Do you remember your New Year’s Resolutions? Because of the pandemic, many of our goals seemed unattainable, and in some cases, they were. Just getting out of bed or changing out of our pajamas into regular clothes has been a challenge. This year, everything seemed more difficult and the mountain we hoped to climb appeared much steeper.

Yet there were many individuals that did push forward and were able to achieve and even surpass their goals. Yes, even in 2020.

In years past, did you achieve the goals you set for yourself? If not, why? What stopped you? In many cases, the answer is in the technique you used to reach your destination. Instead of trying to reach the summit in one day, many successful individuals reach their goals by climbing one step at a time.

One of the reasons we do not achieve our goals is because we cannot just tell our brain to make something happen and expect it to magically appear. You need to create a detailed plan and think it through ahead of time. For example, if you want to start jogging, you need to make it easy for your body to follow through. When and where will you be running? How many days a week? What time? For how long? What clothes will you be wearing? What music will you be listening to? Make these decisions ahead of time and leave your running shoes by the door so when the pre-assigned time arises, you are ready to sprint out the door. If you leave these questions until the time you are supposed to start running, you will easily convince yourself to just skip it and go back to bed.

Want to lose weight? Create a plan with bite-sized goals that soon become healthy habits. What one junk food can you cut out this week and replace with a healthy choice? What one healthy recipe can you try this week? Can you replace one coffee drink or soda for water? Taking small steps towards your goal will lead to big wins.

Want to read more or finish an assignment? Start by opening the task and working on it for only twenty minutes a day for four days. You can always increase the time but start with quick targets. Once you achieve them you will start to feel the momentum and that will increase your productivity. The important thing is to get started!

Creating an environment of success is also essential. Do you see your favorite snacks when you open the pantry or fridge? If you want to lose weight, leave cut fruit and vegetables in your fridge so they are the first things you see, and make the unhealthy snacks harder to reach. You may still want them, but it will make you pause and give you a moment to reconsider as you get a step stool to reach the top of the pantry. If you are ordering from a restaurant, look at the menu ahead of time so that when you order, you have already made your healthy selection and you are not making an impulsive choice.

Here is a great recipe to achieve your goals. Write it all down to track your progress:

1. Choose your goal.

2. Write down why you want to achieve this goal and how you will you feel when you reach it.

3. When do you want to complete your goal? (date and time)

4. What small steps can you do today to start working towards your goal?

5. Create an environment that aligns with your goals.

6. Find a Life Coach or trusted friend or relative to hold you accountable every week and make sure you stay on track.

7. Surround yourself with others who have already achieved similar goals or have parallel aspirations. Once you are around those who have found success, you will learn from them, find inspiration, and realize that your goals are indeed attainable.

Most goals are not met because they seem out of reach and we become paralyzed with fear not knowing how to get started. This year change your perspective and look at your goal in measurable increments. Try creating small wins every day that move you in the right direction. Get one inch closer to your goals and after one month you will not believe your progress. Once you get the momentum going, not only will you be able to advance faster, but you will gain the confidence and strength to succeed.

Don’t wait until year-end to start making great changes in your life. Be ahead of the game. Identify your goals today and create tiny steps to get the ball rolling so when the New Year comes, you will have already started your progress to finally making your goals a reality.