10/05/2014 12:06 am ET Updated Dec 04, 2014

Stop Hitting the Snooze Button: A Guide to Setting and Completing Your Goals, Big or Small

How many times have you sat down on New Year's Day and created a list of goals? Perhaps you even did it at the start of 2014.

With the year almost nearing its close, have you stopped to think 'what happened to all of those amazing things I said I was going to do?'

Why did we ever believe there was a need to run a mile everyday after work or give up the cookie dough ice cream and reality television combination?

Why are goals so important and more importantly, why are they so hard to complete?

Goals add direction and purpose to an individual's life. They represent progress and when accomplished, provide a feeling of self-worth. Setting goals is one of the most inspiring, yet challenging tasks. It requires optimism, perseverance and patience.

When setting goals, a person should make sure they are specific, measurable, and given a time frame.

At times, certain goals can seem unattainable. They become too large and perceived as impossible. When this happens, it is important to not get frustrated and look for ways to "break hard to reach goals into 'bite-size' goals." In the end, the feeling of victory will come from completing each "bite-size" piece of the big goal.

Here are takeaways and strategies for goal-setting I learned from a recent #InStepWithGod empowerment discussion on Chatty Guest:

  1. Love yourself first and foremost. There needs to be a concerted effort to love yourself first. How? Start declaring positive affirmations. Reprogram your mind through what you say to yourself. Look in the mirror after getting dressed and before leaving the house; tell yourself something positive and powerful.
  2. Get out of your own way. Before beginning anything remember, get out of your own way. Stop harassing yourself. It leads to devaluing who we are. Everyone has great ideas but can often become paralyzed when it is time to execute. Stop that. We must get out of our way and love ourselves enough to do what we are born to do.
  3. Break the big goals into smaller "bite size" goals. A good way to stay focus on the big goals is to "chip" away at them a little at a time. And try not to be too hard on yourself if you have a set back.
  4. Trust a family member or friend to hold you accountable. It's good to surround yourself with people who care about you, your goals and dreams. They will hold you up when you are feeling down and tell you 'Go,' when you want to hit snooze. Trust a person or two with your vision in order to keep you accountable for the things you say you are going to do.
  5. Don't compare your progress with someone else -- everyone has their own path. Comparing yourself in natural, but never allow negative thoughts to over power the truth. Comparing yourself to others only impedes any progress of goals.
  6. Acknowledge your fears, never run from them. Declare: I am not afraid. I am not going to let _______ paralyze me from moving forward. You have to deal with fear head on. If you avoid the things you fear, you are giving them power and allowing them to consume you. Work at facing your fears on a regular basis. Identify the origin of your fear in order to overcome it.