Goals provide focus. Goals provide a measuring stick for progress. While it’s not a good idea to try to change everything at once, you can set goals in virtually any domain of your life, including your nutrition, sleep or work priorities.

Best to start with the first small steps. While setting goals is in itself motivating, sometimes it’s just not enough. Here are some ways you can begin to move toward achieving your goals, and maintain resolve when the going gets rough.

  • Put your goals in writing.

Writing down goals prevents you from leaving your goals vague. Be specific. Use action verbs. Let your goals have measurable outcomes. Specify completion dates. Also record what your reward will be for achieving the goal.

  • List the benefits of achieving your goal.

Knowing exactly what you will gain from reaching your goal is a strong motivator. Hitting the gym 3x per week will get you fitter, getting to bed 30min earlier each night with a good book will help you sleep better…

  • Plan of action.

If something is keeping you from your goals, like lack of time, make a plan on how you’re going to tackle anything that stands in your way.

  • Enlist the help of others.

Find someone, a buddy that will help hold you accountable and someone you can talk to if you stumble. Ask them for advice and suggestions. Find out how they got where they are and incorporate what you learn into your plan. Make sure this is someone who will complement your goals, not derail you.

  • Visualize yourself having achieved each of your goals.

This may seem a bit hokey, but if you can visualize what life will be like once you’ve met your goals, it will make them more real. If you picture yourself making a lift, getting those double unders, or getting that pull up you’ll be more likely to reach your goal. Use the present tense as if it is happening right here, right now. This is another way of making your vision real.

  • Get organized.

When you are prepared and organized, you will feel better about your ability to reach your goals. Having information scattered in too many places makes you feel out of control and undermines motivation. Set up a filing system, set aside your workout clothes, pre make your meals for the next 3 days.

  • Reward yourself each step of the way.

Let yourself feel good about progress you’ve made. Treat yourself to rewards that will give you a lift as you accomplish each sub goal on your road to success.