It’s January 3rd and you are 3 days into the new year. You’ve reflected on what you have accomplished over the last year. You’ve honed in on the things you would like to change. You made a list of carefully thought out goals or resolutions you want to accomplish. You even mapped out actions and may have started on a few already.
You started reading that book, you went to the gym, you are eating healthier and planning that vacation. You are eager, motivated, and ready to take on new challenges; feeling good about what you have done the last 3 days.
What you haven’t done is thought about what happens when day 17 comes and reading is unappealing, you don’t have the energy to work out, and you just want to take a big bite of a warm cinnamon roll covered in creamy melted icing. It’s too easy to slip back into what is comfortable, and seriously, who will ever know if you take just one day off?
This is what happens to over 75% of people on or around the 17th day of the new year. Failure is so common; many people just give up on setting goals and opt for themes or aspirations to guide them to make positive changes. As we sit there contemplating whether we should lick the icing off the plate, we wonder to ourselves “What just happened? I failed” and we easily give in and become part of the 75%. But what if we could be part of the 25%? What if we could persevere through the temptations and the obstacles we face as we work toward our goals?
What if there was one thing we could do that would help us achieve our 2020 goals?While there are many different approaches to goal setting, there is no secret formula. Each person is as unique as their goals and there is no one size fits all approach. Motivation can be a powerful accelerator and when people are clear about why they are pursuing a goal, there is a higher likelihood that they will stick with it. However, motivation and a clear “why” alone won’t make you successful in reaching your goals.
There is one thing, however, that can differentiate how successful a person is in reaching their goals. Studies have shown that when you share your goals with others, you are more likely to achieve them than if you keep them private. When it comes to goals, accountability is one of the most crucial elements to successfully achieving your goals.
When someone else knows what you are trying to accomplish, there is a sense of ownership and pride tied to your goals and your desire and ability to achieve those outcomes increases. It’s the same reason why people hire personal trainers, dieticians, and coaches. When you commit to yourself and to someone else that your goal is a priority, then you won’t give up so easily.
It’s human nature to care about your reputation and live up to others expectations of you. When you share your goals with someone else, you essentially set that expectation and this level of exposure and vulnerability can help you stick with your goals because you don’t want to let others down. People can also encourage you when the going gets tough, help you rebound from setbacks, give you perspective, and celebrate your successes. Everyone needs someone in their corner giving them an extra push.
Share your goals with a friend or loved one and ask them to help keep you on track or post your goals and updates on social media. If that makes you feel too vulnerable you can hire a coach or use an accountability app like StickK or Beeminder to help keep you on track. Just be sure whatever you do is just outside of your comfort zone to give you the necessary pushes you may need.
Cheers to a happy and fulfilling year with many successes to celebrate come December 2020!