I am a goal-setting girl although not by nature. New Year’s resolutions used to leave me feeling like a failure because I took the “set it and forget it” approach.
I hated every milestone that rolled around, reminding me of what I committed to do, but never followed through on. And as someone who probably has ADHD, or at least a woman with a stressed out mommy brain that’s trying to hold too much information, there were a lot of things I could beat myself up about.
But I’ve learned, through some heavy personal development, and transformational teaching how to set goals that stick and get accomplished.
As a result, I’ve actually come to love new beginnings regardless of what time of the year in which they fall: back to school, start of summer, new year’s day, they’re all wonderful in my book, and I use them as mile-markers to chart the progress of my success.
Step 1: Celebrate Your Wins & Victories
You’re amazing, but you probably don’t set aside time to recognize that! Take some time to make a list of what you accomplished in the past year that you’re really proud of. See how many things you can come up with, no matter how large or small they are! I don’t care if it’s paying off a massive balance on a charge card or getting your closet organized. You need to start the goal setting process loving yourself and feeling proud!
Step 2: If You Could Change Anything What Would it Be?
Make a list of the things you want to do, learn, change, or eliminate from the following categories in your life:
Circle the top item on each of the lists that would be the most meaningful for you to accomplish in the next year. You may find that many of the things relate to other goals in a different category which may help you to focus on which goals to work on this year.
Step 3: Move from Compliant to Committed
We all hate to be told what to do, which is why I think many resolutions fail. We do what we think we should do without being 100% committed to doing it.
Compliant is doing something because your boss, doctor, or external source of some kind tells you to do it. Committed is an internal drive or self motivation to make it happen.
To help get committed to your goals, answer the following questions:
- Why is the goal important to you? What are the reasons this goal matters to you?
- What will it mean to you to accomplish it? How will you feel? How will it change your life?
- What will it mean to you if you don’t accomplish your goal? How will you feel? What will you have to give up if you don’t accomplish it?
Step 4: Poop Happens When You’re Taking Action
I had a sign hanging on my son’s nursery wall that said “Poop Happens.” It was a great reminder when “Mama said there’d be days like this!” that I’d get through them. Those kind of days are going to happen along the way toward reaching your goals too, so plan for them!
What are some of the challenges you will face in accomplishing your goal? How are you going to get through them? Who or what can help you overcome them?
The process of thinking through the challenges will naturally get you to thinking about the actions you’ll be taking toward your goal. Write these actions things down and schedule the time to complete them into your calendar.
Step 5: Buddy System
We all know that people reach goals faster and more frequently when they’re working toward them with a friend so find a buddy who can help hold you accountable.
The more people you tell about your goal the more people will be asking you, excited to hear about your progress and keeping you motivated and on track!
Caution: Some people won’t be supportive in your goal. Often it’s the people with whom we’re the closest, our families. They’ve seen you fail before and are often quick to point out when you make a mistake. They’ll put you into compliant mode faster that a cookie will bring back your carb cravings. Don’t listen to them.
Instead, find a support group of people to cheer you on. If you don’t know anyone, look for Facebook groups, meet up groups, mastermind groups or join online challenges.
I decided a couple of years ago to start a blog to plot my progress and share my experiences…it was the best accountability I could have asked for because I built my own supportive community!
Step 6: Rewards
Are you motivated by gains or loss? If you’re motivated by rewards, set some mile markers along the way to your goal that you can celebrate with your friends and reward yourself for your hard work.
If your motivated by loss you might want to make a bet with someone that if you don’t reach your goal you’ll do something you really don’t want to do.
Stickk.com is a website that will help hold you accountable to your goals if you need it by allowing you to set the stakes of your goal with your hard earned money.
Step 7: Track Progress not Perfection
This was HUGE for me when I finally realized that the way to achieving my goals wasn’t about perfection, but instead it was about progress. I’ve never reached a goal exactly how I planed it. There are always detours along the way, but I’ve learned to track my progress and stay focused on moving forward.
Fall off the wagon? Get back on. Make a mistake? Try again. The only way to truly fail at your goal is to quit, so as long as you honestly keep trying, you’ll be making progress.
Set up a reminder on your calendar to look at your goals daily and review your action plans weekly. Keep track of your “done list” and any milestones you’ve reached along the way to your goal so you can see the progress you’ve made.
Ready, Set, Let’s GO!
Okay, are you ready? Share your resolutions in the comments below if you would like some accountability! I’ll be excited to help cheer you on along the way!
Happy New Year!