New year, new you, right? So the saying goes. As great as that sounds there’s a black cloud of commitment issues lingering, waiting to strike. Patiently stalking to rain on the hard work you’ve put in. The cloud usually pops 30-60 days into your “new you” initiatives causing an unwelcoming down pour. The result is less than pleasing, a potent mixture of deflation and failure. Often times making the deed that much more onerous than it felt to begin with. Tell that cloud to get out of your face and stay focused on your goals. Try one or all of these tactics to keep you motivated, excited, and ready to completely knock 2016 out of the park.
Identify Your WHY
For you Simon Sinek fans you’re saying, “duh”! If you’re not familiar check out the link below. Give yourself a purpose, a deep inner belief and drive to “why” you’re setting out to do something. Why is your goal worth committing to? Are you working out to stay healthy for your family? Shed a few pounds? Or just want a few more looks at the beach?…hot tub for us Minnesotans. Do you want to better position yourself professionally for the future by taking the right steps to learn something new in your industry? Whatever you decide just make sure you know WHY you’re doing it. It’s your purpose so don’t let anyone tell you differently.
Write Them Down
It’s imperative to write your goals down and place them somewhere you’ll see every single day. Bathroom mirror, monitor at work, desk, significant others forehead…all great spots, maybe not the latter. None the less, it will serve as a constant reminder to keep them top of mind. Don’t just type them, actually write them down. There’s a powerful connection between writing and your neural path that enables you to remember at a far greater rate.
Create Accountability: Tell Someone
Accountability is the secret ingredient to execution. Without that someone or something acting as the driving force, you’ll consistently allow yourself to slack on the important items. Whether that’s a manager, mentor, family member, friend, or confidant. Find your accountability force and let them challenge you. It will be difficult at first but massively rewarding.
Progress Updates Once a Month
Hold a mental meeting at the end of each month, or better yet with your accountability person of choice. Evaluate how well you did, or not, and decide on where you can improve. Highlight your shortcomings and strive to be better the next time around. Don’t forget to pat yourself on the back for the awesome accomplishment you had too! Things don’t happen over night, they’re gradual, so please stay focused on the end goal while dividing actions into digestible portions. Patience is key here.
It’s perfectly OK to reward yourself. In fact, it’s the single best thing you can do to stay on track. You don’t have to buy yourself a new car, but do something simple that will strike a chord and reinforce positive behavior. You’ll inherently push yourself to hit the milestones knowing there’s a reward waiting for you at the end.
The biggest reward of them all is completing your goal to full effectiveness. I’m as guilty as anyone who has fallen victim to not completing new year goals. The point is to always be better than you were the day, week, month, year before. Always push yourself so when the following year comes you can look back and feel like a bad ass. Allow those improvements to carry you forward to set even more challenging goals. Complacency is the killer of all. Don’t become complacent, you’ll thank yourself later for it.
Here’s to a strong 2016!