iOS app Android app More

Featuring fresh takes and real-time analysis from HuffPost's signature lineup of contributors
Fred Whelan and Gladys Stone

Fred Whelan and Gladys Stone

Posted: December 29, 2009 03:41 PM

New Year's Resolution? This Time, Stay on Track!

What's Your Reaction:

Another year has flown by - in fact - so has another decade! How are you going to make sure to stick to the resolutions you make in January? Wouldn't it be great to break the cycle of starting and stopping on your goals? If only you had some way of keeping yourself on track.

The main reason people don't reach their goals is that they give up along the way. Either they procrastinate, get discouraged or hit plateaus. And then of course there's always Murphy's Law. The difference between people who consistently reach their goals from those who do not, is that they keep plugging away until they get what they want.

Here are things you can do to overcome the common obstacles to reaching goals:

2009-12-29-NYE2.jpg


Procrastination: The hardest part for many people is just getting started. When you think about your goal it its totality, it may seem daunting. The key is to break it down into doable steps. Once you do that it's easy to get started. During the course of your goal, if you feel the urge to procrastinate, keep the vision of your goal in mind.

Murphy's Law: "Whatever can go wrong, will go wrong." Just when you were making real progress towards your goal, something unexpected happens and causes a set-back. Your attitude of how you approach a setback is key to achieving your goal. Some people will become discouraged and give up. Others will handle this in stride and find a way to get to their goal. Even if it feels like two steps forward and one step back, keep moving forward.

Plateaus: It's normal after working on your goal for a period of time to hit a plateau. You know when you've hit a plateau because the same things that were working before, suddenly aren't working - and that's exactly the problem. You need to do something different. Hitting a plateau means you need to shake things up, do things in a different order or try something new until you start seeing progress again. What worked when you first started on your goal may not work several weeks or months later. The key is flexibility.

Discouragement: Along the way to your goal you may hit a rough patch and become discouraged. The important thing to know about discouragement is that it's just a mood and it's temporary. If you're telling yourself things like "I knew I couldn't do it" that's discouragement talking. The best remedy for that is to tell yourself something that's going to give you energy to keep moving forward, like "I have everything I need to be successful." That's going to help carry you through when you feel like quitting.

Part of what helps successful people achieve their goals is that they know they're going to experience obstacles along the way. They don't know exactly which ones, but they know it's inevitable. So, when something does happen, they're not shocked, they're not discouraged, they simply realize that this is part of the process. No matter what your goal is you will be faced with some obstacles that may appear to be insurmountable. Remember, if you keep on trying you'll reach your goal.

Resolve this is the year that you will go after your goal with a new determination and the belief that you will achieve it.

Fred & Gladys
Whelan Stone
Executive Search and Coaching
Authors of GOAL! Your 30 Day Career Plan for Business & Career Success

 

Follow Fred Whelan and Gladys Stone on Twitter: www.twitter.com/WhelanStone