6 Habits To Make Your Goals Stick!
By Dr. Karyn
Hello DK Leadership Community,
Are you ready to step up and start designing how you want your 2020 to unfold? Are you determined to not only set goals, but actually achieve them? I hope so – since goalsetting is one of the best ways to build confidence, reduce stress, increase happiness, build relationships and help a person to really feel in control of their life!
So let’s get this out of the way: the sad truth about this topic is that very few people actually achieve their goals. Why? Many potential reasons – but I believe it’s mostly because they have not developed solid habits to support their goals.
Research says only 8% of people actually achieve their goals.
Source: Inc. Magazine
When I am teaching on this topic, I always describe “Goal-Setting” and “Habit-Training” as partners. Here is how it works:
- The goal is what I want to accomplish (Ex. “I want to become more physically fit”)
- The habits are the baby steps needed to execute the goal (Ex. “Going to bed by 10pm; Putting my clothes out the night before; Getting up at 6:30am for my workout)
I call it “Habit-Training” because it takes 3 weeks to break a habit and 3 weeks to make a new habit and you don’t want to take off the “Habit-Training-Wheels” before you are ready to run on auto-pilot. But once a person crosses that 6-week line, new behaviors have started to become routine, and they no longer require the same attention. When this happens, it saves a person time & energy PLUS they reap the benefit of their new habit – it’s incredibly energizing!
So for today, I want to suggest some habits that will help you to make your goals stick this year! There are so many I could suggest, but here are the top #6 I would encourage you to start with:
Habit #1: Write Down Your Goals
It’s critical to write down your goals – just thinking about them is not enough. Write down your Top #10 Goals that you would like to achieve this year, and focus on making them “stretching but realistic” goals.
Habit #2: Share Them With 1-2 People (At Work Or Home)
Sharing our goals is scary and powerful! Its scary – because we are being vulnerable with others (be sure to share with people who are trustworthy!). But it’s also powerful, because these 1-2 people can also be your accountability partners.
They can cheer you on when you take action and also respectfully ask you about it if you don’t. This type of sharing can work extremely well in both work and family cultures. It’s great for teambuilding – I’ve had many groups do this in organizations – and although people may often be reluctant at first – once they start sharing it changes the emotional energy. You can see people relax once they feel safe, and it’s powerful for team bonding! And for family cultures – it’s energizing for family members to listen to what is important to each other.
Habit #3: Post Them So You Can Look At Them Regularly
Every day we are bombarded with 100’s of demands on our time and attention. It’s easy to get distracted and lose track of our priorities, so it’s important to post your Top #10 Goals where you can easily see them. My husband puts his on his phone. I have mine in a journal that goes with me EVERYWHERE! My kids put them on their computer, as well as on their bulletin board. We have to continually remind ourselves what is important to us, so we don’t become distracted!
Habit #4: Focus On One Goal At A Time
Nothing kills goal-setting faster than feeling overwhelmed. It’s important that you make this EASY for yourself! So I strongly recommend that you only work on 1 goal at a time. Make sure to finish before moving on to your next goal.
Habit #5: Focus On Easy FIRST
Look over your Top #10-12 Goals and start with the easiest one. It’s the hardest thing for most of us to just get started, but once you achieve your first goal – you will usually feel energized and excited. This new energy can then fuel you to tackle your next goal.
Habit #6 Review Your Goals Weekly & Hit Reset If Necessary
Our goals need our energy and time. They need a plan and attention. Try the habit of weekly reviewing your goals. What worked last week? What didn’t work? What do you need to change to help yourself move forward? For me, I’ve learned that taking 10 minutes on Sunday night is the ideal time. I can quickly review my goals, and identify my “one” goal for the coming week to keep myself focused. If I tried the goal the previous week and failed – no problem – I simply need to hit the re-set button. Stop. Study it. Ask myself, “Why didn’t I work towards the goal last-week?” Then problem-solve and try again.
The recipe is to stay focused, start with one goal, build in your accountability partners, and then tackle the next one. These simple habits will help the process become less overwhelming – and instead extremely energizing!
I hope these habits have inspired you to take action for 2020! Do you have other habits for making your goals stick?
I’d love to hear them! Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Your Leadership & Relationship Coach,