How to stick to your goals

Why do most goals fail?

It’s important to set goals; however, it is even more important to take action to achieve your goals. According to Psychology Today, about 50% of people make New Year’s resolutions every year – most of them being to quit smoking, lose excess weight, exercise more, manage their money more effectively and reduce debt. Most of the time, people fail to stick to their resolutions because, although resolutions are a great way to feel motivated, people aren’t ready to change their bad habits.

Although sticking to goals is not always easy, we have a few tips that can help you.


#1. Set goals you can achieve

Setting SMART(specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-bound) goals ensures that your goals are actually achievable. Your goals don’t have to be big either. Start with small changes that make a big difference, such as removing a time-wasting app off your phone, listening to audiobooks, cutting back on how much sugar you take in your coffee or starting a 2 to 3 times a week gyming routine.


#2. Make your goals visible

Make sure you type or write down your goals on a piece of paper and put it somewhere you will see it all the time, like on the corner of your dressing table mirror or on the fridge. This way, you will never forget what you’re working towards.


#3. Have a clear purpose for each goal

Having a proper purpose for every goal will give you more motivation to stick to them. Let’s say, for instance, you want to delete Facebook from your phone. If you don’t have a purpose for doing so, you’ll end up using the social media platform again very quickly. So, clearly define your purpose, for example: “I will delete Facebook and use up the time I’d usually spend on it to spend time with my kids.” or “ I will pack lunch for work to save money every month so that I can go to the beach at the end of the year.”


#4. Don’t publically announce your goals

Now, the big question is, should you tell other people about your goals? According to many studies, sharing your goals with others can set you up for failure. This is because some people feel “accomplished” by sharing their goals with others when they haven’t accomplished them yet. Once you have this sense of achievement, you may lose motivation to actually go out and achieve your goals. Telling others about your goals may also put too much pressure on you to achieve your goals by making you feel judged or watched.

On the flip side, however, telling perhaps one close family member or friend your goals will give you a sense of accountability.

The bottom line is, you shouldn’t share your goals with everyone but consider letting someone in on your goals to keep you accountable.


#5. If you fail, try again

Did you perhaps eat that extra piece of cake, miss a week of going to the gym or overspend during the course of the month? People often write off an entire goal when they feel they’ve failed. The key is to not trash your goals just because you’ve deviated off the path a bit. Rather acknowledge your mistakes and decide to get back on track.


#6. Reward yourself for your achievements

We often need motivation to help us achieve our goals, especially when we lack motivation. Reward yourself whenever you achieve a specific goal or reach a milestone. This will give you something to look forward to while you’re pushing yourself towards being a better person.


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