4 Tips to Achieve Your 2018 Goals

It's week 2.  Still going strong on your 2018 goals?

Below are 4 tips to keep your momentum going when February rolls around and your shiny, new motivation starts to wear off. 

  1. Make your goal specific.  "Save more" isn't as motivating as "Saving $1,000 per month".  A measurable goal lets you know if you've crossed the finish line.   And if you haven't, you'll know how close you are… which then motivates you to keep going and finish. 
     
  2. Set "input-based", not "output-based" goals.  We humans think we control the output.   We don't.  We only control the input.   The trick is getting the inputs right, so the desired outputs follow.  Setting goals based on inputs will make you accomplished even if the desired output doesn’t follow immediately.  A better goal than "losing 10 lbs" is "6 days a week, I'll eat only fruits, veggies, whole grain carbs, lean protein and healthy fats."  
     
  3. Track your progress.  Jerry Seinfeld has a calendar.  Every day that he sits down to write jokes, he X's off the day.  His calendar is one long chain of X's.  And it's not because he loves writing jokes every day.  Like all of us, he has "those" days.  But "breaking the chain" is worse than sitting down to write.  So he writes…and he X's.   If your goal is to "exercise 4 days a week," print off a calendar and X off every day for every week you work out 4 times. 
     
  4. Reward yourself.  Achieving goals takes discipline.  And discipline is hard work.  If it wasn't, we'd all be billionaires with six-pack abs.  Reward yourself for achieving your incremental goals (daily, weekly, monthly).  On the 7th day, eat pizza or a sundae or whatever it is you've sacrificed that week.

Consider an "I will spend less" resolution.    Applying these tips, it becomes "I will bring my lunch to work 4 days per week."  It's specific, input-based and leaves a day to eat out to reward yourself.  All that's missing is a calendar and a chain of X's…