Many of us use the new year as a catalyst for change, making resolutions or setting goals that we promise we’re going to stick with. However, as the optimism of a fresh start crumbles and fades in the bleak desolation of February, our motivation and dedication often follow it. With proper planning and preparation, however, that doesn’t have to be the case. To help you succeed in 2019, here are four tips to help you set and stick to your goals.
You may be tempted to aim as high as you can when setting goals, and that’s awesome. You’re the last person who should be holding yourself back. However, it is important that you don’t feel like a failure if the coming year doesn’t see you reach your ultimate goal. The growth that comes along with working diligently toward something is an accomplishment in itself, and when you look back, you’ll be able to see all that you’ve achieved.
Having a partner (or partners) on your journey makes things much easier than trying to go it alone. They can help you get motivated when you’re down, be your cheerleader when you’re up and hold you accountable throughout the process. A relationship like this works especially well if it’s reciprocal. Your goals don’t have to be the same, but your dedication to helping each other achieve them should be.
No matter how motivated you think you are, having an actual plan is going to make achieving your goal much more likely. By tracking your progress and identifying concrete steps to take, you can ensure that you’re making real, consistent progress. You don’t want to obsess over whether you’re keeping pace or let the thought of falling behind make you anxious. But having a clear roadmap will help make your aspirations more concrete and reachable.
Not just when you get there, but throughout the journey as well. Reaching your goals is going to take more than worry and work, so be sure to find moments along the way to celebrate. If you’ve set specific milestones, you could treat yourself every time you reach one, or you could pick a day every week or month to reflect on what you’ve accomplished and reward yourself for all the hard work that you’ve done.
Regardless of what your goals are, you want to set yourself up for success. By taking the time to implement some of these tips, you’re giving yourself the best possible launching pad, whether you’re seeking to develop personally or professionally. Believe in yourself, go easy on yourself, and remember: You’re trying your best, and that’s what really matters.
This post was originally posted on GovLoop.com.