Jennifer Baker

Do you find yourself tempted with yet another round of new year’s resolutions to help change your life, and achieve your goals? According to Gallup, about 90% of us fail to keep our new year’s resolutions. It is not the goal that is wrong - that is the easy part - but where it can go wrong is to do with commitment; this is the hard part. It’s not about having to try harder, the key is whether or not you actually have the motivation.

A good way to increase your chances of achieving resolutions is to connect them to a strong purpose that will keep you in action, no matter how tough things become. You need a strong ‘why’ that is bigger than any ‘but’. For example: “I want to get fit, but I don’t have time.” Overcoming the ‘but’ is the hardest part.

Reaching your goal starts not with the goal itself but a committed decision, a burning desire, a willingness to take repeated action, for as long as it takes and for whatever it takes.

Here is a practical process to goal planning:

Get clear on what you want. What did you tolerate in 2015? What was challenging? What do you not want to have happen again? Make a decision on what you want your life to be one year from now.

Get clear on why - what are the reasons you must absolutely achieve this, no matter what?

Get momentum: Break it down into smaller steps and tasks. Identify one small thing you can do immediately towards achieving your goal.

Schedule your actions monthly, weekly and daily.

Take action. Masses of action. Stay committed to your decisions, but also be flexible in your approach.

Review, measure and evaluate. Which actions have worked well, and which haven’t? What can you do differently?

Review the last three steps every week.

Remember to celebrate success and repeat the cycle as you continue to make progress.

If you don’t design your own life plan, chances are you’ll fall into someone else’s plan. And guess what they have planned for you: not much.

It’s not what we do once in a while that shapes our lives or our careers, but what we do consistently. There’s always a way - if you are clear on the purpose and you’re committed to take action.