There is something about the start of a new year. It brings with it a sense of freshness and potential. The past seems easier to leave behind. This is why many of us create goals for the upcoming year. But as we know, the advancement of the new year tends to erode early ambitions and, as the weeks and months pass, goals are left unaccomplished.
Let’s try to make this year different. Let’s try to make this year the year that you and I reach our goals. Here are a few steps to make 2015 the year we accomplish our goals:
1. Minimize the number of goals.
Pick only a few goals to accomplish in 2015. Too many goals requires segmented efforts. Segmenting your efforts creates burnout. Focus on 2 or 3 goals this year.
2. Make sure the goals are clear and quantifiable.
Know the finish line. General, ambiguous, goals make it difficult to determine your progress. Clarify what it looks like to accomplish your 2015 goals.
3. Map out a plan that creates habit.
As you consider your pathway to achieving the goals, consider what aspect can be done almost everyday. Make it a habit. This way, it will become more difficult to drift away from the plan.
4. Identify milestones.
Short-term targets help you stay focused and see progress. Have at least one milestone to reach each month.
5. Create rewards.
When you hit a milestone, celebrate. Determine in advance what that celebration looks like. This gives you an added incentive.
6. Get others involved.
Make the goals known. Have those close to you hold you accountable.
7. Acknowledge that the excitement will fade.
The road to reaching the goals will not be easy. There is always an initial sense of excitement when we embark on these journeys. But this excitement will fade. Mentally prepare for moments when the enthusiasm is gone and reaching your goals becomes a grind.
8. Prepare yourself to do it anyway.
Like an athlete who trains in the offseason, know that you must make it through the difficult times to experience the excitement of reaching the goals. When the grind sets in, prepare yourself to do it anyway. On December 31, 2015, you will be grateful you did.