According to research, January 14th is the cut-off. Meaning, most people start breaking their goals then. If your goal is to get fit, you stop going to the gym; if your goal is to lose weight, you go on the ice cream binge, etc.. A gentlemen shared stats yesterday saying that only 20% of Americans set goals, and of those, 70% of those that set goals don't reach them.
So what can we do to not only get stuff down on paper, but to make those goals work? I have three simple suggestions.
1.) Reflection. Personally, I believe that the number one reason so many of us crash on our goals is that we don't have a daily habit of reflecting on those goals, or on the vision that created those goals. Michael Jackson, when making Thriller (one of the most successful records of all time), had the whole album planned out meticulously on sticky notes that he put all over his bathroom mirror. Without such a reset button for the mind, it's easy to get caught up in the thick of thin things.
2.) Failing to break down a goal into its necessary pieces. Let's say one of your goals is to lose 50 pounds. Well, 50 pounds is a lot. Chances are you'll work like crazy for two weeks, hit the scale, and see that you've only lost 1 to 3 pounds, and lose hope. Reach for those big goals, but make sure you know what the sign posts for progress are along the way. Ex: In "x" months I should have lost "y" pounds to reach my goal by "z" date.
3.) Celebrate the small victories. Jack Welch, former CEO of General Electric, and widely regarded as one of the best CEO's ever, stated that the failure to celebrate victories is one of the reasons for stagnant workplaces. It also lends the same feeling in personal life. Really, one should celebrate when they only lose a few pounds - you did it! You're that much closer to your goal! Doing so dumps the hormones that further motivate you to keep on keeping on.
If you haven't written down your dreams yet, do it. New Year's is just a nice time that we focus on this, when really there is no time limit to writing down and crafting a plan for our life. Create the map that'll govern you life. Live a proactive, not a reactive, life.