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8 Steps to Achieve Your Goals

· Productivity

And here we go again. Ready to show 2017 what we got. With new motivation and new goals - the well-known New Year’s resolutions just knocked at our door. And by Dec. 31st we find out that our famous NY resolution got somehow knocked out throughout the year, as stats show. But how can we change this? Let us show you 8 resolution-setting rules that will help you succeed in 2017 and beyond.

1: Create Measurable Goals

It sounds so simple yet a lot of people struggle with this one. But you have to get down to it if you really want to be successful. Studies have shown that only measurable, specified goals will make it. Not doing so can lead to reduced self-confidence as you feel that you are not able to achieve anything. A study at the University of Liverpool even showed that people suffering from depression have the tendency of unmeasurable, generalized goals. Let me give you an example:

General goal setting: Lose weight (classic)

Specific, quantifiable goal setting: By June 31st I have lost 6kg (1kg per month) by running 3 times per week 30min each.

The more specific the goal, the better. Be S.M.A.R.T.

(How to set S.M.A.R.T. goals you can find in our blog How You Set SMART goals)

2: Create a plan

Step 1 gives you the direction. But without a plan it’s all worth nothing. Get a routine. And in order to get a routine, you need to make a plan to get there. The plan will help implement a new behavior that is necessary to achieve new results. Break your goal down into manageable steps and make a schedule around that. A study in the Journal of Sports and Exercise Psychology found that weekends are the hardest to stick to the plan due to lack of routine and too much freedom. Therefor: plan, plan, plan and stick to it. No excuses.

3: Decide on a Measure

First of all, be honest to yourself. When deciding on proper measures, you need to know yourself and keep it real. If you won’t, the after-effects will be disappointment and not sticking to your plan. If losing weight is your goal, the Journal of Obesity found that daily self-weighing can produce clinically significant loss. But depending on your workout, weighing may not be the right measure. You might want to measure the circumference of your body parts instead. Or you won’t stick to such measures and rather focus on metrics such as the time you need for a 5 km run. Important is that you find the right metrics for you that show you positive results and give you the feeling of achievement. That way you will continue in the long run. But make sure you check regularly. Many apps on the market can help you track.

4: Visualize Success

The brain teaser. The Master of Masters. Some may call it tricking yourself. But the rule her is: be it once you believe it. Visualization has been proven time and time again as a way to improve performance. Before any plan, any goal, take a few minutes and visualize how it feels to get done, to achieve. Feel that adrenaline, that joy, that pride. Feel the vibrations of success.

If you can’t even imagine your goal, how will you ever stay motivated to reach it? Believe in yourself, in your capabilities, see it, feel it, and then RUN.

5: Combine your goals

Most likely you won’t have only one resolution. Most likely you want to achieve more than one thing during the year. Try to implement new habits for all your goals. If you want to lose weight by running, then you might want to change your eating habit persistently. A 2013 study at Stanford showed that combining a change in diet and exercise habits had a better chance of success for both.

6: Tell your People

Sharing your goals and plans with your friends will make you feel responsible. Ask them to support you and if necessary, give you a little kick (not literally of course) in case you start slagging. A 2012 study actually suggested that posting to Facebook and other social media outlets was more motivating than a trophy to people. Online communities can cheer for you and with you and your actions may even motivate your surroundings to follow your lead.

7: Build a buddy system

Keeping promises to yourself is hard sometimes. No one is watching if “for once” you don’t stick to your routing. But once you cross that line, there is no turning back. Don’t even go there. Find yourself a buddy who keeps you on your feed. You want to run a project and your routine is to sit down every day 2 hours? Agree with your buddy to meet at a co-working café, work on your project, and share your achievements after the 2 hours are done. Or (back to the diet), find someone who is running with you. It is like keeping an appointment and it holds you responsible.

In 2012, yet another study showed that the influence of close friends and family members matters to your exercise habits. And another 2012 study, published in the Annals of Behavioral Medicine, showed that a virtual exercise buddy could be effective, so if you have a close friend who doesn’t live nearby, you can still hold each other accountable.

8: Treat Yourself

You don’t do all the hard work without reason. And you deserve to spoil yourself just so you can radiate even more. One, from achieving all that you wanted through hard work and continuity, and two, from treating yourself. Again, give yourself that pad on the back in smart ways and time frames. The 5 km runs should not be treated with a big box of candy or pizza. Go rather breezy, a weekend away at a Spa, a new outfit, a beautiful set of pens, whatever tickles your fancy and makes your eyes sparkle. Give yourself healthy rewards that do not oppose all that you have worked so hard for.

Now go get it, Lioness!

Saskia Naujok

Co-Founder of Sprinters loves motivating and inspiring people to become a better self. She lives in Berlin and loves to dance throughout the day.

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