendar. You can put this in your phone and set a reminder to alert you of your appointments. You may not always make every appointment, but having it on your calendar increases the probability that it gets done.  Be a boss – bosses don’t cancel. Your time is valuable – treat it as such.
  5. Get an accountability partner.  Most people tend to do better on any plan when they know they have someone to answer to; someone to hold them accountable for their actions. Select someone who you know is a task master and will keep you on your toes. Select someone who won’t accept any excuses for not getting it done. Accountability partners are especially helpful if they are your workout partner. If you tend to skip workouts, get a buddy. You will go to the gym or run in the park if you know someone else is expecting you to show up.
  6. Don’t stop until you reach your goal. Successful people don’t stop when they’re tired; they stop when they’re done.  Be just as determined as the Ironman athletes. They don’t allow anything to come between them and their goal of completing the race.

So, no matter where you are with your goals, commit to get back on track and stay there. Be determined and committed to end 2014 with a bang…FINISH STRONG!

Question: Which of your goals do you need to recommit?

5 Ways to Stay Focused & Reach Your Goals

As of late I’ve been really struggling to get up as early as I’d like to in the morning. Ideally, I’d like to get up at 5:30 so I can get in my prayer, meditation, workout and breakfast before work. When I get these things done before work I’m able to be more productive all day. I also have such a tremendous sense of accomplishment before 9AM.

If I’m being honest, I’m able to do this maybe once a week, sometimes two. On the other days I’m getting up at 6:00 or 6:30. That leaves me just enough time to spend a few minutes in prayer before I head to the gym for a quick workout or I workout after work. My meditation gets put off until later. I manage to get things done, but not in the ideal way I’d like.

So, this quote has really stuck with me lately.

ifitsimportant

When I read this quote it made me question my priorities. If these things are important to me, why am I not able to make them happen?

I remember a few years ago when I was living in Columbus I was on a quest to lose 20-25 pounds. I had to be at work at 8am. I wanted to get my workouts done in the morning. I’d get up at 4:30am to be at the gym by 5am. I was so committed. I remember going to bed every night by 8:30 so I could get the rest I needed to be up so early. I was literally in bed before the sun went down. As I began to lose weight, I became even more motivated. I started adding an evening run in the park a couple of times a week, so I could accelerate my weight loss. Needless to say, I hit my goal and lost about 23 pounds. I felt incredible.

As I reflect on that time, the greatest difference between then and now is I made it a priority. It was important to me. I wanted to feel good and get the weight off that was making me so unhappy. Whenever I wanted to slack off I thought about my end goal. In addition to my workouts I was on Weight Watchers. Knowing I had to weigh in every week was a motivator. I refused to be embarrassed by not making progress. The accountability helped me.

Sometimes we identify goals we have, but we quickly lose our motivation when it’s time to start the work. We all go through this from time to time. I’ve seen a shift in my attitude lately and I’m starting to get back on track. There are some strategies that are working for me and I want to share them with you. Here are “5 Ways to Stay Focused and Reach Your Goals”:

1. Determine your “why”.  What was the catalyst for change? Your health, your marriage, your family? You will need to remember these things when it gets tough.

2. Get some accountability. Is there someone you can enlist to help you? Do you need a workout buddy? Knowing someone is expecting you to show up makes it easier to follow through.

3. Celebrate small victories. Even when you make minor progress towards your goals its incentive to keep it up. When you lose 1-2 pounds of your 20 pound goal – celebrate that. Acknowledge how difficult it is to lose 1 pound in a week. That’s 3500 calories you had to burn. If it’s not weight loss, are you snacking less? Are you adding more veggies than you ever have before? These are all small victories. Don’t wait until you get to the end to celebrate.

4. Create structure and organization. Put the time you need to devote to this goal on your calendar and respect your appointment with yourself. In my case, I want to get up earlier so I can’t stay up until midnight. I need to commit to having a set time to get in bed early and stick to it.

