The start of a new year gets most people thinking about change, which often leads to New Year’s resolutions. The unfortunate thing is that approximately 40 percent of resolutions are abandoned within 30 days. Did you set resolutions? Still going? So why do so many people fail? Well, most resolutions typically lack clear goals, i.e., “I will lose weight,” or “I will generate more revenue/profit than 2018.” They sound good, but how are you realistically going to accomplish these so-called resolutions?

What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals.”  – Henry David Thoreau

Instead, think about setting goals. Whether they’re personal, professional or both, here are 8 tips for realistic goal setting and how to stay on track:

  1. Write down your goals and why they are important to you. Goals are not meant to be easy, so when you have a tough day or falter, go back to the “why” to help keep you going.
  2. Make your goals visible. Put them on your refrigerator, post them in your office, save them to your home screen on any and all devices. Whatever method you choose should work for you, just make sure they are somewhere you will see them every day.
  3. Articulate clear steps and ways to measure your success along the way. If you break the goals into smaller, more attainable tasks, your likelihood of success is much higher. For example:
  • Instead of “I will lose weight this year,” think about saying “I will lose 40 pounds by December 31.” Then break that into smaller goals such as “I will lose 10 pounds per quarter or 3+ pounds per month.” Monthly and quarterly milestones help keep you accountable and able to track progress.
  • Identify how you will attain each goal, i.e., “I’ll do this by eating healthier ‘X’ days per week and working out ‘X’ days per week.”
  • Track your progress along the way and adjust as needed. How well are you sticking to your goals of eating healthier and exercising your target amount? Do you need to make some modifications to ensure you get to where you want to be?
  1. Schedule these daily/monthly/quarterly/annual activities into your calendar and stick to them like you would any other commitment. Are you one that gets satisfaction from crossing completed items from a to-do list? Keep a hard copy calendar, scheduling your activities in advance and crossing them off as you accomplish them. Tech savvy? Use any number of electronic calendaring/scheduling systems. Remember, a commitment to yourself is just as important as a commitment to others.
  2. Have an accountability partner and don’t be afraid to ask for help if you’re struggling. Whether this is a workout buddy, a colleague or some other trusted person, enlist the help of others. Identify milestones and regular check-ins with your accountability partner and be sure to choose someone who will legitimately hold you accountable.
  3. Reward yourself. As you hit your milestones, have a cheat day or treat yourself to a weekend getaway or nice gift. Whatever makes you happy and provides some extra incentive to stick to your goals can be a great reward.
  4. Be kind to yourself. If you miss a goal or a milestone, don’t give up. Forgive the misstep, reevaluate, reset and resume your goals.
  5. Lastly, don’t be afraid of failure. One of my favorite quotes is from Wayne Gretzky, “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take,” so go for it!

To recap, write down specific, measurable goals and keep them visible; schedule your methods of achieving these goals as well as milestones; enlist an accountability partner; reward yourself for achieving smaller goals along the way; forgive yourself if you falter; and remind yourself why achieving this goal is important to you.

My next post will build on goal setting and look at some specific marketing goals for B2B and B2G businesses in 2019.

If anyone has additional tips or suggestions on goal setting or marketing/PR/communication topics you’d like to learn more about, please feel free to comment/share/ask.

Have fun, good luck and here’s to a wonderful 2019!