UACES Facebook How to Really Achieve Your Goals | Setting and achieving New Year's Resolutions
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It is the beginning of another year, and many of us are feeling a sense of renewal and hope for a fresh start. Have you decided on a New Year’s resolution yet? If you’re anything like me, you’ve probably given up on some of these resolutions over the years. Statistically speaking, most people give up on their resolutions by the second weekend in January. Just two weeks! So why do we always quit and go back to our old ways? Keep reading to find out and get tips to actually achieve your goals this year.

Sticky note that says "make things happen!"

Follow these 6 Steps to Really Achieve Your Goals:

  1. The first step in accomplishing your goals is to get in the right mindset. If you have ever failed at reaching a goal like many of us have, this step is crucial. Try to shift your perspective from wanting something to understanding why you need it. A good trick is to ask yourself, “Why?” Instead of saying you want to lose weight, answer yourself why you want to. What is your “why”? Answering this can make all the difference when it comes to taking the first step in the right direction to reaching your goals.
  1. Before you can really begin and after you know why you are setting your goal, you need to make a plan to achieve it. You cannot just say you’re going to save up an emergency fund and never make a plan of how you will do that. Write stuff down and plan it out and even get a journal or planner to help you out. The key is to make your goals specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timely. Another great tip is to determine your short-term and long-term goals and make your short-term goals eventually lead up to you accomplishing your big, long-term goal.
  1. The next thing is to remember to keep it simple and make it easy for yourself when you are first starting out. Focus on one goal at a time and make the first goal something simple or easy you will likely achieve in a reasonable amount of time. This will motivate you to continue to make and achieve more and larger goals. Oftentimes people fail at things like New Year’s resolutions because they make a huge list rather than one thing, like it should be. Pick just one!
  1. Once we have the mindset, make a plan, and keep it simple, it is time to find and establish accountability and a support system. Confide in a friend, family member, trusted co-worker, or someone else you know that will support you and encourage you. It is also important to take measures to hold yourself accountable such as daily tracking or reporting of your progress in a journal or smartphone app, and even set reminders on your phone reminding you to do what you need to do that day.
  1. Another important thing people often forget about is rewarding yourself. Now, I do not mean that every time the going gets tough that you need to go “treat yo’self,” because that is not good for our health or wallet. However, rewarding yourself is important for motivation and dedication to sticking to a new change you’ve made. Too many times people get burnt out because they over restrict themselves or they get so tired of doing the same old thing. It is okay to mix things up and reward yourself for your hard work.
  1. The last thing to remember is that there will likely be setbacks. You have to brace yourself for the times when things won’t go quite right and know that it is not the end of the world or the end of your journey to make a change in your life. When you experience a setback, just pick yourself back up and get in that right mindset. The key is to always stay positive and try to find something good in everything. You will quickly realize that your setback was just a minor glitch in this much larger life we live.

So to answer the question: Why do we always give up? Because we are too hard on ourselves and we don’t have the right tools to accomplish our goals. The bottom line is that goals really can be achievable if you know how to tackle them. Just remember to have the right mindset, plan it out, keep it simple, be accountable, reward yourself, and expect setbacks. By following these steps you will be well on your way to actually accomplishing your goals no matter how big or small.

Stay savvy,


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Best Life Editors. How Long Do New Year's Resolutions Last? This Is When Most People Quit. Best Life, 2019.

Covey, Stephen R. The 7 habits of highly effective people: Powerful lessons in personal change. Simon and Schuster, 2004.

Foster, Ashley. How to start new habits that will actually stick. University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture Cooperative Extension Service, 2017.

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