Many people across the U.S. and around the world are optimistically setting New Year’s Resolutions—that will fail by mid-February. Whether you want to eat healthier, save money, or get better grades, this simple 5-step process can help you achieve your goals.
Change is hard, because humans are creatures of habit. We default to the same behaviors, even when they no longer benefit us. Breaking out of those routines takes conscious effort.
Fortunately, when you perform a new behavior for a while, it’ll require less effort as it becomes your default habit.
Here’s how to get there, according to bestselling author, motivational speaker, and entrepreneur Pat Divilly in Upgrade Your Life: How to Take Back Control and Achieve Your Goals.
Step 1: Describe Your Vision
Most people work towards indistinct goals, like getting fit or sleeping more. Instead, get as specific as possible and set a deadline.
Envision yourself one year from now. Describe how you look, think, and feel. Are you proud of yourself? Has your health improved? Are you happier and more content?
Step 2: Establish The Why
The second step to successful change is uncovering your deepest motivation.
To uncover your deepest motivation, ask yourself why you want to accomplish the goal three times. A woman who wants to make $1 million this year might want to buy expensive things, then discover her real motivation is to provide financial security for her children.
If you experience deep emotions, you’ll know you found your core motivation.
Step 3: Identify Obstacles
The third step to goal achievement is identifying barriers to success.
You’ve probably tried to achieve similar goals and failed. Look honestly at the past and identify what went wrong and how to respond differently next time. Create a list of at least three obstacles and ways to overcome them.
Step 4: Find Support
No matter how big your goal, someone has already accomplished something similar. Identify people who accomplished similar goals and use their journey as a template. Look for books, podcasts, friends, and groups on social media.
Consider seeking out:
- Mentors. Mentors describe how they achieved a similar goal.
- Coaches. Coaches help guide you towards your goal.
- Accountability partners. Accountability partners help build your motivation when you want to quit and don’t accept excuses.
They don’t need to be three different people. One supportive person can fill all three roles.
Step 5: Break Down The Goal
The final step is to break your goal down into manageable steps. This makes the goal more seem less daunting and more achievable. Want to make more money? Break it down into a daily goal. Want to lose weight? Set mini-milestones.
Tips for Success
- Don’t attach all your happiness to your goal. Many people postpone happiness until they reach a lofty goal, and let success or failure determine their mood. Instead, enjoy the journey. Figure out ways to feel happier, sexier, and more confident now. Want to love yourself more? Here are 4 steps to overcoming your critical inner voice.
- Do something fun. Increase motivation by tying a difficult task to something you enjoy. For example, only listen to your new favorite audiobook while you’re on the treadmill.
- If, Then. Not every day is going to be your best. If you can’t get motivated, try and “if, then” statement. For example, “If I make a healthy dinner, then I can watch another episode of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.”
- Reward yourself. Rewards build motivation. Use this to your advantage by celebrating mini-milestones.
How do accomplish your goal? Let me know in the comments.