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Five Ways to Stick with Your Goals

Updated: Sep 15, 2022

Three runners at finish line of race with hands in the air

Some say that each day is a new start. A lot of the time, people set plans to achieve a goal they have, but forget to follow through. Whatever your goal may be, here are five ways to stick with it.


#1: Break one big goal into several sub-goals

A well-known motivation hack in psychology is to take a huge task and divide it into smaller parts. Want to write a 60,000-word novel? Start out with the goal of deciding on the setting and a few main characters first, then move on to other characters, then write a few thousand words or a page or whatever.

#2: Make use of reminders

If you have a smartphone, it likely comes with a clock/stopwatch/alarm app. I initially used this for things like remembering to pay bills or clean my apartment, but eventually those became habits. You can use this app to set reminders to take the same time each day to work on your resolution.

#3: Be consistent

I’ll say it again: “eventually those became habits”. Consistently doing something at a particular time ingrains it into your brain. This works whether it’s going to bed, waking up, leaving for work in the morning, taking a break to recharge, or anything else you can think of...including your resolution’s sub-goals.

#4: Treat yourself to post-milestone rewards

If you spend all your time working on something, you’ll eventually hit burnout. You can avert this by taking a break after you hit a milestone. Giving yourself a reward will serve to both take your mind off it so you can recharge, and positively reinforce your quest to stick to your resolution.

#5: Be flexible

Rewards will positively reinforce your resolution. It might seem like a good idea to add a little stick to the carrot, but it can actually be counterproductive. If you aren’t able to have your chunk goal du jour met by 3:00 today, moving it up is fine. Missing a day isn’t the end of the world.

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