January is the perfect time of year to get excited about you and set some life goals. New Year’s provides you with a fresh start to leave the past in the past and start anew. Here are some ideas take your resolutions to the next level:

Track your progress.

Keep a record in a journal or an online document by recording your desired goals and progress throughout the year. By doing so, you are setting yourself up for prolonged success.

Be specific when you set your goals.

For instance, do not write, “I want to lose weight,” instead write, “I will lose 20 pounds by summer.” Another example, do not write, “I want to exercise more,” instead write, “I will join a gym and exercise three times a week for an hour at a minimum.” Make what you want to achieve clear to yourself. This encourages you to take steps to make your dream a reality.

Figure out your why.

Successful people give themselves leverage. Why do you want to lose weight? Is it because you want to stay healthy and be around for your children and grandchildren? Are you recently single and want to feel confident getting back on the dating scene? Your personal why is a powerful motivator for you and it means failure is not an option.

Evaluate what has stopped you in the past.

Why haven’t you achieved your goals the past few years? Many individuals set the same goals every January and never follow through. Does this sound familiar?  Figure out why this has happened so you can change the outcome this time around. It may be as simple as you failed to set up a plan for success.

What strategies can you put in place to achieve your goals? For instance, if you want to change jobs you might update your resume, hire a headhunter, research positions online, and fill out applications. To effectuate real change you need to take steps to make it come to fruition.

Visualize your life once you have achieved your goals.

What does it look like? How will your life be better? You can even post motivational quotes or pictures around your house, car and office to inspire you every day.

Create a support network to keep yourself accountable.

Accountability is crucial when you are making big shifts in your life. Tell the important people in your life what you are working toward and ask for their support. It goes without saying that a true friend will be your biggest cheerleader. You can also hire a professional, like a life coach, trainer, or nutritionist (to name a few), to guide you on your journey.

Check in with yourself every month.

Have you been making progress? Are you where you want to be at this point? Be honest with yourself about what is going on so you can make any necessary shifts.

Reward your success.

If you have been successful by the end of the month, treat yourself to a spa day or something small. You can even plan a vacation to celebrate after 6 months.

Remember it is about progress and not perfection. Do not beat yourself up if you have a setback. If you are committed to your goals, you will find a way.

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