I’ve never had great success at meeting all the goals I set for myself each year. It made me wonder what is the difference between the things I succeed at and the things I don’t?
This is what I discovered:
- I achieve goals when I feel a sense of urgency.
In the last 3 years, we have paid off our consumer debt (credit cards and van loan) and almost funded our 3-6 month emergency fund. We worked hard on our goals of getting out of debt and building our EFund because we saw what happened when we didn’t have a plan and didn’t have reserve. We also REALLY want to get to doing more investing in our retirement. Time is ticking away. The longer we wait to fund our retirement, the more it will cost us. That’s a sense of urgency.
I had a good “Why”. Lots of people lose weight for their wedding. A wedding is a great “Why”. I also had a clear picture of what would happen if I didn’t do it.
- I achieve goals when I automate or schedule them.
When our goal was to host people at our house for dinner a certain number of times, we put it on calendar in advance. The time was reserved. On the calendar=it will happen. Not on the calendar=it won’t happen.
- I achieve goals when I add some element of fun to the things that I don’t want to do.
I have tried to do exercise videos. I quit each and every one of them before completing the program. They bore me to tears. Do you know what I love? Crime dramas! If I can watch a crime drama while doing pushups, situps and jumping on my mini-trampoline, I will actually exercise. When I was running a lot, I listened to music while I ran. It made the time go by faster on the days I didn’t really want to run. Eventually, I just enjoyed running for it’s own sake.
- I achieve goals when I keep them visible.
If I find a way to keep my goals at the front of my mind, I’m more likely to accomplish them. More often than not, I make a goal, write it on a piece of paper and never look at it again. Those are not goals I achieve. The ones that I talk about with my husband and check in with regularly, have a fighting chance.
- I achieve goals when I get up earlier in the morning.
There is something about having uninterrupted time that is magic. The things that take discipline aren’t going to happen if I’m being interrupted. I find that when life is stressful, I throw all my new year’s resolutions out the window. But really, how stressful is my life at 6:00am? Even when our house was flooding in MN, I couldn’t do anything about it from here in Tennessee at 6:00am. For me that means I need to set my alarm and get up before my kids are up.
- I achieve goals that I actually set.
Guess how many big things I accomplished last year that I never made a plan to accomplish? ZERO. 100% of the goals I achieve started with me writing them down and deciding to work on them.
My homework assignment for myself today is to write out my goals for 2015 and find a way to use the tips that helped me in the past find success this time. How about you? Any resolutions or goals for the year? What things have you done in the past that have helped you meet your goals? I would love to hear your thoughts.