Seven Ways to Turn Goals into Action
Most people abandon their resolutions. Here’s how to ensure you keep them.
Resolutions are well-intentioned but often short lived. Twenty-five percent of people give up on their resolutions within one week. Sixty percent abandon them within six months, and even after a serious health scare only 14 percent of patients make permanent changes in their lifestyles.
So if resolutions don’t work, what does? It turns out that writing down goals makes us almost twice as likely to achieve them. The process itself of putting our goals into words helps us clarify what we want and simultaneously motivates us to take action.
Here are seven ways to turn goals into action:
1. Define your goals. Make sure that your goals have clear outcomes. The outcomes we define should be achievable, appropriate and measurable. We need to know specifically how we will know when we have reached our desired outcomes.
2. Focus on habits. Almost ninety percent of our normal behavior is based on habits. Substituting just one, harmful daily habit with a healthy one can change the momentum and direction of our day.
3. Use chunking tactics. Divide goals into manageable chunks, and start with one small action today. Make the chunks at the beginning of the change process as simple and doable as possible; the first steps are often the most challenging.
4. Make a plan. A solid plan should be like a map to our goals with several, back up alternate routes. How are we planning on getting to our destination? What are the choices we have to get there? The more choices we have, the more resilience and strength we add to our plans.
5. Know what's stopping you. Identify the obstacles that are in your way. Consider both the inner and external reasons why you haven't been able to actualize your goal. Work on both the personality traits that are in your way and the environmental blocks that are limiting you.
6. Identify your resources. Examine which resources and tools you already have to begin. Find out what resources you are lacking and how to obtain them. Important resources can include skills, funds and connections.
7. Create a schedule. What are your deadlines? How will today be different from yesterday? Put tasks into your schedule that move you towards your goal. We don't need to change our lives overnight, but goal setting can instantly change our direction.
Begin 2016 with written goals instead of thoughts about resolutions. There is always time to change the road we are on.