Setting Goals and Sticking to Them

It is hard to believe but we are almost a quarter of the way through 2019 already. As March comes to an end, look back at the goals you set for 2019. Have you achieved any of them? Maybe you’re well on your way to accomplishing them, but haven’t quite gotten there yet. Setting goals is a common practice for the new year, but achieving them is a different story.

Did you know that 80 percent of New Year’s Resolutions fail by the second week of February? It has been said that it takes 21 days to make or break a habit, and although the second week of February surpasses this timeline, most people don’t set a plan for how they’ll accomplish their goals, so the momentum fizzles out. How do you ensure that you meet your goals?

In an article for CNBC’s Make It, Courtney Connley spoke to a few business leaders about their approach to setting goals and their plan on following through on them.

CEO & Founder of Create & Cultivate, Jaclyn Johnson

When it comes to setting goals or New Year’s Resolutions, Johnson always sets them in both her personal and professional lives. Due to the rapid growth of Create & Cultivate, she believes that she needs to map out what her team wants to accomplish over the next year, in both monthly and quarterly segments.

Her trick to ensuring that she sticks to her goals is to write them down. In writing your goals down, you have tangible evidence of your goals to refer back to throughout the year. Further, you can reflect on the progress of your goals throughout the year to see how far you’ve come or how much work you still have.

Co-Founder and Creative Director at Dormify, Amanda Zuckerman

Each year, Zuckerman sets one or two goals because “accomplishing something beats accomplishing nothing.” These goals can be both in her personal and professional lives, as she believes finding a work-life balance is easier when she’s setting goals for things she’s passionate about outside the office.

Zuckerman exemplifies setting SMART goals, because they are easier to stick to. She also makes a plan to reward herself when she achieves the goal so she has something to look forward to and work towards. To monitor her success, she checks on her progress each month.

For more leader’s experience in goal setting, read the full article here.

According to Action for Happiness, “Goals big and small can be the stepping-stones to a happier life and the way we set them can make a difference to achieving them.” They recommend seven things you should do to when setting your goals in order to follow through on them.

  • Decide – What is it that you want to accomplish? The goal can be big or small, but make sure it is SMART!
  • Write it down – Just as Johnson and Zuckerman do, writing down our goals increases the chances of sticking with and ultimately accomplishing them.
  • Tell someone – Sharing your goal with someone makes you accountable and increases the likelihood of achieving them. This person can be a friend, family member, coworker, etc. Have them check in on you and your progress.
  • Break your goal down – If your goal is lofty, breaking it down into smaller, more attainable goals is important. This makes each goal more specific and can help you feel successful along the way. For example, having a goal of “being healthier.” You can break this down into specific, smaller goals, like “lose 10 pounds by April,” etc.
  • Plan your first step – As Charles Carlson said, “You are successful the moment you start moving toward a worthwhile goal.” When you first plan how you will start towards your goal, you have a starting point towards achieving it. In the aforementioned example, if you want to be “healthier,” you can join a gym. Once you have your first step planned, you can plan the next.
  • Keep going – So you have your first step planned. That was a big win, but now it is time to continue chugging along. If you’re hitting a wall, seek help to break through it. Getting started was difficult, but continuing can prove to be even tougher.
  • Celebrate – When you finally reach your goal, take time to celebrate. Reflect on the process and what you’ve learned along the way. Next thing you know, you’re setting a new goal to accomplish.

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