Here are 5 easy ways to reach your goals or keep those pesky New Year’s resolutions. Most of us set goals for ourselves when we reach a milestone age in life like our 50th birthday, or when we start a new job, retire, get married or divorced, or even when the kids go off to college and we’re left with an empty house. Many of us see these moments as a time for a change, a time to better ourselves—a time for renewal. Regardless of the reason you’ve come up with a set of goals for yourself, it’s not easy keeping them, much less achieving them. I hope these tips will help you stay on track.
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- Set realistic goals. When I needed to lose a little weight, instead of trying to lose 10 pounds my target was 5 pounds. Once I achieved this, I moved on to lose another 5. Setting my weight-loss goals this way helped me not get overwhelmed. When I reached one goal, I moved to the next. I got quite close to achieving my original goal of losing 10 pounds without stress.
- Make a list of your goals and post it on the fridge. If you live with family, you will have the motivation of knowing they know exactly what your goals are. Ideally, they will encourage you, lend you support and even celebrate when you achieve one of your goals!
- Set achievable, concrete deadlines and spread them out through a period of time. No one can do everything at once. Don’t ask too much of yourself because it can set you up for failure. Take it one step at a time. As you achieve some goals, your confidence will build up, helping you to stay focused on your other goals.
- Consider lifestyle changes. This is a hard one because while it’s easy to fall into habits, it’s difficult to change them. For example, what’s the point of losing 20 pounds in January if you’re just going to gain them back in February? If you make a lifestyle change, like eating healthy and exercising, then you will lose those 20 pounds (and keep them off) as a byproduct of your lifestyle change.
- Be flexible. Despite having deadlines for your goals it’s important to re-evaluate your achievements and failures. Be flexible and consider altering your goals so you can continue doing what is working and revisiting those things that are not working.
Remember that life is a journey. Achieving goals—as well as failing to achieve them—is all part of that journey. The best way to achieve goals and resolutions is to have fun doing it. Try and enjoy the process, it’s your life!