January is the best time to make positive changes in your life. It’s a time when many resolutions are made, but few are kept. You have to stay motivated if you really want to manifest your goals and intentions. How? Here are 3 great tips from JJ Virgin, New York Times bestselling author…with my thoughts sprinkled in…
1. Find an accountability partner.
Once you have a clear goal, you need to write down the action steps that will help you reach that goal. (I like Vision Boards, and I use a Goal sheet that has different sections for areas in your life, such as Business/Work Goals, Home Goals, Personal Goals, and Fun Goals. I fill this out at the beginning of each year and post it on my bulletin board where I see it every day.)
Next you want a partner, a friend or two, or a coach to hold you accountable. Ideally, they’re available weekly and act as your personal cheerleader. Share your goals, strategize, and plan with them. You can ask them to check in with you for a progress report and/or schedule a call or in-person meeting with your accountability partner at least a few times a month for updates. (I like having a coach for this, as well as a coaching group, and this year, I’m going to try it with a friend in TN, where we can be each other’s accountability partner!)
2. Track your progress on a regular basis.
In order to review progress, you have to track it. Do this in great detail; you’ll see when and where you’re most productive and you’ll learn lots about your habits and patterns. As you move towards your goal, you may notice that you procrastinate: Ask yourself, when and why do I procrastinate? When do I do my best work? Am I overwhelmed? Am I eating healthy foods, exercising, getting enough sleep?
Once you’re aware of your emotions and habits, you can tailor your action steps to them. Look at your calendar and decide how much time you have for action steps, and block out your schedule. Then track the hours you spend working towards your goal. On a scale of 1-10, how focused and productive were you? Write this info down and share it with your accountability partner. (I put my action steps on my wall calendar in time; this helps me be realistic and not put too many things in one day. At the end of the day, I check things off if I’ve completed them. If I don’t get to something, I move it to the next day I know I’ll have time to complete it. At the end of the week, I check and see if I missed anything and if so, I do it on Friday or the weekend. But my goal is to have weekends free, so that motivates me to finish things Friday!)
3. Celebrate your small successes and your big wins.
Acknowledge your accomplishments along the way! Completing action steps and goals is intrinsically rewarding, but plan small extrinsic rewards as well…Take a walk in nature, see a movie with a friend, take a relaxing bath… Enjoy small pleasures and celebrate each goal as you achieve it- this will keep you motivated to set and achieve goals that really matter to you. (This is so important. Make sure your goals and intentions are ones that you really want to achieve-in your heart and your mind. I write my accomplishments in my gratitude journal each night and I do celebrate them.)
Feeling good about your big goal or project will keep you motivated to keep setting conscious, authentic goals and and action steps to create the life you want!