Sticking to your Goals

We all know how difficult it can be to stick to your goals and see the effort through to completion. Studies have shown that “setting specific difficult goals leads to higher performance when compared with no goals or vague, non-quantitative goals, such as “do your best.”*

Here are 10 tips for sticking to your goals:

  1. Set positive goals. Positive goals are proactive and direct you towards what to do rather than what not to do. Negative goals direct our attention towards things we wish to avoid or eliminate.
  2. Make sure your goals are realistic.
  3. Write your goals down in detail – the more detailed the better.
  4. Think of the obstacles you will face and write down 3 steps you’ll take to overcome those obstacles to reach your goal.
  5. Share your goals with a friend or family member and ask for help staying on track, especially if you’re not particularly compliant.
  6. Self-efficacy – believing you can do what you set your mind to. If you truly believe you are capable of achieving your goal, it’s more likely that you will.
  7. Review your overall progress regularly; it helps you see how far you’ve come.
  8. Write down the positive outcomes that will come from achieving your goals and place it somewhere you will see daily, for example on your refrigerator, desk or on the bathroom mirror.
  9. Give yourself (non-food) rewards when you’ve reached a goal on your list. For example, treat yourself to some new shoes or a massage.
  10. Remember, goals should be SMART: Specific, Measurable, Action-based, Realistic and Timed.

*Strecher, V.J., et al. (1995). Goal Setting as a Strategy for Health Behavior Change. Health Education & Behavior. Vol. 22 (2), 190-200.

If you’re still having a difficult time achieving your goals or just want more guidance, I am a certified wellness coach and I have helped clients achieve significant change in one or more areas of their life. For more information please call 800.341.4190 or check out under Educational Services.