How to Make Goals and Stick to Them

It’s the new year, and with that comes the dreaded “new year’s resolutions”. We all want to make new goals for ourselves, but we just struggle to stick to them. This year marks the start of a new decade! That means big changes can happen, but how?  I’ll give you my secret!

1. Focus on one thing at a time

It may seem self-explanatory, but for many of us, it’s not. I fall captive to this little problem all the time. I get excited about setting goals, and I go a little overboard. I don’t just set a goal to go to the gym, but to also eat better, drink more water, join a club, start a blog, etc. You see? The list just goes on and on. 

The key to sticking to a goal is to limit the number of goals you’re setting. 

As you start the new year, think about the part of your life that needs the most change and work on that. Set one or two goals and when you feel that you’ve accomplished those, set some more. 

2. The more detailed the better

I don’t mean you need to make a long list of steps or anything, I just mean give enough details you’ll know when you’ve accomplished your goal. If my goal for the new year is to get in better physical shape, I would want to break this down into a more detailed goal. I might say my goal is to run 3x a week, or to go to the gym 5x a week. 

This way I can be accountable for my goals instead of just working out and hoping to see results. Think of your goal as a checklist. There are a certain number of things you must do to accomplish it. 

3. Find an accountability partner

As much as I wish I could stick to the goals I set for myself, when life gets busy I can’t help but putting them to the side. We live in a society that teaches us to prioritize, and we are almost never at the top of the list. 

My best advice is to find a good friend who can check in to ensure you’re sticking to your goals. You might not be the best at putting yourself first, but your friend won’t forget. When I have a friend checking in on me, I always stick to my schedule because I don’t want to let him/her down. 

It can even be helpful to recruit a friend to accomplish the goal with you. This has been especially helpful for me with gym related goals. Going to the gym with a friend always keeps me from quitting sooner rather than later. 

4. Write them down

I have a pretty good memory, but when my life gets busy it can be easy to forget my goals. I like to keep a sticky note of goals posted on my desk to remind me constantly of those things I’m trying to work on. 

Once you’ve finalized your goal for the year, get out the pen and paper and put that bad boy somewhere you’ll always see it. 

5. Set a timeline

I hate deadlines as much as the next person, but I hardly ever miss them. If you set a date to accomplish your goal it will be so much easier to actually get it done. Think of it as another job that must be done. The closer the due date approaches, the more us procrastinators get to grinding.  

I find it helpful to set up a reward system as well. Treat yourself to something nice if you finish that goal on time. A nice meal out with friends, a movie night, whatever it may be, congratulate yourself because you deserve it.

 

With Love,

Ashley Ardele

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