5. Remember what’s in it for you. How will accomplishing your goal change your life? What will reaching this goal allow you to do? What’s at stake if you don’t accomplish your goal? The answer to these questions need to be at the forefront of your mind at all times. When you want to give up, they will remind you why you’re doing this in the first place.

Now, just do it. It will be a lot easier if you can remember these five tips. I don’t know about you, but I’m inspired to keep pushing through to accomplish the goals I’ve set for myself. I’d love to hear about the goals you’ve set for yourself.

Here’s my question for you: Are you finding it hard to do the things you say you want to do? Which one of these tips will help you get back on track?

I admit it — I’m a FRAUD! Living a Double Life!

In last week’s blog I shared why I believe running is a metaphor for life.  You get out of it exactly what you put into it. If you get out and do it, you can get better at it and you improve your performance. If you do nothing, nothing changes.
double life
For all the years I’ve been running I’ve had a love/hate relationship with it. I don’t particularly enjoy getting out there to do it, but I always know I’m going to feel much better when it’s over. It gives me such a sense of accomplishment. It has only been fairly recent that I’ve begun to really enjoy it. It’s one of the few activities I use to clear my head and to stay in the moment. I get that same feeling from hiking and yoga. Each of those force me to stay present.
Now, I’m gaining something even better. It wasn’t until I finished my long run two weeks ago that I began to notice the contradiction of my behavior on the road versus my behavior in life. It has me feeling like a fraud living a double life, and it’s time to come clean!

1. In life, I often compare myself to others. I look at what others have accomplished and question why I haven’t done the same or better. And if I’m being honest, I’ve occasionally allowed the successes of others make me feel bad about what I haven’t done.

When I run I don’t compare myself to others. I never get caught up in the hype at the starting line. I set my own pace because I know what I have to do to run my best race. When people push ahead at break neck pace I graciously move to the side and let them pass. What I always tell myself is, those same people pushing pass me right now, I will be lapping them in a couple of miles. More often than not, that’s exactly what happens by the time I’m halfway through the race.

2. In life, I often allow myself to get thrown when I’m having a bad day or a series of bad days. I expect things to go well and when it doesn’t it can throw me off course or send me into a downward spiral of self criticism. I tend to think I’m always suppose to be on my game and when I’m not I beat myself up.
However, in running, I accept that every run will be different. I never expect that just because my previous run was good the one I’m currently running will be the same or better. In fact, after coming off a good run I tend to expect the next one to be bad. When it isn’t I’m pleasantly surprised. But when it does go bad, I don’t let it bother me. I just tell myself I’m doing the best I can on that given day and tomorrow will be better if I hang in there.
3. In life, I’m extremely judgmental of myself. I’ve started to get better, but I still have a lot of room to grown in this area. In running, I show myself much more compassion.
4. In life, my ambition gets the best of me. I set a lot of goals to keep me motivated and inspired. That’s not a bad thing. The problem this presents for me is I don’t allow myself time to savor the accomplishments of my goals before I’m on to the next thing. I rarely take it in. Consequently, I don’t see all I’ve accomplished in my life. I rarely pay attention to it until someone else brings it to my attention. I just don’t see it. However, in running I’m the complete opposite. I take time to celebrate the small victories.  I will ride off the high from victories on the road, especially when I  meet my mileage and speed goals.
5. In life, I will feed into the negativity and the fear that comes from stretching beyond my comfort zone. When I’m in the midst of a challenge, I have a harder time encouraging myself for an extended period of time. I will do it for a minute, then get back to being discouraged.
In running, I encourage myself the entire way through until I finish. It’s easier to encourage myself when I’m in the midst of the run, when it’s hard. I will do everything possible to prevent myself from quitting. I will slow my pace, give myself encouraging self talk. I say, “you’ve got this.”… “you can do it”… “you’re more than half way through”…”you’re past the point of no return just stick it out for a little while longer.”
All of those things help me get back to the moment and focus on the task at hand – finishing my race.
Even as I’m writing this so many bells are going off in my head. I’m overcome with “Aha” moments. It’s clear to me now that If I can exhibit such an awesome and winning attitude when I’m facing challenges in running, I can do it in life. I’m the same person, I just have to tap into that part of me more often in EVERY area of my life.
These last two blog posts have definitely been a turning point for me. I hope they have allowed you to see yourself as I have seen myself. I also hope you will share your personal revelations with me. I’d love to hear from you!

