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4 Goal-Setting Tips to Help in the New Year

That new year’s resolution can be hard to make (let alone keep). Do you ever feel like you try to do better, but you just don’t see improvements? You wake up every day saying you want to make a change, but you do not see results like you would like. Chances are you do not lack the desire to make changes, but rather your goal-making strategies need some refinement.

It can be challenging to create solid goals, but they are worth it.  Goals can manifest a happier, more content life. They can pave the way to success by keeping things on track and creating a path from point A to point B. They create structure and help with accountability.  So why not use them to help you get where you want to be?

Before you go running to make those resolutions for the new year read below 4 tips to ensure your goals are a success:

Buddy Up

Accountability partners really do help. Studies show a 65% increase in goal completion with those who have someone holding them accountable. Having another person to motivate and cheer you on is beneficial, after all if you know you have someone waiting to hear how things are going chances are you will feel the need to pull through and crush your goal. Find someone who can support you or may even have a similar goal to accomplish. A buddy doesn’t necessarily have to be by your side 24/7 in order to reap the benefits. You can meet up every few days or even once a week. Set up times to check in and talk about what went well and what was challenging. Don’t have someone to keep you accountable? No worries, invest in a coach or counselor to help you keep track of your goals.

Set Defined Goals

I cannot stress this enough. You. Must. Define. Your. Goal. Saying you want to eat better is too vague to gain results. What does eating better look like? How many times a week? What are the changes involved? If you don’t know where the bullseye is you are just aiming blindly at improving your life. Setting specific goals and ways to achieve them lays out a solid game plan. Saying I will have three vegetables for dinner, four times a week are markers for a clear goal. You know exactly what you are doing and know if you achieved it or not (did you eat three vegetables, four times? If yes, you did it, if not you didn’t). Clear cut ways to see your goal will lead to your success because it leaves little room for uncertainty.

Giving Up too Soon

You tried it once, you saw no immediate change, you gave up.  Sound familiar?  New research shows that it can take over two months to create a new habit and sometimes even longer to see the results.  Give it time.  Success is not always linear nor is it easy.  Bumps in the road can (and usually do) appear.  If you give up eating brussels sprouts after the first failed attempt, you will never know how great they can truly taste (and they can).  Not every goal will be a success, but you’ll never know unless you give it time.

Have a Plan B

You want to run 5 times a week. Fantastic. You bought new shoes, created a killer playlist, mapped out your course…then it rains. Four days in a row. That doesn’t mean you have to throw out your goal; it means you have to think of an alternative. Maybe it’s running on a treadmill, or checking out the weather report to see when the skies will momentarily clear. With a little planning, you can easily adjust your goals in case an issue appears. If you have an alternative plan in your back pocket, then you will surely spring into action when needed. Draft out a plan B anytime you decide on a goal and you will always be prepared for anything that comes your way.

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