Did you make some New Year’s Goals and Resolutions for 2012?
I hope you did because today we’ll look at how to achieve those goals and resolutions.
First of all, how did you do with 2011’s goals? If you did pretty well, congratulations! Please share some tips with us. 🙂
If you have a lot of problems with them like the majority of us did, then read on.
1. Write down your goals
This step is very simple, yet extremely important. Studies have shown that people who write down their goals achieve them at a much higher rate than if those who did not take the time to do it. Personally, if I don’t write mine down, I would forget about them very quickly. My memory is terrible.
OK, I’ll wait a few minutes for you to write down your goals if you haven’t already done so.
All right, let’s continue.
2. Make it automatic
This step is the difficult part. I’m sure your New Year’s resolutions are not easy and you need to break it down to smaller, manageable chunks. Making it automatic will help with this.
Let’s look at some examples.
– Lose 30 lbs and exercise more. Many people will go on a diet and lose 10 lbs in January and then hit a plateau. I’m pretty sure this is not the right way to go. I suggest that you should take 30 lbs/12 months. That way, you only need to lose 2.5 lbs per month. See, losing 2.5 lbs is much less intimidating than losing 30 lbs and it is more sustainable.
As for exercise, you should put it in your schedule every day to make it automatic. If you joined a gym, make sure to schedule 5:30pm to 6:30pm (or whatever time is convenient) for your work out every weekday. If you run, then schedule 6am to 7am for a morning jog every weekday. You need to make time for it and schedule it into your day or else you will never stick to it. Life will intervene and you probably will miss one or two days per week, but even then you will be active 3-4 times/week. That’s pretty good right?
– Save $5000. Another popular goal that many people have a lot of problems with. This one is very easy to automate. You can open an ING savings account and set up auto deposit from your bank a few days after every paycheck. Once you do that, the account will funded automatically and you probably won’t even miss the money much. Of course, you need to make sure you have enough cushion in your main bank account so you don’t overdraw.
3. Keep track of your goals and be accountable
Now that you have your sheet of goals, you need to put it somewhere visible. You pick the spot. The fridge is a popular spot or taping it next to your monitor is also a good move. Personally, I keep track of my goals right here on Retire By 40. This way, you can keep me accountable. I take stock of my goals at the end of every quarter to see if I made any progress or not. I don’t stress out too much if my goals are not done yet as long as I’m making progress.
Your goals need to be specific and measurable so you can make incremental progress and keep track of them. If they are vague, you will have a much more difficult time with them. Good luck with your 2012 New Year’s Resolutions!