How To Stick to Your New Year Goals

How to Stick With Your New Year GoalsIt’s the time of year when we are bombarded with articles, webinars and posts all offering “how to” advice for sticking to your resolutions or new year goals.  As we know, 92% of people don’t follow through with their New Year’s vows.  Despite that the best goal-setting practice starts with knowing exactly what you want to achieve (or where you want to go) followed by writing it down.  

According to Dave Kohl, professor emeritus at Virginia Tech., people who regularly write down their goals earn nine times as much over their lifetime as the people who don’t.

What if you can not clearly articulate what you really want?  Or maybe previously you lacked the willpower to succeed? Perhaps you struggle taking those small steps toward achieving your goal — now what?  How do you maintain that stick-to-it-ness?  

I believe that how likely you are to succeed is more than the act of written goals, good intentions or right strategies. Success requires an understanding of why do you want to achieve your goal (or keep your resolution.)  When you think in why terms about your goals, you are guided more by the big picture or vision.  That makes your small everyday actions a part of something much larger and more meaningful.

This was most evident when my ten year old niece Lauren resolved on New Year’s Day to be more charitable.  She knew exactly what that meant.  Lauren wanted to give to a charity —The Jodi Calvario Memorial Fund at The Hill School. Although her donation (money collected from her savings and parent’s assistance) provides seed money for the school’s long term aquatic facility project.  Her action is more meaningfully because of her why.  Lauren told me, “I know I can stick to my healthy resolution of no soda and donuts for the year.  But what I really want is to help others in memory of Jodi.  So here’s the check.” Thinking why gave her a crystal clear path for what to do.  

As you work on your goals this year, write down why do you want this goal?  What does this goal give you?  Repeat this over and over again.  Without a doubt, you will gain clarity, focus and motivation to pursue your greatest ambitions and big goals in the new year.   I’m working on that too.


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