GOAL Gameplan

There are about 100 days left in 2019.

Pools are closing. Store clerks are stocking Halloween candy along their aisles. As the amount of daylight dwindles, so too does the time we have to accomplish the goals we set for 2019.

Can you guess when there is a peak in goal setting? You got it — January. That’s when New Year’s resolutions are hot and people are brimming with confidence about the “new them” they plan to build. But the reality is that some studies suggest only 8% of Americans actualize their New Year’s resolutions.

Disappointing? Yes. Hopeless? Not at all.

Whether you want to lose weight, build wealth, read more, or watch less TV, it’s not too late to get back on track. As we head down the home stretch of 2019, I want to share three simple ideas that can reignite the energy you had during the beginning of the year and put the odds of achieving your goal in your favor.

1. Define Your “Why”

It’s incredibly difficult to justify the hard work required to achieve goals without an underlying purpose. Simply saying “I want to do X” will almost always fizzle out after a few weeks.

Instead, tell yourself, I need to do this for/because [insert person or cause]. This will carry you through the pits and valleys along the way.

If you want a deeper dive into the importance of defining your “why,” Simon Sinek’s book Start With Why is a must-read. You can also check out his wildly popular TED Talk.

2. Bombard Yourself With Reminders

Post-It notes might be obsolete, but they’re one of the most useful tools to keep you focused on your goals. Write your goals on them and stick them on your bathroom mirror. Every morning when you brush your teeth, stare at them and think about what steps you can take that day to accomplish them.

Of course, this isn’t the only way to keep your goals top of mind. You can change your phone’s screensaver, set a daily reminder on your phone, or even download an app like Habitica. The options are endless, but your time isn’t.

3. Make a Bet

Let’s say you want to lose ten pounds by the end of the year. Find someone who will hold you accountable and say, “If I don’t lose ten pounds by December 31, I owe you $500 (or whatever amount you choose.)

Economist Dean Karlan found that the success rate of goal achievement with nothing at stake is a mere 33.5%. However, when someone puts money on the line, that success rate jumps to 72.8%.

100 days. 2,400 hours. That’s more than enough time to make a dent in whatever goal you have (or had) your eyes set on. Now, get to work. We’ll check back with you in December.

PJ McDaniel