5 Strategies to Acheive Your 2014 Goals!

Happy New Year! This is one of the most hope-filled days of the year. We look at the first day of the year as a new beginning. We ponder what we did the previous year and anticipate what we’ll do differently, or better, in the upcoming year.

One of the things I want to do better this year is to concentrate my efforts on the things that get me to where I ultimately want to be. Basically, I want to narrow my focus. I can’t afford to get wrapped up in a lot of things. Time is such a precious commodity. Each of us gets 24 hours every day, but some people use those hours a lot better than the rest of us. My objective is to look at the things I did -especially as it relates to my professional goals- and see what worked and what didn’t. If it didn’t help me accomplish my goals or impact my target audience, then I have to stop it. I want to focus my energy on doing my BEST work, not “busy” work. Doing one thing well is much better and more effective than doing a lot of things mediocre.

So, as I’m streamlining my priorities for this year, I figured I’d share with you some strategies to facilitate this process.

1. Define your ultimate goal. What is it that you most want to accomplish? (Lose weight, start a business, rebuild an important relationship, etc.)

2. Identify the barriers to accomplishing your goal. What has stopped you in the past from getting this done? Negative people, poor eating habits, lack of physical activity, busy schedule, lack of finances?

3. Determine how can you overcome those barriers. What can you do differently? Make new friends, join a support group, change your schedule, switch jobs, get an additional job?

4. Break down your goals into achievable objectives. What can you do over the next 12 months to get closer to achieving your goal? Then, narrow down what you can do each month to hit your 12 month target. Next, determine what you can do this week to accomplish your monthly goal. Finally, scale back to what you can do today to help accomplish that weekly goal.

One of my favorite sayings I heard last year was “inch by inch anything is a cinch.” No matter how lofty your goal is you can do something small every day to get you one step closer to hitting that goal. Also, you will want to make sure you track your progress. You can do this daily, weekly or monthly. This will help you keep your target in mind and help get you back on track if you get off course.

5. Determine the consequence of not reaching that goal. What will happen if you don’t accomplish your goal? Will your health deteriorate? Will you remain in the unhappy state that you’re in – or even worse – become more unhappy? Will you lose material things (house, car, etc.)? When you remind yourself of what’s at stake if you don’t reach your goal it can be a huge motivator when you want to give up.

Finally, the most important thing is to make sure you have someone to keep you accountable. Accountability is one of the greatest contributors to success. If you have someone checking in on you asking about your progress it will inspire you to do what you said you would do. It also helps to know someone is supporting you. If someone else believes in you it will push you when you feel like you can’t do it. If you don’t have a specific person to keep you accountable, you may want to to start a blog. Lots of people have started blogs to gain accountability for goals like weight loss and participation in competitive sports events.

Having said that, I want to share with you one of my major goals for this year. One of the biggest things I want to do this year is participate in a triathlon. I have wanted to do this for years, but I’m so afraid because I can’t swim! Furthermore, I’m EXTREMELY afraid to swim in a lake or an ocean. Nevertheless, this year I will do it, even if I have to do it afraid. I’m going to sign up for a sprint triathlon. There are several near Atlanta happening in May. My first step is to join the Atlanta Triathlon Club so I can get the support and education I need.

Anyway, I plan to chronicle this process, so please stay tuned! In the meantime, I welcome any support or feedback you can offer.

Now, that I’ve shared one of my goals for this year, will you share with me one of yours? What is one thing you want to accomplish in 2014?