4 Easy & Proven Steps to Reach Your Goals in 2018

4 Easy & Proven Steps to Reach Your Goals in 2018

Another year with new resolutions and crowded gyms. Yet, come February, the gym will be empty. This isn’t being pessimistic, it’s a statistical reality. Less than 10% of New Year’s resolutions are actually kept. We just can’t keep it together.

The good news is that you and I will still be at the gym for the months ahead. Or, perhaps, you’ll be learning Mandarin, meditating, rolling sushi, getting more restful sleep, or whatever it is you set to accomplish in 2018. We will be reaching our goals by following through on the 4 simple steps outlined below.

On a personal note, these 4 steps are helpful reminders and serve as life preservers that keep me from falling prey to the false hope syndrome. I’m often unrealistic about the time and dedication it takes for self-change. In short, I need to RESPECT CAPACITY. I also need to respect sleep and being well-rested. All goals are made easier and possible by being well-rested. In short, proper sleep and being well-rested are the fuel for success.

Each year I have a theme word, and past words include: Give, Family, Sleep, Fitness, Write, and Faith. I’m excited about this year’s word, Focus, and how it relates to respecting capacity, resolutions, and goal setting. The whole purpose of setting goals is to help us focus on what we need to accomplish to achieve peak performance.

1)    Write the Goal Down

We’re 42% more likely to achieve a goal if we write it down. It all comes down to how our brain works. Our brain has an imaginative side (right) and a literal side (left). So, if I simply think that I want to run the Boston Marathon, I’m engaging the right side of my brain. Essentially, I’m only working at 50% capacity a big fat “F” in school. When I write “Run Boston Marathon” it now engages the left side. By writing my goal down, I’m powering up my entire brain. Keep it 100%!  

2)    Explain Why It Matters

You need to write down what the goal is going to do for you. What’s the point of your goal? For example, this year I want to learn conversational Spanish. Why? 1) My wife’s family is from Colombia and knowing Spanish will allow me to speak with her mother 2) I often give keynotes in South America and this will help me better connect with my audience and grow my business.

Or, say you want to quit smoking. The powerful why might be that you want to live longer to spend time with your grandchildren. As my friend Simon Sinek says, it’s all about the ‘why.’

3)    Share & Schedule Accountability Meetings

A goal is 65% more likely to be executed when you share it with someone. This jumps to 95% when you schedule “check-in” meetings with friends that will hold you accountable. Go one step further and meet up with friends who believe in your aspirations. When you take the time to set up a meeting with a friend, you have an “oh ship” moment. If you haven’t done anything towards your goal up until that moment, now is the time to do it. If you want to “nail it over the head,” go one step further and sign a contract. As you keep putting more commitment towards a goal, it starts to take shape and become a reality.

4)    Make it Easy on Yourself

Repetitive tasks and habits keep a mind continuously focused on the particular task at hand. For example, if your New Year’s resolution is to lose weight, set out workout clothes the night before your morning run. Believe it or not, some people even sleep in their workout clothes.

On cold winter mornings, I sometimes struggle to leave my comfortable and cozy Sleep Number 360 Smart Bed. When this happens, I remember a trick from fellow motivational speaker Mel Robbins who also understands the power of sleep. After a good nights rest she treats her wake-up like a space shuttle launch. Specifically, she counts down…5, 4, 3, 2, 1…and launches out of bed just like a rocket.

An easy win for me is scheduling 30 minutes on my calendar to use the Duolingo Spanish Language Learning App. Or, to ensure I’m well-rested, I give myself a set bedtime like I give my Kindergartner.

If you practice these 4 tips, you’ll be one of the 9% to achieve your New Year’s resolution. Remember: 1) write it down, 2) write why it matters, 3) share it with someone, and 4) make life easy on yourself. Break it down into small, winnable habits (watch my routines video here).

These four tips have been instrumental in my goal achievement and I hope they help you. Ready, Set, Go-al.

About the Author: Erik Qualman

Often called a Digital Dale Carnegie and The Tony Robbins of Tech, Erik Qualman is a #1 Best Selling Author and Motivational Keynote Speaker that has spoken in 49 countries.

His Socialnomics work has been featured on 60 Minutes to the Wall Street Journal and used by the National Guard to NASA. His book Digital Leader propelled him to be voted the 2nd Most Likeable Author in the World behind Harry Potter's J.K. Rowling. Qualman is a sitting professor at Harvard & MIT's edX labs.

His latest book What Happens in Vegas Stays on YouTube is a Pulitzer Prize nominated work.
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