Every year you set new goals for yourself. If you’re like most Americans, by February, your resolve is waning, and by May you don’t even remember your resolutions. Then, on Dec. 31, you berate yourself saying, How did I waste a whole year?
This year can be different! Pick only two or three strategies from the list below and implement them today. Then, instead of scolding yourself on Dec. 31, 2012, you’ll be able to say, Look how much I accomplished this year!
Write it down. You’ve heard it before, but the truth is writing down your goals forces you to get clear about what you want. Use a pen and paper (you can transfer it to your computer later). That simple physical act helps cement the desire in your brain.
Find a replacement. In The Compound Effect, Darren Hardy explains one way to break a bad habit is to replace it with a good one. What can you choose to add to your life that will fill the void left by eliminating a bad habit? For example, replace TV time with family time, candy with fresh fruit, talk radio with inspiring audios.
Tell someone. Talking about your goal—even if it seems huge and impossible—allows others to encourage and help you by providing resources and information you may need.
Take baby steps every day. Even small steps taken toward your goal consistently will move you in the right direction. Once you experience a few small wins, taking bigger steps becomes easier.
Take some BIG steps. Don’t take all year to do what you can accomplish in a day. Once you’ve written down your list of goals for the year, figure out which goals could be accomplished this month—or even today.
Decide and act. Mental hurdles may keep you from making decisions and taking action. Get over it! Make a list of all the reasons you want to accomplish your stated goal. Refer to that list when indecision or inaction threatens to take control.
Team up. Even if you don’t share the same goal, having a “success buddy” can keep you accountable. Meet weekly (in person or by phone) to check in on and encourage each other.
Celebrate your successes. Every time you reach a milestone, acknowledge your accomplishments in a positive way. For example, if you drop a dress size, buy a new outfit. If you pick up a new client, have dinner with a mentor. Celebrating your success will keep you focused on the larger goal.