4 Ways to Make New Goals Stick

Alex Harvey, Devon Kershaw, Len Valjas, and Graeme Killick ready to begin nine-day journey through Europe on New Year’s Eve

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It’s the time of the year when many resolve to be healthier and end bad habits. We establish clear new goals for a more rewarding life. Unfortunately, only 8 percent of Americans who make resolutions stick to them. It turns out, accountability plays a significant role in achieving long-term goals. Here are a few easy ways to remain accountable on the road to success.

Set goals and micro goals. Experts agree that setting specific and measurable objectives leads to better results. For example, working out is too broad. In contrast, “Run a 5k in March” is concrete and therefore more easily attainable. Next, break down your specific goals into micro goals. If a plan seems too difficult, we can get discouraged, so identify the small victories you can aim for.

Track your progress. Studies have shown that tracking progress is paramount to attaining goals. Keeping a journal or calendar, using a digital fitness tracker or belonging to a gym that records your stats can keep you motivated throughout your journey.

Use the buddy system. Surround yourself with like-minded individuals or those who pump you up; this will help you bring on and maintain positive change. Whatever your intention, let a friend or partner know. This kind of accountability has been shown to lead to lasting habits.

Reward yourself. Put positive reinforcement to work for you. Whether it’s praise from others, positive self-talk or incentives for good behavior, find a way to reward yourself when you reach a milestone. A new pair of shoes, a quiet moment or fun with friends can all serve as celebration options.

Whatever goals you set in the new year, resolve to keep accountability in the mix. It’s an essential part of the path to success.

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