This year I set a goal to go to 150 yoga classes. After each class I write on my tracking chart. The blue lines indicate where I should be at the end of a month. I have this up on my refrigerator at home. Having my chart where others can see it builds my support network. My kids check in on my progress daily and even my kitchen contractor started asking me how I’m doing on my goals!
45% of Americans make New Year’s resolutions, but only 8% of those who make them keep them. If you made resolutions for 2015, I’m curious how you’re faring. –Statistic Brain
Over the years, I’ve made many resolutions. Sometimes they came in the form of goal boards (a visual collage of things I wanted to achieve or have in my life). Other times they came in the form of a company-wide goal at the office. Sometimes they were simply a promise made with a friend.
If you’re struggling to keep your resolution, perhaps you will find some of these ideas helpful:
1. Do a proof of concept before stating your goal.
Think of why you want to set a certain goal, then experiment with the exact way of achieving it. For example, if I want to get in shape, I could set a goal to run a marathon, but what happens if I start running and absolutely hate it? The chances that I will achieve my goal are very small. Keeping the ultimate “why” in mind, experiment with different ways of reaching your goal until you find a way to achieve it that makes your heart sing.
Last year I wanted to get in shape and set a goal to work out 4 times a week. Not really thinking about it, I figured that meant running. I hate to run. Hate it! But then a friend of mine and I started yoga and guess what…I LOVE it! Working out 4 days a week used to be a big burden. Now it’s a burning desire. Experiment with how you will achieve your ultimate goal before committing to a particular path.
2. Give yourself the gold star.
I’m a visual person. I still have that little girl inside of me who wants to be rewarded. The most successful initiatives I’ve undertaken have had a visual measuring stick that shows me my progress.
In my opinion, measuring your success on the computer is too easy to overlook. Computer files tend to have a way of disappearing into the machine and life keeps going by without ticking off the boxes.
I like to keep papers on my wall and fill them in with pen when I achieve a mini-goal. There’s something about physically coloring in the box to say, “I did it!” that keeps me moving toward the ultimate prize.
3. Break down your big goal into mini goals.
If your resolution is big enough, it should be a little intimidating. The best way to believe you can do it is to break your goal down into little mini goals. If you want to read 500 hours a year, break it down into how many hours you need to read a day. Create your chart to show that you need to read 1.5 hours a day (this is a little more than you would need…but it gives you a little breathing room in case you miss a day here or there). Each day, figure out how to hit your goal, and color the box in when you’ve hit it.
The more you can break down your goals into manageable bites, the more likely you are to be empowered to achieve them. Remember, a little bit here and there adds up to a lot if you’re consistent.