“You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” – Wayne Gretzky

With the holidays behind us, it’s time many of us start reminiscing the days past and making plans for the new year. It’s probably safe to say that most of us get sucked in to New Year’s Resolution phase. We know that taking a critical look at ourselves and setting personal and professional goals is important, but only 8% of us will actually reach our resolutions for change.

The number one reason most of us fail is that we make unrealistic resolutions. To top it off, most of us don’t set a plan that will help us reach our goals. If you’re serious about making changes in your life forget the resolutions and set achievable goals instead.

Give Yourself a Specific Target

Saying that you want to lose weight is too broad of a goal, and will soon fade from your mind. By giving yourself a specific target, say losing 20 pounds, you give yourself an actual, achievable goal because you can plan and measure your efforts.

Make a Plan

This is where you can start making a list of all the things you can do to help you achieve your goal. The pieces of your plan should be specific and achievable. If you’re currently not a very active person, part of your plan could be to exercise twice a week, or stop drinking pop. Making the plan lets you map out specific, smaller actions that will help you reach your goal. Plan to put each piece into motion slowly. Trying to change everything all at once will lead to failure.

Write it Down

If it’s worth doing, it’s worth writing down. Keeping a list of your goals and actions will help you reach your target. Placing this list in your truck, on your fridge, reminders on your phone, will help keep the goal firmly placed in your mind.

Tell the People Around You

You don’t need to go shouting it from the roof tops or filling your social media feed with every little detail, but telling the important people in your life of your goals will help. They will be able to offer encouragement, and help you. If you’re trying to lose weight you don’t need your husband or wife bringing home all sort of things that you shouldn’t be eating.

Measure Your Results

Every time you achieve a small step towards your goal write it down, or cross it off your master list. It will allow you to see the progress you have made and let you measure the effect it’s having on your life.