In the days following Christmas I immediately begin to think about the New Year. I like to look back at the previous year and consider my accomplishments, but also be honest about the things that have not gone as well as I had planned. When I get to the end of the year and see some of the positive things that I set out to do are now accomplished, I feel wonderful! Today I want to offer you 5 ways that you to can achieve more success and positive forward motion in this coming year. These techniques have always proved to be helpful to me and I hope that they’ll be just as helpful for you.
1. Make Your Goals Public
If you really want to reach your goals the first step is to make them more public. In order to make them more public to others around you and yourself, write them down! Remember though, that just writing them down is not all you need to make your goals a reality. If you plan to exercise everyday, then write it on a piece of paper, hang it on the fridge where someone else will see it, and start checking off a day on the calendar for each day you succeed. Most goals aren’t real goals until others know about them.
Most goals aren’t real goals until others know about them
If you plan to read more books this year, then set the goal of how many books you plan to read and write it down. Hang this paper noting your goal somewhere where you and your family can see it. Maybe it should go on your bathroom mirror, or by your nightstand if you read at night in bed.
You could even announce your goals to your friends on Facebook! Wherever you end up posting your goals you’ll want to be sure that you and those around you can see them everyday and ask you about them. Without a public declaration, we quickly forget what are goals even were.
2. Ask For Direct Accountability
Once you’ve posted your goals in a public location around your home or somewhere else you’ll need to take a second step. You need to ask for direct accountability. If your want your goals to become a reality this year then find a close friend or family member who will be willing to hold you accountable in reaching your goals. Their job description is fairly simple. They will need to:
- Review your written goals with you at the beginning of the year
- Provide any initial suggestions on how to reach your goals and help you break them into smaller tasks (we cover this below)
- Ask you on a consistent basis how you are doing with the daily or weekly tasks that help you reach your goals
- Challenge you to get back on course if they see you falling off track later on
- Celebrate when you achieve your milestones and goals
If you can find yourself a faithful friend or family member who can do this with you, then you have found something of true value! To have someone who can come along side you and encourage and challenge you to reach your goals on the days when you don’t feel like it is a real blessing. Carefully consider someone who might be able to do this. Once you’ve found the person you believe will be right for the job, explain your goals and what their involvement will be. If they agree then you are off to a great start.
I don’t want you to forget that you are the one in charge of reaching your goals
This is an important step in reaching your goals, however, I don’t want you to forget that you are the one in charge of reaching your goals! Don’t let yourself blame someone else if they don’t hold you accountable perfectly. They are there to help you, so learn to accept whatever help they can give you and use it to your benefit. Remember to always thank those who are willing to volunteer for this position in your life, as it isn’t always easy! If by chance you find someone who just doesn’t hold you accountable at all, then find someone new. However you find this person, you need them in order to succeed. Maybe you can offer to hold them accountable to similar goals in their life if they want help as well.
3. Break Your Goals Into Smaller Tasks
Breaking your goals into smaller more manageable tasks is the third and very important step to reaching your goals successfully. If you consider the goal that you want to save $5,000 for a down payment on a new car this year then you can see an example of this. If you simply wrote this goal down and didn’t take smaller steps you would quickly find yourself in June or July wondering how you could set that amount of money aside in only half a year.
A much better approach would be to pull out your calculator and divide 5000 by 365. You’ll see that if you stow away about $13.70 per day then you’ll easily reach your goal. This is just shy of two cups of coffee at an expensive coffee shop like Starbucks. If a daily breakdown doesn’t make sense, then just divide 5000 by 52 weeks and you’ll see that about $96.15 per week will get you to your goal.
By breaking down your goal into smaller pieces you’ll quickly see if your goal is realistic
Breaking down your goals into daily or weekly steps has a second positive effect. By breaking down your goal into smaller pieces you’ll quickly see if your goal is realistic. Maybe it isn’t realistic for me to save $5,000 this year, maybe $2,500 is much more achievable. Whatever your goal is, analyze it in a way that allows you to measure what it will take on a daily basis. Once you see the daily or weekly steps required, write these down and create a checklist for yourself including those steps. If you can check off each days work then you’ll be on your way to reaching your goals. With this approach when you get to the middle of the year, you’ll have solid progress to review instead of reviewing your list of goals that have had no action taken on them.
4. Schedule Your Way Success
Now that you’ve gotten your goals broken down into smaller measurable tasks that you can perform each day or each week you should schedule time for these tasks. If you plan to exercise daily, what time will you do this each day? If you are planning to save money each week, then you should plan a time to make the deposits into your savings account each week after you get your paycheck. If your goal is to spend more time with your spouse, then you’ll have to work to find a mutually convenient or available time that you can do so each week.
We always make time for the things we value
Whatever your goal is, it won’t succeed unless you write it into your schedule. Goals broken down into tasks still cannot succeed unless they find prioritized time in our schedules. Remember, we always make time for the things we value, so you will need to make time for the new goals you intend to achieve this coming year.
5. Reward Yourself for Reaching Small Milestones
After you’ve publicly announced your goals somewhere, found yourself some good accountability, broken your tasks down, and scheduled them into your daily and weekly life, you should begin to see results over the course of the first few weeks and months. As you reach small milestones, like 30 days of working out, or $500 saved, you should reward yourself in some manner. Maybe it is as simple as letting a friend or family member know that you’ve reached a milestone. Maybe you need to go out and buy yourself a pair of slimmer jeans. Whatever it is, make sure to make note of the success in a way that will continue to motivate you to keep on the path to reaching your goals.
Celebrate any small successes that you have
It’s not always easy to keep plugging away at our goals, so we should be careful to celebrate any small successes that we have. One of the things that I’ve learned over the years that helps me is to talk to myself and reward myself. If I am doing well at one of my goals, then giving myself a positive reward or encouragement is always a good idea!
These are the best 5 tools that I can give you to reach your goals this year. You have probably heard of some of the steps before, or done all them before. If you have goals that you want to reach this year, I would encourage you to stop what you’re doing now, and take action on your goals. Write them down and follow through with all 5 of these steps. You won’t be disappointed when you choose to invest in yourself and reach your goals!
Do you have a special technique or approach that helps you reach your goals? Comment below and share your tips for success!