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Why Most People Can't Stick To Their Goals

Aug 17, 2007
If you have ever set a new year resolution or tried to set a diet goal and failed to stick to the goal then find solace in knowing that you are not alone. Most people have goals that they are excited about and are revving to begin only to find days or weeks into the goal that it has already been discarded by the wayside for either a totally different goal or their old way of life. Sticking to goals as you can imagine is integral in the degree of success you are going to enjoy in your life. If you aren't ever completing a goal in your life then how can you possibly grow as a person to take on larger challenges in your life and it also sends a message to inner self that goals aren't really important to you.

If you are struggling to stick to your goals for once in your life then here are a few handy tips to help you get on the fast track to success and you'll be ticking off your goals in no time.

1. Get started today. The key is to start at the very moment that you have committed yourself to the goal. Don't kid yourself that you'll start first thing Monday morning or tomorrow. The best time to start your goal was an hour ago, the second best time to start is right now. After all you don't have any control over your past or future but you do have control in the moment. The reason you want to start straight away is that you are at the height of your excitement and motivation. That positive energy can create a great momentum in you attaining your goals. Momentum is key as Isaac Newton famously quipped that an object at rest tends to stay at rest. So maybe your goal is time dependent, maybe you have to weight till a class starts or something else out of your control. That doesn't mean that you wait, you still can get momentum started in the moment. Maybe if you goal is about losing weight, then clean out part of your closet to make room for your newer, smaller sized clothes that are going to be your reality. Maybe your momentum could be to go out to the shops and buy some new exercise clothes that you can be comfortable in or to just get started right now and walk around the block. Whatever you goal there is no excuse not to get some momentum in your goal right this very moment.

2. Focus on building the habit. They say motivation gets you started, habit keeps you there. By focusing on habit you are focusing therefore on making your new goal an ingrained part of your life rather than a new exciting fad that runs the risk of losing its shine at the first sign of difficulty. You want to avoid therefore overdoing your new goal early on. For example if it is to lose weight, don't all of a sudden go from doing no exercise to going to the gym four times a week and banning all junk food of your menu. If you aren't accustomed to this type of living you are only setting yourself up to fail because you are going to find this difficult to make a part of your habit without having to overhaul whole areas of your life. Instead create a healthy habit of introducing healthy food options into your daily meals and go to the gym twice a week to begin with. Give your body a chance to get accustomed to your new goal and your chances of success increase measurably. You don't see athletes aspiring to win an Olympic medal go on a heavy duty training regime at the beginning. They have a four year plan that is developed to give them the best opportunity to be at their peak come time to compete at the Olympics.

3. Get yourself a buddy. We all remember times in our lives when we made a commitment to someone and no matter how difficult it was to stick to it we made sure that we stuck to our commitment so that we wouldn't let them down. If you have a goal that you are serious about completing then why not enlist the help of a friend that can keep you accountable. Make your goal known to them and your plan to achieve your goal. That way they know when you are running behind schedule and can give you the necessary prompting to get you back on track. Why else would many elite sport athletes still enlist coaches and trainers to help. We all have bad days and days we just want to quit because it's the easy option, if we have someone there with our best interest to support us the chances of us picking back up and getting back on track to finish the goal are greatly increased.

4. Reward Yourself. You don't have to wait until you complete your goal to reward yourself. The best way to reinforce a good habit is to give yourself pleasure in wanting to keep doing it. One way to do this is to set smaller milestones along the path to your eventual goal completion. As you progress and complete each milestone set a reward that you can enjoy. Not only are you now one step closer to completing your goal but you have also given yourself a sense of gratification that you can enjoy right now instead of still hoping for that eventual reward at the end of the finish line. One side note to rewards is to try to avoid sabotaging yourself. For instance if you goal is to lose weight you would hardly want to set a reward that is to allow you to enjoy a bar of chocolate or eat at your local all you can eat buffet. Instead your rewards could be celebrate with friends over lunch, go on a picnic with your family or something fun.
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