The 3 Secrets for Achieving Your Goals… Even If You Have Given Up Before!

Easy Ways to Set Goals

​Whether the goals you set are for ​New Year's resolutions or during any other time of the year, ​if you're like most ​of us​ ​you have the same old story... 

​Every year ​​you have the best of intentions ​of ​achieving your goals​​ but then you gradually ​lose your motivation. By March ​your New Year's goals are just a forgotten memory. ​Sound familiar?

These 3 secrets will help you develop the habits you need to achieve your goals without giving up on them... even if you have failed in the past.

Secret #1. Make Realistic ​Goals

  • Limit yourself to 3 goals.

You can always add more after these have become new habits. If you try to do more all at once, you set yourself up for failure.

  • Start with small goals so you can experience immediate success. ​You can always progress to larger ones.

Don't start out like a race horse. For example, instead of setting a goal for exercising a full hour every single day, start with 15 minutes a day for only 5 days a week

Once that has become a habit, you can increase your time every month until you reach your desired goal.

It's better to be slow, steady and focused... like the Aesop's fable of the "Tortoise and the Hare." Do you remember which one crossed the finish line first?

  • Make your goals specific and measurable.

Instead of writing your goal as: "I'm going to be happier this year," make your goal, "Every night I am going to write down 3 good things about the day."

Secret #2. Be Accountable

To be successful in achieving your goals you must find a way to be accountable. Most people simply cannot keep motivated without being held accountable. 

Here are three ways you can stay accountable.

  • Get an accountability partner

Ask a friend or coworker who is also setting goals to be your accountability partner. Then, call each other at least once a week to encourage each other, trouble shoot and celebrate each other's progress.

  • Form a Mastermind Group

Get ​3-6 people together to encourage each other and share ideas and help each other overcome obstac​les. Meet at least once a month. Give each person 15 minutes to share their progress and discuss any challenges. It's much more fun and motivating to ​work on your goals together.

  • Get a Habit Tracker app

It's easy to use your phone or computer to track your progress. There are many apps available so ​choose the one you think will be best for you. Just checking off what you did will make you feel happy - like the sun breaking through on a cloudy day.

Secret #3. Reward Your Progress

People do best when they get short term rewards - even for long term projects. So reward your progress frequently.

Make a list of things that are meaningful for you, and then reward yourself for your progress at least every week. It's important not to wait until your project is completely finished, or you will lose your motivation.

Rewards are like having the "Spoon full of sugar that helps the medicine go down!" You have to eat that sugar yourself. ​Don't wait for someone else to reward you, because it may never happen. You must reward yourself.

  • Go out to lunch with a friend
  • Buy yourself something new.
  • Take an hour or two just to do something fun for yourself.

If you want to save up for a big reward, then you can award yourself points or dollars as you make progress. Once you have a certain number of points, you can have your bigger reward.

In a nutshell... ​​

You can stay motivated to achieve your goals if you use these three secrets:

  1. Create realistic ​​goals​.
  2. Hold yourself accountable for keeping them​.
  3. Reward yourself for your progress​.

​Using this strategy you will ​make progress​ ​one day at a time... all year long.

About Harriet Meyerson

Harriet helps workplace managers and supervisors who want to become more confident leaders, and have happy, motivated employees. Get her free Employee Morale Newsletter and Employee Morale Assessment at:
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