How to Set a Goal You Will Actually Reach

MIT research suggests that only 8% of us actually achieve our New Year’s goals.  If I’m being honest, I bet even that number is generous.  The fresh page on the calendar inspires many of us to think big and dream big, but when setting goals that so-called inspiration doesn’t lead to results very often.

How do we overcome this?  How can you set a goal for 2015 that you will actually meet?

BE HONEST WITH YOURSELF 

Many of us set goals based on what we think other people want us to achieve.  You may be shaking your head, thinking “Who would do that? Not me…” but take a closer look.  Do you really want to lose 10 lbs?  Or are you perfectly OK with your body but are caving to what you think will make your mother-in-law finally accept you?  Do you really want to have a cleaner house? Or are you stuck under some unrealistic idea of what everyone else’s homes really look like on any given day?  The number one reason we don’t reach our goals is because they were things we didn’t really want in the first place.

Start by clarifying what is important to you.  Sit with your own vision and voice and walk through what it will feel like to have achieved your goal.  If you can’t connect the goal to an emotional response, move on.  This goal is not for you.

BREAK YOUR OUTCOME INTO BEHAVIORS 

Once you’ve connected with that emotional response and are really committed to achieving a result, the first step is to break down the outcome into smaller behaviors that will help you get there.  This is the process of taking the ‘what’ and making it a ‘how’.  For example, perhaps your goal is to master double-unders. That’s a fantastic outcome!  No more whip marks for you…  However, if that is the end of your goal setting process you will come around 2016 not really knowing if you have mastered your double-unders. Try this instead:

 SPEAK IT OUT LOUD 

Don’t roll your eyes at me!  This one is equally as important as the others listed above.  Actually speaking your goal out loud, or in some other public forum, can be a very powerful motivator.  Once you’ve committed  your plan to someone you have created a layer of accountability.  Want to go even depper? Use any of the social media outlets for additional accountability.   If you let all your Facebook friends know what your plans are, I bet there will be at least two other people who will speak up with support, ideas, resources, or even to say that they will work on a similar goal. Another option is to document your progress on Instagram.  You never know who else is out there also trying to work towards the same goal.  Doing this will also give you a chance to review your progress and celebrate the successes along the way.

Go ahead and give it a try!  We can’t wait to see you turn 2015 in to YOUR year.

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