How to Stick to Your Goals Long Term

How to Stick to Your Goals Long Term

Many people start the year with big resolutions and bigger goals. And most people let them go by month 2, frustrated in their progress (or lack there of). 

There is no rule that says January 1st or bust, so no matter what time of year it is, pick a  Day 1 and let's go!

1. Create Realistic Goals
Admit it, we all get excited to plan. But sometimes that is the exact thing that can come back to bite us in the end.

“I’m going to lose 25 pounds”
“I’m going to workout every day!”
“I’m going to save $10,000 this year.”
“I’m going to quit all sugar.”

While all fantastic goals, for most people any one of these is equivalent to climbing Mt. Everest. Having a lofty goal is more than okay, in fact, it can be inspirational, but it can also be self-defeating if it is too far out of reach. It is important to create goals that are achievable, you can always set a new one once you crush the first one. 

2. Pre-Plan
We all know how the saying goes, “Failing to plan is planning to fail!”
Set yourself up each day by planning to succeed. If your goal is to eat healthier, meal plan the day before so you aren’t caught off guard and forced to make a tough decision. If your goal is to read more, set your book out next to your bed, and consider setting an alarm that notifies you when you are 30 minutes before bedtime. If fitness if your goal, joining a new gym, signing up for that fitness class the night before, or even creating a playlist that will take you through your morning workout will all help keep you excited and on track.

3. Track your progress
This is a big one. Visual cues can help us see how far we have come when the going gets tough. Put up a calendar (we recommend a full month) and track the activity you have done for that day in service of your goal. Any step, no matter how big or small, is worth making it on the board. All forward progress counts!

4. Create a rewards system
The fun stuff! We all deserve positive reinforcement when we achieve a milestone, this process is no different. Create milestones along your journey that deserve rewards. Maybe it’s a date night. Or the new workout tights you have been eyeing. Just be thoughtful and make sure your reward doesn’t derail your progress or set you back.

5. Make your goals public
Accountability. Positive reinforcement. Support. Friends and family are here to support us and lift us up when times get tough, it is important to let them. Tell your circle what your goals are, they will no doubt remind you why you started this journey and reinvigorate your motivation to keep going.

6. Create a mantra
Simply put, “a mantra is statement or slogan that we repeat frequently”. This can be a word, a few words, or a whole phrase, designed to inspire and motivate. Mantras should be personal and spark true meaning for you, they don’t have to serve anyone else. 

7. Make it fun
No one likes to do chores all day long, so don’t let your resolutions feel that way. If activity is your goal, take it outside and mix up the scenery. If nutrition is your goal, try a cooking class. If spending more time with family is your focus, gather your crew and head to an escape room. Mix in some fun, it will make it easier to do it all over again tomorrow.

8. Be okay with road bumps
We all stumble, that’s part of the beauty that makes us human. Don’t worry when you hit a rough patch, use it as a learning opportunity. Why did you slide backward? What is causing you to struggle? Are there any adjustments you can make to better set yourself up for success moving forward?

9. Bring an accountability buddy on board
Life is better when shared! Friends motivate us, they inspire us, and sometimes they give us the kick we need when we want to sleep through an early alarm. If motivation has started to wane, ask one of your friends to join your journey. It’s almost impossible to skip a 5 am training session if you know someone else is waiting for you.

10. Trust yourself
There is no doubt you are capable of achieving any goal you set, remind yourself of that every day. Trust in hard work, trust in the process, and most importantly, trust in yourself.

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