Ways to make your goals stick.
Make your main goal specific, and make the path to it with tiny realistic goals. When it comes to making a change, the people who succeed are those who set realistic, specific goals. It’s good to set a huge goal but you must set up small “doable” goals in order to reach the larger one. Say your goal is to be thin by next Christmas. Set your total goal “I want to lose 25 lbs.” Then set the small goals to get there. “This month I’ll stop eating sugary treats.” Or “This month I want to lose 1 -3 lbs and keep them off all month”. And that makes it easier to stick with. Setting a specific goals means establishing some criteria on which to measure your progress. Measuring your progress toward a goal can help you stay on track, and it will give you a sense of accomplishment when you've reached a milestone. Feeling as if you've accomplished something is the best form of encouragement to do more, so set goals that are realistic and which force you to motivate yourself to achieve them.
Time is key. Patience is also important. Making something a habit takes time. It will probably take a couple of months before any changes — like keeping that 1 to 3 lbs off and keeping that sugary item you truly love out of reach — become a routine part of your life. That's because your brain needs time to get used to the idea that this new thing you're doing is part of your regular routine.
Repetition makes a goal stick. Whatever your goal is, remember repetition is key with any success. Post a sticky note up on the mirror and say your goal out loud each morning to remind yourself of what you want and what you're working for. Every time you remind yourself of your goal, you're training your brain to make it happen.
Make sure your goal is just that YOUR goal. Pleasing other people doesn't work. The true key to any goal is that it is YOUR goal. Not something you think others want you to achieve but something that you know you need or want. If you are doing poorly at school on math tests, you know you need to improve. The key to making any change is to find the desire within yourself — you have to do it because you want it, not because a girlfriend, boyfriend, coach, parent, or someone else wants you to. It will be harder to stay on track and motivated if you're doing something out of obligation to another person.
Roadblocks are part of the process not a failure. If you don’t make a mistake you aren’t human. Slip-ups are actually part of the learning process as you retrain your brain into a new way of thinking. It will most likely take a few times to get it right but don’t give up. It's normal to mess up or give up a few times when trying to make a change. So remember that everyone slips up and don't beat yourself up about it. Just remind yourself to get back on track. You can start again. You can just pick up at any time and begin one more time. You don’t have to wait till the next morning or next Monday. You can start up again right away.
Make sure you incorporate FUN! Set little rewards after you attain certain mini goals within the larger goal. Something that won’t detract from the final goal or move you in reverse or a bad direction but something that makes you happy and is truly rewarding. If you are working on something that is a daily task – maybe take a break for a day or incorporate something fun in it like cleaning up your room every night make it into a game or give a prize (maybe not another toy but a sticker or favorite food) for getting it done for the 100th time without complaining or stalling. Maybe that A or B on the math test gets you a new notebook or movie you’ve been wanting. If your goal is the ever popular weight loss. Give yourself the gift of putting that set of clothes in the closet that are too big, into a box and retiring the box to the crawl space. After a year of keeping the weight off give the close to charity.