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Every year, millions of people make their New Year’s resolutions and start fantasizing about all the success they are going to achieve.
Unfortunately, only a tiny percentage of those people reached their objectives, and for the vast majority, they only make a few steps towards that goal and end up quitting.
Why is that?
The reasons are simple; bad planning and procrastination. These two factors can kill any project you might want to work on in the future.
Don’t panic yet!
In this article, I’m going to provide you with all the tools necessary to make sure you achieve your 2020 goals.
How do you set specific goals?
Most people get too excited about New Year’s because it’s a new chance to achieve everything they couldn’t realize during the previous year.
However, this could have destructive consequences!
Because we are emotional creatures, we tend to dispose of logic when we are excited about something. As a result, people will often set huge goals that are impossible to achieve in one year, which will subsequently lead them to fail at the very first obstacle they face, realizing just how distant the finish line is.
In order to avoid all this, we should be more realistic when it comes to planning our goals. Think about every step it’s going to take and how much time is required for the competition of each step.
This way, you will be ready, and your expectations will be reasonable.
This tip is derived from the first one. Let’s say, for example, you don’t have any major goals this year, but instead, you have a dozen small goals that you want to attain before the end of 2020.
In this case, it is crucial to prioritize your goals. Start by the ones you want to achieve first, and then move on to other smaller goals.
By doing this, even if you don’t achieve all the goals you planned for 2020, you would still have made substantial progress and completed some of your New Year’s resolutions, which will serve as motivation to work on the other ones in the year that follows.
How to make sure to meet your goals
1.) Plan the whole thing
This is crucial if you want anything done!
Planning every step can serve as your weapon to face any potential obstacles in the way. Additionally, it will give you an idea of when to expect the first results, which is super important to keep you going.
While planning your project in your head is fine, it is preferred to write everything down, and I mean everything! Your progress, the obstacles you faced, how you overcame those obstacles, what is the next small goal you’re going after, etc.
This way, you will have a journal that’s full of useful information to track down your progress, and even write a book in the future!
Here is a simple and affordable journal to get started.
2.) Divide the work
Researchers found that dividing the work of a big project into smaller parts is vital!
This is partially due to one tiny structure found in our brain; the nucleus accumbens.
This small collection of cells is more known by another nomenclature, the pleasure center of the brain.
Each time you achieve a small goal, dopamine (a neurotransmitter) will be released inside the nucleus accumbens, which will give you a sensation of pleasure and satisfaction.
That feeling will motivate you enough to work harder to receive another shot of dopamine.
Note that the nucleus accumbens is activated even when we attain the smallest goals, such as eating, drinking, and watching TV.
In a sense, we are dependant (and addicted) to that shot of dopamine to keep us going!
Back to our tip.
If you are working on a relatively big project, and you are not going to see results any time soon, that’s going to pose a problem!
You see, we need that dopamine shot to make progress, and if the project requires months of work to deliver any results, we tend to become slothful and might even quit the whole thing.
By dividing the work, you will get that necessary shot of dopamine each time you finish a small part, which allows you to continue until the entire project is complete.
For more information about the nucleus accumbens, check out this fascinating experiment published in the Nature Journal.
3.) Work on your timeline
So, you have set your goals, outlined the big plan, and divided the work. What’s next? Well, timing.
While the tips mentioned above are helpful for the overall planning of the steps you need to take to achieve each goal, it is still crucial to set a timeline to complete every step and stick to it!
Most people experience extreme frustration if they set a goal and witness no results because it’s taking too long, so it’s essential to put some pressure on yourself to make sure you’ll stick to your plans by setting a deadline.
4.) Ask the help of a friend
This tip is vital if you are the type of person who doesn’t like to work alone.
Asking a family member or a friend for help to keep you in check can be a great motivation tool. You see, we tend to become more responsible if someone is supervising us and our work.
Thus, the simple fact that your friend might call you next week to see the progress you made on your project can be the perfect mix of motivation and pressure to prevent you from quitting.
5.) Celebrate your achievements!
As we mentioned earlier, your pleasure center is all about that dopamine shot. So, to make sure you are feeding the beast, you should celebrate the “mini-achievement” you complete to keep you motivated for the upcoming steps.
Go out with friends, enjoy a day-off, and go somewhere nice!
This will serve as a healthy break and a motivational booster to face any obstacles in the future.
While the tips in this article can tremendously help you in achieving your objectives, they are useless if you don’t follow them!
Educating yourself about what you need to do to keep going is crucial; however, working with what you learned is far more important.
Finally, if you have set your mind about your 2020 New Year’s resolutions, please share them with us in the comment section below. We will be thrilled to read them.
Results may vary. Information and statements made are for general purposes and are not intended to replace the advice of your doctor. Her Own Health does not dispense medical advice, prescribe, or diagnose illness. The views and nutritional advice expressed by Her Own Health are not intended to be a substitute for conventional medical service. If you have a severe medical condition or health concern, see your physician.