Wednesday, December 26, 2018


“The new year stands before us, like a chapter in a book, waiting to be written. We can help write that story by setting goals.” – Melody Beattie

When it comes to setting goals, many of us begin a new year with a slew of good intentions. “I’ll lose weight.” “I do better in school.” “I’ll make more money.” “I’ll spend more time with my family.” But by the time the year ends, many of those goals have either remained unachieved or have been forgotten altogether.

So, how do we improve our chances of actually reaching our goals?

STEP ONE: WRITE IT DOWN. I’ve heard it said that a goal unwritten is nothing but a wish unfulfilled. The act of writing, of putting pen to paper, creates permanent connections between the words on the page and your brain. In other words, what you write down is far more likely to be remembered and will become part of your regular thought process.

STEP TWO: CHOOSE CONCRETE GOALS. Avoid generalizations like those mentioned above. Instead, each goal should be both specific and within your control rather than relying on chance or other people to accomplish. “I will lose 20 pounds.” “I will earn 95% on my next exam.” “I will increase my income by $250 a month.”

STEP THREE: SET A DATE. New Year’s resolutions tend to be open-ended, which can invite procrastination and failure. It is important to literally circle a date on the calendar. If that date needs to be changed later on, that’s fine. Then change the date. But have a date, and do your best to stick to it.

STEP FOUR: MAKE A PLAN. How are you going to achieve your goals? What needs to be done first? Second? What steps will you take today? Write these steps beneath your goal and target date.

STEP FIVE: KEEP IT VISIBLE. If you write your goals in a journal or diary and then tuck it away never to be seen again, it will eventually be forgotten. Attach your sticky note to your bathroom mirror. Hang your calendar on your office wall. Keep your goal on whichever planner page you open to each day. Make sure you see it every single day.

STEP SIX: REWARD YOURSELF. Achieving a goal is an huge accomplishment! Pat yourself on the back not only for reaching your final goal, but also for each smaller step along the way. And equally important is to NOT beat yourself up when things don’t go quite as planned. Don’t let failure stop you from trying again.

What goals have your set for yourself for 2019? Great! Now, write them down!

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