Happy 2019! Are you ready to stick to those goals this year … for real this time?
I know I am. I love thinking about the big, exciting things I’m going to achieve this year.
But, obviously, thinking about them is not enough. If you don’t make a plan and take action, then you’ll be in the same place at this time next year, kicking yourself for not getting off that booty!
It can be hard to stick to our goals. We start off the year with so much energy and excitement, but then we get distracted by our work, our kids or just life in general. (Not to mention lounging around on the couch watching Netflix and eating chocolates sounds pretty good sometimes!)
So … what can we do to actually stick to our goals? How can we prevent this year’s resolutions from getting swept into the “fail” pile? Just follow these 5 steps …
1. Get clear on what your goals are and write them down.
Answer these questions:
Where do you want to be a year from now?
What do you need to do to get there?
Once you know what your goals are, write them down. You may want to write them down on a card that you carry around with you or hang it up in a place where you can see it every day.
To really stick to our goals, most of us need daily reminders of where we’re going and what we want to accomplish.
2. Get clear on your “WHY.”
This is what’s going to get you working towards your goals on those days when you just want to stay in bed.
WHY do you want to achieve your goals?
Is it to provide for your family?
To improve your health or look super hot on the beach this year?
Or is it because you know that if you put it off one more year you’ll always regret it?
When you know what your “why” is, write it down. And on those really tough days, remind yourself of why you want to accomplish your goal. Just saying one word or phrase to yourself (like “family”) can help motivate you in the moment.
3. Imagine yourself achieving your goals.
This one may sound silly, but IT WORKS.
There are many ways you can do this. For one, you can actually visualize yourself achieving your goal. Imagine working at your own business, for example, or what it will feel like when you have that body you’re working for.
Or maybe you imagine what it will be like when you get interviewed about your newly published book. How does it feel? If you do this regularly, you’ll get better at it, and your brain will stop the self-doubt and get the message that your goal is well within reach.
If this sounds kooky, keep in mind that many championship athletes prepared by visualizing themselves winning those same championships. Olympic judo champion Kayla Harrison dedicated 10 minutes before falling asleep each night to mentally walking through entire days of Olympic competition.
“Waking up, weighing in, packing my bag, getting on the bus, listening to certain music,” she said. Then she’d visualize winning each match and standing on the podium.
“I picture myself bombing the girl in the final and standing on top of the podium and watching the flag go up and feeling the gold medal go around my neck and hugging my coach,” she said. “I visualize all of that every night.”
Harrison stuck to this practice while training for the 2012 London games, where she became the first American to ever win Olympic gold in Judo. She did it again while training for the 2016 Olympic games in Rio, where she won gold again!
My favorite way to visualize achieving my goals is creating a dream board. It helps me get really clear on my goals, helps me to imagine myself achieving them AND keeps me motivated. When I look at my boards from the past ten years, I’m amazed that everything has happened!
So whether you want to visualize yourself achieving your goals every night or create a dream board that you will look at every day, the key is to keep your goal at the forefront of your mind and imagine it happening!
4. Take action. Schedule it and do the work!
Now that you know exactly where you are heading and why you want to get there and you’ve imagined yourself there, it’s time to get to work.
This is where it gets really easy to fall off the wagon. To prevent that from happening, you MUST schedule time for your goals and make it a habit!
When is the most realistic time for you to work on your goal?
After you have your coffee in the morning?
After you put your kids to bed at night?
Every Sunday afternoon?
Whatever time it is, put it on your calendar and commit to it, just like you do with a work meeting or a dentist appointment.
If you can make this a habit, it will be easy to stick to your goal. For example, I made a new habit this year of going on a three-mile walk in the morning. I knew that if I scheduled it for every morning after I dropped my daughter off at school, that saying goodbye to her in the morning would set off an alarm in my brain that said, “Walk time!”
So, now every morning I drop her off at school, and then instead of driving home and getting distracted by work, I jump out of my car and go on my walk. There’s nothing to get in my way. If she’s going to school, I’m going for my walk!
Make it easy for yourself to achieve your own goals in the same way. What’s the easiest time for you to work on them? What will remind you to do it? How can you make it easy?
Put your running shoes next to your bed?
Tell your family that you’re working on your project every Sunday afternoon from 2 to 4 p.m. … no questions asked?
Whatever it is, put it into action and stick to it!
Whenever you achieve a goal, don’t forget to celebrate! Treat yourself to a yummy meal or dessert, take yourself shopping, have a spa day, post about it on Instagram, whatever!
If you have one big goal that you’re achieving this year, break it into smaller goals, or milestones. Every time you hit a milestone, celebrate your success! Take a moment to feel proud of what you have accomplished and get excited for the next step!
So, what are your goals this year? Have you written them down and committed to them? Have you come up with a plan and scheduled it? Leave me a comment and let me know!