Did you set your New Year's resolutions for 2013? Well, if you're like the majority, your new year's resolutions will be forgotten or abandoned far before the end of the year, and often even before the goal is attained. In fact, 4 out of 5 people do not accomplish their yearly resolutions. However, do not get discouraged! There are some tips and tricks that can greatly increase your odds of achieving your goals!
1. Set realistic and attainable goals
Make sure your goals are realistic. You want goals that challenge you, but that are still attainable. Try to avoid all-or-nothing goals as they are nearly impossible to achieve. An all-or-nothing goal is something like, "no sugar for 2013". If you miss one day, your goal is wasted. Instead, set a goal like, "minimize sweets to once a week". If your goals are unrealistic then you are setting yourself up for failure from the start.
2. Write them down!
If you don't write down your goals, they may as well not exist. Your chances of achieving your goals increases drastically when they are written down. Also, announcing your goals to friends and family can help increase your accountability, thereby improving your odds of success.
3. Have a plan
Goals are more likely to be reached when you have a plan or "roadmap" to accomplishing them. Let's say your New Year's Resolution is to lose weight. Write out the details of how you're going to achieve this. Set supporting habits such as counting calories, taking the dogs for walks, going to the gym, eating more fruits and vegetables, avoiding soda and drinking more water. These supporting habits will provide the roadmap and tracking to help you complete your main goal.
4. Set up rewards
Creating rewards to celebrate your progress is a great way to stay motivated on long-term goals. Decide on important stepping stones in your goal and reasonable rewards that would help motivate you to continue. If you, like many, are striving to pay off your debt this year, perhaps you should allow yourself to splurge on that nice painting, dress, leaf blower or something else you've been eying as a reward for paying off one of your credit cards. Small rewards can be a huge help to prevent you from burning yourself out. These rewards give a small reprieve and help you reap a tangible benefit from your hard work.
5. Make setting goals a regular habit
Sure, New Year's Resolutions are a great way for us to start off a new year with excitement and the resolve to be better. However, setting goals once a year is not enough for real, long-lasting improvement. Make monthly and even weekly goals to help you stay on track and be continually striving towards becoming the person you want to be!