By Vicki Pero, SPHR

As a new year begins, many people and organizations are focused on goal setting. Often, sometime in the first few months of the year, goals are modified or abandoned because we’ve fallen off track and achieving them seems out of reach. Instead of sharing a bunch of tips on how to set goals, here are a few strategies to help achieve them.

1: Write Down Your Goals.

Research has shown that simply writing down your goals will increase the likelihood of achievement by as much as 42 percent. There is something about putting goals to paper that increases accountability. It also offers a point of reference to go back to and refresh yourself on your commitments.

2: Don’t Try to Eat the Elephant in One Bite.

One of the biggest pitfalls people fall into when setting goals is making them extremely challenging, which sets us up for failure. If you set a goal to go to the gym every day, for example, the first day you are too busy, have a head cold, or some other life event, it’s no longer possible to achieve, and this can be self-defeating.

Set smaller, more attainable goals that will lead to the bigger achievement you are working toward. You will gain momentum as you go and increase the likelihood of achieving your bigger-picture objective.

3: Less is More.

On the theme of avoiding over-commitment, don’t set too many goals at one time. One to three goals strikes a good balance. Anything more than this dilutes focus and jeopardizes the chance you will complete any of them. If you’re not convinced, read “The Four Disciplines of Execution.”

4: Celebrate Successes.

Most of us are really good at beating ourselves up when we don’t achieve a goal, but move right on to the next thing when we have a success. Take a moment to recognize when you achieve a milestone or achieve a goal. Even identify a reward for yourself for when you achieve a goal and follow through when you succeed.

Think of these tips as building blocks in your strategy to achieve your goals. Using any one or any combination of them will help you to make sure 2019 is a success personally and professionally!

Vicki Pero, SPHR, is principal with Marlyn Group.