Plan for success. No matter what. How to Hold Yourself Accountable

by Dawn Burns

The new year begins with new dreams, new ideas, and new resolutions. However, each year we often make promises to ourselves to lose weight, save money, break a bad habit or make drastic changes in our lives. But all too often, by mid-year, these goals are distant memories. Resolutions are sometimes unrealistic as our hopes and motivation level are at an all-time high when we choose to set them. If your goal doesn’t fit your mandatory lifestyle then they are less likely to be achieved. This year, instead of creating lofty resolutions, we encourage you to set specific, attainable goals. To achieve this, we should begin by setting up accountable actions to keep our plans on track. Here are four strategies to help improve your success:

Set Clear Resolutions

Instead of resolving to lose weight, set an actual number and have a definitive date for completion. Create an action plan of how you want to achieve your goal. If you’d like to lose a pound a week, adding minimal healthy habits to your lifestyle is a good way to start. Trading in your beverages for glasses of water, taking the stairs instead of the elevator, adding an extra run in each week. Try consistently adding to a food journal, as this is a sure way to help you stay on course. Overall, writing down your goal and your plan to succeed will not only give you a visual memory to remind yourself, but it will also do wonders for your own self-awareness.

Phone a Friend

Don’t keep your goals to yourself. Talking about your goals will help with laying out a plan. Tell your close friends or coworkers what you wish to achieve. Ask them to check in with you throughout your timeline to keep you accountable. Knowing that someone else is cheering you on not only holds you to your plan but will also push you to keep going. Another option is to find an online group with people who are doing the same. An online support group provides different perspectives along with the opportunity to learn from others. This forum allows you to ask questions and share your experience. Life is always better with like-minded friends.

Plan for Success

After you have set your goal and time frame, plan a few times throughout the year to assess your progress. At the end of each month or every other month, set aside the time to evaluate your progress and make accommodations or changes as you see fit. Evaluating your process points out the methods that are helping and hindering your success. You will be able to see the steps you’ve taken and adjust if needed.

Theres an App for That

Achieving goals is not easy, as we all know. So enlisted a few mobile apps that can help! My Fitness Pal is a weight management app that tracks calories, macros and more. It will help you establish healthy habits and read the progress. This app allows you to enter your daily consumptions, as well as record activity and water. Being able to see how many calories have been consumed and burned gives you a clear way to see how your hard work is paying off!

For goals relating to money, Mint is a beneficial resource. Mint gives you a complete analysis of your savings, transactions, and spending. You can easily understand your finances with graphs and charts. This app also gives you the ability to set bill reminders to ensure you won’t accumulate late fees.

Quit That is another app that gives you a visual reminder of quitting a bad habit. If you’re trying to stop an indulgent habit like biting your nails or mindlessly scrolling through social media, Quit That tracks how many days you’ve gone without succumbing to the habit. If the habit is one that has been costing you money, the app will show you how much you’ve saved by quitting.

Take time to audit your life and identify what areas need some fine tuning. Everyone’s lifestyle is different. Instead of using that as an excuse, see it as the opportunity to set personal, realistic, and obtainable goals. Create your goals to fit around your life and the process tends to be an easier transition setting you up for success. So try enlisting your friends and an app or two! Make 2019 the year that you accomplish your resolutions.