5 Strategies to Achieve Your Goals in 2020
Every day, each one of us makes countless decisions — what to eat for lunch, how to respond to an email, which route to take on your way home, and so on. These subconscious daily decisions create our current reality and determine our quality of life. What most people don’t realize is that they also quietly shape our future. As we enter a New Year, this is the perfect time to ask yourself what changes you need to make in your own life to create the future you desire. Perhaps you will decide to learn a new skill, work towards a promotion, or incorporate a new healthy habit into your daily routine.
The only thing standing between you and the materialization of these decisions?
In order for your decisions to have any value, you must take deliberate action that supports your goals. By taking action on the decisions you make about your future, you will be able to chart your own course and claim responsibility for your own happiness. Here are our top five strategies to empower you towards realizing your dreams.
- Stop Waiting
All too often, we make excuses to avoid the effort required to create change. How many times have you told yourself, “I’ll start eating healthy next week,” or “I’ll exercise when I have more energy?” Do not allow less-than-ideal conditions to stop you from taking action. If your goal is to finish a marathon, don’t let a little rain derail your training run. If you want to eat a healthy diet, begin right now — not after the next dessert. As Winston Churchill once said, “Perfection is the enemy of Progress.” The truth is, there will never be a “perfect” time to start making progress towards your goals — and if you wait for the stars to align, you will be waiting your whole life.
- Set Realistic Expectations
According to Inc. magazine, 60% of people make New Year’s resolutions, but only 8% successfully achieve them. Why do so many people fall short of their goals? Because they set lofty and unrealistic expectations without identifying smaller practical milestones. If your goal is to save more money in 2020, identify and eliminate one unnecessary expense every week. If your goal is to reduce screen time, start by turning off your television 30 minutes earlier than you normally would — you don’t have to stop cold turkey right away. It takes about 21 days to turn an action into a habit, so don’t expect your entire routine to change overnight. Instead, establish achievable milestones that will make a meaningful impact without overwhelming you.
Creating accountability is one of the most effective ways to turn your goals into reality. In fact, a 30-year study from Harvard Business School concluded that people who wrote down their goals earned ten times more than those who didn’t. Although it seems simple, recording your goals in a journal or sharing them with a close confidant solidifies your commitment and makes you feel responsible for fulfilling it, which can have an incredible impact on your ability to accomplish what you’ve set out to achieve.
Have you ever had a brilliant idea, but failed to see it through to fruition? The way you conceptualize the effort required to achieve your goals can be the deciding factor between success and failure. Are you framing the task as a chore or a chance? Try putting a positive spin on the work ahead by changing your internal dialogue. Instead of complaining about the project you’ve been avoiding, remind yourself that it’s an opportunity to work hard and earn that promotion at the top of your goal list.
- Celebrate Every Success
Nothing feels better than achievement, whether it’s finally getting yourself to the gym or finishing your first marathon. Take time to relish your success whenever you achieve a goal — no matter how big or small it may be. Whether you reward yourself with a moment of quiet, personal reflection or dinner with friends after work, celebrating your achievement will make you more excited to tackle the next item on your goal list.
The difference between a dreamer and a doer is deliberate, consistent action — and you are the only person who can change your future. Cultivating an action-oriented mindset will help propel your goals into reality, and you may be surprised by the way this mentality positively impacts every aspect of your life. Successful goal setting and achievement offers each of us the unique opportunity to raise the bar of our own potential and create the life of our dreams.