5 Tips for Achieving Your Goals

by Jennifer Miller on January 20, 2011

in Personal Effectiveness

You need a process to hit your goals in 2011We’re now three weeks into a new year. Did you make any New Year’s Resolutions? How’s it going? Research suggests that by this time into a new year, nearly 30% of people have already fallen off the Resolution Bandwagon. Whether it’s living more healthily, resolving to improve your education, or establishing quarterly business objectives, one thing is sure: you want to hit your target, not be a resolution casualty.

I recently talked with Mary Dykstra, about setting yourself up for success. Mary’s a Certified Professional Organizer and nationally recognized expert on productivity.

One of Mary’s favorite quotes is,

“Vision without action is a daydream, action without vision is a nightmare.” 

She shares her thoughts below on how to turn a new year’s resolution (or any goal) into a reality.  Enjoy!

New Year Resolutions: Failure or Success – the Process is All Yours

by Mary Dykstra, MBA 


The New Year is a great time to create positive change and many people feel moved to make proclamations to themselves and others that this year is going to be different. Unfortunately, few succeed. According to studies, nearly 92% of New Year’s resolutions fail. Why? One reason is that people confuse outcome with process. A resolution is a desired outcome, not a defined process. Without a defined process, people put the success of achieving their resolution at risk.
Why do resolutions fail? Here are some of the most common roadblocks:

  • The resolution isn’t “SMART” (Specific, Measured, Achievable, Realistic, Timed)
  • No action plan for what steps are needed to be successful
  • No identification of the roadblocks/obstacles to overcome to be successful
  • The tendency to over commit and therefore set one’s self up to fail
  • Limited (or no) support from mentors, accountability partners, cheerleaders or advocates  


Putting Success Within Reach

5 Tips for Achieving Your Resolutions  

  1. Clarify your New Year resolution and create a plan with specific actions needed that are measurable and timed: you have to be able to define/answer the who, what, when, why, how of your goal.
  2. Make it easy to do even when you don’t want to do it: have the right tools in close proximity. For example- to alleviate paper clutter you need close at hand a paper shredder, and appropriate 2011 files. For fitness resolutions you need workout equipment or a fitness center that’s close and convenient.
  3. Be conscious about how much you can realistically commit to with success.
  4. Be aware of your self-talk –  it can help or sabotage your success.
  5. Set up an accountability system. Sometimes the road to change seems lonely and arduous. Selecting an accountability partner (a buddy, team, or outside mentor) to keep you engaged and committed to your goal(s) will help you stay the course. Choose your team or person wisely because at times you may have to rely on them for their strength and their belief in you to achieve your desired outcomes.


 Mary Dykstra, Owner, Within Reach Business Services

Mary Dykstra MBA, CPO, CRTS, the owner of Within Reach Business Services. She helps corporate, residential and entrepreneurial clients get organized for the long term. Contact Mary via email or 616-453-2976 to learn more

photo credit: istockphoto.com © 7nuit

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