How to Stick to Your Goals

Failing to stick to your goals over the long haul? I recently read something interesting to address our failure:

"We put more focus on how, when or why to start our goals but almost none on how to maintain them."

It’s the end of the year and this is when most people start to reflect and set their goals for next year. Here’s my advice on how to accomplish and stick to your goals: set up semi-annual or quarterly goal setting. I usually do the majority of my goal setting at the end of each session. Why? So I can evaluate my progress and re-focus myself.

I have to admit that this article comes at a time when I have lost focus on my goals. I had to take a time out to deal with something more important which was to spent as much time with my mother who’s battle with cancer was coming to an end. That’s life- not everything is smooth sailing but it’s important to take time off when you need to. I also know that I need to get back and re-focus after giving myself time off.

With that said I’m having trouble re-focusing so I started to think of why I cannot get back on track. Here's what I have come up with on how to stick to your goals.

Why do people fail at sticking to their goals?

I have narrowed down to three main reasons:

1. Setting too many goals at once. In other words, no focus.

2. Not scheduling time to work on our goals. We set time for everything else in our lives- why shouldn’t we set time for ourselves to follow our dreams?

3. Not coming up with an action plan. I could spend countless hours planning everything in my head but I really need to start writing everything down.

I like to set goals quarterly I’m going to share my goals for the beginning of 2011. There are tons of things I want to do but since we’re following to the “stick to your goals” plan I will only set three (and I’m going to pick three different goals to make it interesting).

1. To practice yoga at least three times a week. I was doing that until my mom got sick and my studio temporarily closed down. Now I drive a city over and practice once, possibly twice a week if I’m lucky.

How I’m planning on sticking to my goal: I’m lucky that my studio has several classes a week. I’m going to plan ahead of time which night and times I’m going to go to in advance and plan anything else around them. I know that in a perfect world that doesn’t always happen so I’m going to plan four different times, instead of just three.

2. To make at least two blog posts a week. This should be easy since there’s so much I want to write but I spend more time procrastinating. In fact this is my first posts in months!

How I’m planning on sticking to my goal: For blog posts I’m going to go into work (aka my real job) an hour early when the office is quiet and there’s not much going on. I’m also going to take a note book with me and write whenever something comes in my mind instead of counting on it later.

3. To read one a book a week. Last night I read someone’s review on book I wanted to read and they stated that they read on average one book a week for the last 2100 weeks!!! Can you imagine? I wonder what that person has to share on how to stick to your goals with reading. Think about how much more knowledgeable I would be if I tried that. Right now I average one to two a month.

How I’m planning on sticking to my goal: As for reading I’m going to try to read more on the GO train on my way in to my office in Toronto. I’m going to vary my book topics so I don’t get bored and want to continue reading.

What’s your plan on how to stick to your goals?

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