Is your New Year’s resolution to work harder this year?
Do you have a resolution to meet more potential clients in the new year?
Or do you plan on losing those last 10 pounds?
Did you make the same goals last year but fail to keep them?
New Year’s is the wakeup call to set some valuable goals. However, we have all discovered that setting goals is the easy part — adherence to the goals is the glue that never seems to stick.
For the past 50 years, motivational researchers have discovered that goals direct effort and persistence to a given target area. Goals also guide our focus to the areas in need of improvement and are one of the best ways to increase our fire inside. However, adherence has always been the linchpin to long-term improvement. Without sticking to your goals, achieving them is impossible.
If you continually set goals (as we all have been told to do as high-achievers) but have little follow-through, then the culprit could be your lack of an effective goal-setting program. Here are four key steps to help you adhere to your goals and attain your resolutions this year:
• Discover your baseline. How many meetings do you attend each month in which you can meet and interact with potential clients? How many calories do you really eat in a day? It is easy to guess, but keep a record so you can have an accurate baseline.
• Set realistic but challenging goals. A goal should be about a 10 percent change in order to be realistic yet challenging. Thus, if you average 3,000 calories a day, then you should only decrease your intake by 300 calories. If you typically attend five meetings a month, then increase your meetings to six a month. Doubling your meetings to 10 sounds great, but you may burn out and never stick to the plan.
• Create strategies to attain your goals. To decrease your caloric intake, you can just stop drinking the mochas at Starbucks every day (I suffered from that fate). You need to have a few strategies for each goal and they should be simple and easy.
• Assess your improvement. If you see improvement, then stick with your plan. If not, then you will need to change your strategies. Perhaps you are not attending enough meetings because the meetings are too far away. Perhaps you need to re-evaluate your circle of influence.
In this new year, just don’t set goals. Make your goals stick with an effective goal-setting program.
Dr. Gregg Steinberg is a professor of human performance at Austin Peay State University. The author of the Washington Post bestselling book, “Full Throttle,” he speaks to businesses about mental and emotional toughness. Emailmentalrules24@msn.com or see www.drgreggsteinberg.com/.