Setting & Keeping Goals


OK, so it’s now February. How are your New Year’s Resolutions going? If you’re anything like me, it’s time to review.

How do we ensure that the goals we set will be accomplished? What techniques or tips can aid us in our journey of growth and progress? I have some ideas for you. Below are some tips that can help you stay on track for your goals.

1. Write out your goals. *Dr. Gail Matthews, a psychology professor at Dominican University in California did a study with 247 participants on goal-setting. The results: people are 42% more likely to achieve their goals, just by writing them down. It is motivating, clarifying and keeps you on focus to write out what you want to accomplish.

2. Get help. If you think you can white-knuckle it this time, after trying many times to accomplish that same goal, you are wrong. Call a professional in the area that you are interested in working on. For example, get a personal trainer, if you are determined to get more healthy. Consult with a financial expert if you are serious about improving your finances. Attend a class if you want to learn another language. It provides insight and accountability to get help. If you want to be a better parent, seek help from a counselor. Call me!

3. Keep it in front of you. I have a goal in my life that I’ve struggled with for many years. This year, I decided to write some notes to myself, on my cell phone’s calendar feature. Little positive reminders of my 2 main goals. Every hour, my phone beeps, and when I look at it, I think, “Oh yeah. That’s right. That’s true.” It truly helps me stay focused.

4. Make sure your goals are attainable. I know a few people who have run marathons. They trained for a year to prepare. If you think you’re going to run your marathon next month, and you haven’t been training for the past 10, you could seriously hurt yourself. If you are trying to lose 10 pounds a week, that is overboard. Losing 2 pounds a week is recommended by most experts as a healthy weight loss goal.

5. Review. Check in with yourself, or better, an accountability person in your life, on a weekly or monthly basis. Ask, “How am I doing?” and “What’s my next step?” Is it time to revise the goal? What worked? What didn’t work? What adjustments need to be made?

6. Celebrate the small changes! If you have a goal to lose 104 pounds this year (2 pounds/week), celebrate in a healthy way, each time you lose 2 pounds in that week. For example, maybe you could visit that museum you haven’t seen in many years. Maybe you could have a salad lunch with a friend, or see that one movie you love again. Perhaps treat yourself to a nice hot bubble-bath or take time for painting.

I want to help you set some attainable goals, and help you stay on track. Won’t you call me, to get more information about how we can best work together to achieve your goals in 2014?

I would love to serve you.
Faith Gallup, LCSW

*Source:, Article titled, “5 Reasons Why you Should Commit Your Goals to Writing,” 2014.

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