How to Reach Your Personal Goals

We ring in the New Year and resolve to be the healthiest, happiest and best we can be! Sounds like a good goal, but even the most disciplined person needs a plan that sticks all year.

The secret formula to goal achievement is accountability. Holding yourself accountable ensures that when the going gets tough (and it will!), you don’t give up! Here are easy ways to hold yourself accountable and achieve your healthiest self ever.

  1. Get in the right mindset – Before setting a goal, take some time to reflect on why this goal is important to you. How will it make a difference in your life? Know your “Why” and remind yourself of it daily. Commit to every decision you make.
  2. Prepare what you need in advance – Before bedtime, set out everything you need for a healthy tomorrow: like clean workout clothes, water bottle, sneakers, and earbuds. And don’t forget to prep a variety of healthy snacks. They’ll help prevent a trip to the office vending machine or your pantry and keep your belly full.
  3. Use apps to track your stats – Since it’s hard to always keep yourself accountable, why not let an app do it for you? Consider a fitness tracker that will track activity like heart rate and steps. Then, set goals based on what you can track.
  4. Plan your workouts like you’re scheduling an appointment – Try signing up for a workout class and writing your sessions in your planner or calendar just like any other appointment. Have a set plan will hold you accountable to show up.
  5. Reward yourself for reaching small goals – If you meet your workout goals or resist office donuts, for example, you deserve to be rewarded! Of course, your rewards should not be counterintuitive to your goal, like a piece of cake. Instead, try rewarding yourself with something that supports your the goals you are working towards.
  6. Workout with friends – Even with our busy lifestyle, we still want to fit in social time with our friends. Instead of after-work cocktails, why not go on a walk to catch up? You’ll get in some quality time and be aligned with your goals.
  7. Journal your progress – Journaling creates a space for mindfulness, can help you identify challenges, and find solutions to reach your goals. Record your progress, express the emotions that come up, and the challenges that you overcame. By noting what you did to work towards your specific goal, and how you felt during the day, you will become more away of your roadblocks and identify ways to be successful.
  8. Have a plan B – Did you sleep through your alarm and miss your morning workout? Have an easy and flexible backup plan so that you just don’t completely give up for the day. Going on a 30-minute walk or doing a yoga YouTube video are great ways to fit in movement and keep yourself feeling good about your goals.
  9. Find ways to stick to your goals that are enjoyable for you – If you’re not a fan of eating salads or distance running, neither of those things should be part of your goal achievement plan. Hiking and whole grains are good for you, too! Find healthy foods that you like and exercise that make you have fun or feel centered. Learning how to enjoy achieving your goals is much more likely to make them stick long-term.
  10. Small steps, every day – Goals that are too big can be overwhelming and unsustainable. Think about what little “micro” habits you can make to help yourself achieve your goals. For example, make one networking call each week, or read 10 pages of that book you intend to finish. Commit to building small, positive new habits for just 30 days, and watch how easy it is for you to stick to them.
  11. Look for one small victory every day – Look for a victory you made towards your final goal each day. It could be that you did an extra 10 crunches, or that you made a call you were putting off. Give yourself permission to smile and be proud of your accomplishments. Call a friend or post you successes on your media channels for extra positive reinforcement.

Adapted from and article written by Josie Santi