How to Gain the Momentum to Accomplish Your Goals

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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!

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.

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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?

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?