As another year concludes, congratulate yourself on your success in 2014! While you prepare for 2015, how will you challenge yourself to change your life in a positive way? The beginning of a new year is typically a time to set new goals, but more important than that is following through with your intentions – goals don’t work unless you do! If the next 365 days involve a complex undertaking, like earning an advanced degree, we recommend four tips to improve follow through.
- Plan for success. A yearlong commitment seems like a faraway destination; instead, approach your goal as a journey with checkpoints. Schedule time to accomplish short-term goals (checkpoints) that add up to create the long-term goal (destination). Remember to apply deadlines so you reach your final destination at a steady and intentional pace.
- Incentivize yourself! Like any road trip, schedule opportunities to refuel. Accomplishing goals is no easy task, so along the way you’ll need to take time to reward yourself for a job well done. Look for opportunities to incentivize and inspire in order to create the positive energy you need to keep at it!
- Develop helpful habits. Break your goal down into individual habits that you will cultivate in order to be successful. If your goal is to earn a degree, acquire study habits like reading one chapter in a textbook every night or sending an email to your academic advisor once a month to monitor your progress. By making your habits quantifiable, you can measure success more easily.
- Find an accountability buddy. Sometimes you need an extra push from someone other than yourself. Just like a personal trainer would push a client to choose healthy food options, find a study buddy, friend, or family member that will hold you to the habits and standards you set for yourself.
It’s easy to get caught up in the initial excitement of defining a goal. But the truth is, seeing a goal through to the end takes time, commitment, support, and a thorough plan. How do you keep track of your progress? Sound off in the comments section on the News from Frederick blog.