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Service Journalism: Ways to stick to your goals and stay motivated in 2018

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At the beginning of every year, thousands of people set goals for themselves. Often times, they pick common resolutions that, “they know they aren’t gonna keep anyway,” and end up abandoning them a week or two into the new year.

Well, this year, you can come up with a resolution and stick to it! Try some of the following tips to find what works for you, and get your resolutions started.

Break it down:

The common resolutions that come up every year are often too general or very vague. Goals like, “lose weight,” “learn a new skill or hobby,” or “eat healthier,” are not very concrete. This is one of the reasons people tend to break their goals—they don’t know how to start, or how to continue.

Try breaking down the goal into steps that can be accomplished much easier than the overall goal itself. “Lose weight,” for example, can be broken down into “exercise daily,” while “learn a new skill a hobby,” can be simplified to, “research/get equipment for a new skill or hobby.”

Lewis Howes, former professional Arena League football player, in his Forbes article, Why Thinking Small Is The Secret To Big Success, encourages setting smaller goals in order to help you build momentum and confidence as you go, in order to help you build the belief that you can accomplish goals.

Ask a friend:

Having a good friend around can be helpful in more ways than one! You and your friend can agree to remind each other to do something that the other may forget, or you can prevent each other from doing things you aren’t supposed to. Most importantly, you can motivate and cheer each other on when needed.

Keep it to yourself:

Alternatively, you may want to consider keeping your goals away from prying eyes. A study from New York University (NYU) claims that sharing your goals with other people can actually prevent you from accomplishing them, due to the satisfaction you get from having someone acknowledge your goal in the first place. This satisfaction may actually cause your brain to think that the goal has already been accomplished, and leave you feeling less motivated to actually complete your resolution.

Keep track of your progress:

It may not work for everyone, but some people are more motivated when they can see how much they have progressed toward the completion of a task. Try downloading an app that can be used to log and/or record your progress.

If a physical log of your progress works better for you, or  want a creative way of recording your development, try journaling. With a personal journal, try making a page or a section dedicated to tracking your progress towards completing your goal.

Offer yourself incentives:

One way to keep motivated is to reward yourself every time you complete one of your goals. Sometimes, you may not feel up to completing—or starting—a task that needs to be done. When it comes to these moments, try to think of an incentive that can help you push through. Try something along the lines of, “if I finish one more chapter, I can add five more minutes to my break,”or, “if I start this now, I can do that after.”

Stay positive:

Chances are, you won’t see results right away, but that’s absolutely normal. You shouldn’t let that discourage you from completing your goal!

You may even find that after a certain amount of improvement you suddenly hit a wall and find that you can’t seem to improve any further. Don’t be disheartened by this, either. Again, this is normal. Instead of using this plateau as a sign that you can’t go on, use it as a sign to take a break from your goal and come back even stronger!

Take the time away from your goal to come up with ways to get over that wall and push forward.

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