Use This 4-Step Technique to Get Goals to Stick

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Are you good at setting goals? I am. Three or four times a year and always around New Year’s Eve I dutifully write down what I want to accomplish.

Drink more water? Yep, always on there. Exercise two to three times per week? That appears too.

Make money while I sleep? That’s the mega goal of all goals.

The problem is, it never sticks. I’ve read a bunch of articles on breaking down the goal,creating habits, setting triggers, and variable rewards, but inevitably, four months later, I’m back writing down the same goals and the same five-year plan.

Until now — I think I’ve finally found the secret to getting goal setting to stick.

I call it the Four R’s – rank, reduce, remember, reassess.

1. Rank (1 hour)

In order to achieve your goals you need to set priorities. This is the step that many goal-setting articles forget and it was the single biggest mistake I was making. My goal list had 11 things on it and I constantly felt like I was getting nowhere with any of them. This left me frustrated and unmotivated.

What you need to do:

  • Write down your goals
  • Rank them based on what is most important to you.

2. Reduce (30 minutes)

If you want to achieve your goals you need to reduce the goal-set down to two or three. It’s not that you will completely ignore the other things on your list, it’s just that you need to recognize that it’s physically (and mentally) impossible to chase after 11 things things at once!

What you need to do:

  • Review your prioritized goals
  • Mentally put all but the top two or three goals on the back-burner

3. Remember (5 minutes a day)

When you keep a prioritized goal list top of mind, you will become more effective at making the right decisions in the moment. Here’s an example. Let’s say you are offered a promotion but it means going from a 40-hour work week to a 60-hour work week. What should you do? By remembering your ranked goal list, the decision becomes easy. Is success or money your top priority? Then sure, take the job. Does reduced stress or family rank first? If yes, it’s probably not the right time.

What you need to do:

  • Set a reminder in your phone or create a daily calendar invite so that you take time every day to remind yourself of your goals and why they are a priority

4. Reassess (1 hour every 6 months)

Reassessing keeps you motivated and on track. In a busy life, priorities shift, goals get achieved, and new opportunities come into play. If you don’t take moment to assess how you’re doing, it can be easy to the let life make decisions for us.

What you need to do:

  • Every six months schedule some time to track your progress and reassess your list and priorities

Got other goal-achieving techniques that work? Share the love and leave them in the comments below.