We’ve all been there before.  It’s the end of the year, and we think to ourselves, “This next year is going to be it.  It will be the year I finally ________.”  We may fill in that blank with goals like “buy a home”, “lose the weight”, or “start a business”.

The problem is, we dream the dream but often don’t put the work and the time into it. We start strong but lack consistency and our efforts dwindle as the new year becomes not so new.  We let distractions of our friends, family, environment, and general life keep us inconsistent, because we haven’t put our priorities in the proper order.

It’s like that saying, “The dream is free, but the hustle is sold separately.”  It’s not enough to just dream it.  If it were, everyone would be all that they hoped for.  We have to plan, strategize, and make decisions.  Sometimes we even have to say no to things we want so we can later say yes to the things we REALLY want.  It takes discipline and perseverance.

I’ve heard a lot of people complain about how horrible 2016 has been to them.  It made me reflect on my own 2016.  I had a lot of good things happen in my life, and even a lot of good in 2016.  That said, I also had some less than great things occur, some even quite painful.  I also allowed some things get away from me.  I’m not beating myself up about it though, I’m making changes to remedy them.  My point here is, complaining about problems of the past won’t do anything for the present or future.  It’s important to evaluate and reposition if necessary.

The last couple of years I’ve set some pretty hefty goals for myself. Some of them I’ve reached.  Some of them I fell a bit short of.  A couple of them I’ve failed on a level I’d consider to be epic.

That’s not to say that I’m giving up, (anyone who knows me knows, that’s never going to be me) but it is to say that concerning those epic fails, I’m doing things differently this next year.  I’m going to go after things in a different way. I’m making big changes, because frankly, the definition of insanity is to keep doing things the same way and expecting different results.  I expect different results; I expect better results from my efforts.  That means I must make some changes.

So how do we actually keep a resolution or achieve a goal, rather than forgetting about it or deeming it unattainable?  Here’s a few tips that I’ve been able to utilize successfully:

  1. Write the goals down, revisit it often.
    Keep them in a place where you won’t forget about it.
  2. Remind yourself of the “why” behind your goals.
    What’s your reason for wanting to achieve the goal(s)?
  3. Break your goals down into steps.
    Treat each step as a checkpoint. Baby steps are easier than a giant leap.
  4. Take time to reflect, evaluate, and adjust accordingly.
    If you see that you’re missing the mark, make adjustments.
  5. Make time for your goals and be intentional.
    Keep it in the forefront. Don’t let other, lesser important things distract from the work to be done to achieve your goal.