Statistics vary, but everyone can agree that the vast majority of goals set at the New Year are abandoned around mid-February. So how can you be one of the few who actually keep those great goals you set in January?
If you’ve ever started working towards a new goal or developing a habit, you know how difficult it can be to keep the ball rolling after the initial excitement has worn off.
Don’t lose heart, though! The good news is, getting started is usually the most difficult step, so you’ve already done that! Now, let’s look at some ways to keep that momentum going through the rest of the year.
- Revisit the goal each month. This reminds you of what you were working towards, gives you a chance to assess what worked (and what didn’t) in the past month, and motivates you to continue in the next month.
- Schedule it in. If you keep a paper planner, go ahead and jot down a reminder now to look over your goals each month. If your goal is to save a certain amount of money this year, write “look over money goals” in your planner for the first of each month. Now you’re guaranteed to be reminded of your goals, so if you fall off the wagon, you can jump right back on. Of course, you techy people can set your phone’s reminders or use Outlook’s scheduling to get the same results.
- Tell somebody. This may be one of the most effective ways to meet that goal you set. Studies show that accountability is huge for reaching goals. For each goal that you set this year, be sure to tell someone about it and give them permission to pester you about it throughout the year. Their encouragement may just be the motivation you need to follow through.
- Keep it on your mind. Much like the tip to purposefully write your goals in each month of your planner, keeping your goal in sight throughout the year is a great step to take. If your goal is to lose a certain amount of weight, tape a picture of the dress you want to fit into on the side of your fridge. Trying to better organize your time? Put a sticky note on your computer or your TV remote (or your distraction of choice) reminding you to be sure that you have purposefully decided it’s time to relax for a bit, and you’re not just putting off the things you should be doing. Whatever your goal is, find ways to remind yourself of it during your day-to-day life.
And, last but not least:
- Change your goal. This is not cheating! If your goal was to lose 30 pounds and September comes and you’ve only lost 5, don’t throw that goal out! This is why you want to revisit your goals monthly. When you realize your original goal isn’t feasible, change it to make it something you can accomplish. Some progress is always better than no progress, so don’t be too hard on yourself. On the other hand, if September comes and you’ve already lost the 30 pounds, celebrate and then think of new health and fitness goals that you can set to go even farther!
What tricks do you use to keep working on your goals after the newness has worn off?
Check out the other posts in this New Years Goals Series: