How do you keep going when you’re ready to give up on your goals? According to U.S. News, roughly 80% of Americans give up on their resolutions by the second week of February. Perhaps you’re disappointed with your performance thus far and want to throw in the towel. Instead, try these three tips to achieve this year’s goals.
- Pick accountability partner(s). Often times, we take steps to create annual goals and keep them to ourselves. Perhaps we’re embarrassed about a behavior we need to modify or simply aren’t sure if we can attain the goal, so we tell no one. This thinking is flawed because it reduces the likelihood of goal attainment.
Dale Carnegie said, “When dealing with people, remember you are not dealing with creatures of logic, but with creatures bristling with prejudice and motivated by pride and vanity.” Therein lies the rub—although we logically understand that we truly need to change or begin a behavior, our pride can prevent us from wanting to tell others exactly what our intentions are. Engaging an accountability partner, however, is beneficial because he or she can help you analyze your performance in terms of what you’ve done well and what to glean from any setbacks. Additionally, you’ll receive insights into your strengths and weaknesses, and new perspectives on problem-solving. The old adage, ‘two heads are better than one,’ definitely applies to goal attainment.
- Consider the circumstances. Your body’s biochemistry can and will impact your performance. For example, if you set a goal to lose a certain amount of weight and committed to exercising three times per week, it’s impossible to achieve that goal if you’re sick, so be realistic. Perhaps you decided this would be the year you learn a new skill, but you’ve been so stressed and busy, you haven’t had time to enroll for a course as planned. It’s okay! Simply modify the deadline for that particular goal and move on. If stress seems to be a constant obstacle, however, perhaps one of your goals should be to learn stress management skills which are taught in the world-famous Dale Carnegie course.
- Refine rewards. Experts concur that your motivation style is a secret ingredient to your success. It takes 21 days to create a new habit, but most people give up by Jan. 17th which is just a few days short of success! Tapping into your motivation to identify a reward for each respective goal will maximize momentum. For example, Americans who set a goal of ‘Save more, spend less,’ should define a respective reward based on their deepest desire, e.g. buy a new home, go back to school, etc.
Dale Carnegie’s 3rd Human Relations principle, ‘Arouse in the other person an eager want,’ and the 30th, ‘Make the other person happy about doing the thing you suggest,’ can be self-applied here to strengthen likelihood of goal attainment. Set rewards based on what you really want, and you’ll probably work much harder to achieve that particular goal.