THE BLOG
12/30/2014 03:19 pm ET Updated Mar 01, 2015

5 Quick and Easy Tricks for Keeping Your New Year Goals

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About 45 percent of people make New Year's resolutions every year and 8 percent stick with them.

Bearing in mind that's "claimed" responses, so there's probably a few in there lying! Regardless, here are my top tips for your 2015 goals.

FOCUS on one goal at a time
The temptation is to go "all in" and decide to diet, stop drinking alcohol and join the gym all at once. You will burn up all your will power and fail at all three. Pick one and create a plan to make it happen. Once you've got through the challenge and it starts to feel more like a habit, then tackle another.

Know what makes it important
What difference will achieving this make to your life? Why does it matter? What will be the benefits of having it be? Most importantly, what will happen if you don't have/achieve it? What will NOT making it happen cost you? The answers to these questions will help create focus and also generate internal motivation. Importantly, it will also make you realize when a goal is not actually coming from you but from a partner, mother, social expectations, etc. Make sure whatever it is you are aiming for is something YOU want. Not something someone else wants for you.

Make it tangible avoid sweeping statements like:
  • I want to be financially independent
  • I want a purposeful career
  • I want a balanced life
  • I want to live somewhere sunny
We are too used to speaking conceptually, when we keep things vague they stay in the realm of day-dreaming. Be as specific as possible and make sure you put a time measurement on it e.g.
  • I want to have all my debts paid off (including my mortgage) by Jan 2020 and have at least 30k in the bank
  • I want to be living in Barcelona by April 2015
Putting a date on something is the difference between a dream and a goal. It also helps create motivation, we all work that little bit harder when we know there is a deadline!

Think BIG but act small
Choose something that will stretch you but not overwhelm you. Break the big goal down into small, component parts, put these in order and start with the first. Break that down into smaller steps. If you want to set up your own business that's a potentially overwhelming goal. If you break it down into component parts, e.g., write a business plan, research investment opportunities, understand the competition, research potential consumers, calculate start up costs, etc., then put these in order and tackle them in the manner which makes most sense and you will be much more likely to progress and avoid that old demon procrastination.

Never go "off purpose" two days in a row
If you're quitting smoking, taking up running, learning a new language, saving money, whatever the new thing is that you are working towards, be prepared for wanting to quit. It's human nature to want to give up, cheat, or just revert to old habits. When that moment comes, it's okay to have non-perfect days, because guess what, we're "non-perfect." But don't let a hiccup turn in to a complete de-railing. Just because you break and smoke a cigarette on a night out, it doesn't have to mean you are a smoker now. If you fall of that diet wagon, it doesn't mean that you have to nose-dive into cake and candy for the next 10 days. Allow yourself to be human, but don't take it as an excuse to abandon ship completely.

And the bonus tip is...
Tell other people what you are doing. We are social creatures and we are much more likely to stick to our goals if we perceive there is social pressure or expectations to succeed. You can create a little bit of social pressure easily, just tell people, put it on Facebook, announce it to your work colleagues, align your goal with a charity -- all of these act as a conceptual "kick up the ass" to stick to your guns and make it happen.

For more top tips on "making things happen" you can sign up to my newsletter at http://www.jodierogers.com

GOOD LUCK.