1. Get an ‘accountability buddy’. This can be a coach, friend or co-worker. This should be someone who is willing and able to not let you slide by making stories and excuses and will check in with you. This person will also be available to listen and brainstorm with you when you are struggling. Make a regular scheduled time to check-in with your “coach” at least once a week.
2. Make agreements with yourself that you are willing and able to keep. If you hate going to the gym, don’t make your solution to losing weight going to the gym three times a week. Instead, find alternative ways to get in shape. Hire a personal trainer that comes to your home or you get a walking buddy to walk with you at lunch. If you make it more enjoyable you are much more likely to do it.
3. Make it realistic. Don’t set yourself up to fail, but don’t limit your potential either. It’s a fine balancing act, so be willing to make adjustments and renegotiate your agreements as needed.
4. Create personal practices that will help keep you on track and in alignment with your solutions. An example of a personal practice is: If you are usually late for meetings, you put the time for the meeting in your planner as a half an hour earlier than the actual time. If the meeting is scheduled for 9:30 a.m. you write that it’s scheduled for 9:00 a.m.
5. Eat that elephant one bite at a time. Take the bigger goal and chunk it down into goals you can meet within a month (WAM - Within A Month). Then chunk it down even further into goals that you can achieve within one week (WOW - Within One Week). This helps keeps the “overwhelm” to a minimum so you don’t choke on your elephant! As you achieve each weekly goal, you will be moving closer to your monthly goal. As you achieve each monthly goal, you are moving closer to your bigger goal.
6. Ask for help! Like it or not we are a tribal animal. If you were to interview the most successful people they would tell you that one of their secrets is they didn’t do it alone! People like to help so let them and return the favor.
7. Acknowledge and celebrate your accomplishments! This is an area that a lot of people skip and when it’s skipped it contributes greatly to getting discouraged and giving up. Research shows that encouragement and positive reinforcement goes much further than focusing on the negative.