Committee for Children Blog

5 Strategies to Accomplish Your 2017 Goals


motivationIt is that time of year again—the time when we start to aim for improvement! There is something about the new year that makes us feel renewed and gets us thinking about change.

I remember the first new year I truly started thinking about my goals. I asked someone who had achieved the success I hoped for someday, what the secret was to realizing my long-term goals. She told me, “There is no elevator to success. You have to take the stairs.

”This advice is timely for the new year, especially because many of us who make resolutions break them. This recent Forbes article reported that only 8 percent of people achieve their New Year’s resolutions. Other sources estimate success rates of only 10–25 percent. Yikes! So what does it take to keep us motivated to reach our goals?

Start with Small, Manageable Changes
According to this CBS News story, the more you strain your willpower the more likely it is to give out. So think small for starters, don’t take on too much at once. Be realistic about taking on resolutions you can commit to, and choose ones that align with your values. Not all goals need to be long term, so start with one mini goal and select a reasonable, shorter time period for accomplishing it. Expand your goals and time frames as you continue to reach the little successes.

Share Your Goals with Others
Reaching your goals can be difficult if you do it alone. Other people play an important role in helping you stay committed to your goals, as this ABC News report suggests. The best way to follow through is to share your goals and make your resolutions public. Share your goals with a colleague, friend, or spouse who can support you in successfully reaching those goals. Ask others to help motivate, remind, encourage, and keep you self-disciplined along the way.

Track Your Progress
To monitor your progress, take time to stop and assess your strengths and limitations, and make needed adjustments to your plan along the way. Motivate yourself by visualizing the end goal or by promising yourself something extra special only after you reach it. Keep a journal or graph your progress to help you see how far you’ve come. Mentally prepare for setbacks and find ways to recommit by reminding yourself why the goals are important.

Get Specific
When goals are too vague they are more difficult to measure, monitor, and attain—so avoid the generalities. Instead of committing to being nicer to other people, commit to giving more compliments or saying thank you more often.

Practice, Practice, Practice
To reach your goals, practice makes perfect. If you commit to worrying less this year, identify strategies that will help you reach your commitment, and then rehearse them. That could involve practicing saying to yourself, “let it go,” or imagining the best-case scenario in situations.

I leave you with this quote with the hope it will motivate you to begin your 2017 journey: “The best way to get something done is to begin.” – Author unknown