It’s a new year with new possibilities, my favorite time of year.

The way most people get excited about Christmas is the way I feel about a new year. The new ideas, goals, and possibility of change is invigorating. While yes, there are some people who feel it is their responsibility to be cynical or advocate for the devil, just ignore them. Ignore their jokes about how crowded the gym is. Ignore their jabs about previous failures, they are just miserable, and misery loves company. I want you to get excited about the opportunity you have to become more of the person you are dreaming about. So what if you tried in the past and failed, what’s the alternative — To remain the same?

We have all experienced the deflating feeling of failed resolutions, and the chances are good we will experience them again, but there is a way to improve your possibility of success. Over the years, while not perfect, I have accomplished a higher percentage of my goals using a simple formula I will give you, but first let me give two important tips to raise your chances of success. Also, I’ve provided a free “Goal Setting Cheat Sheet” for you to download for Free!

1. Have a compelling reason for success

This seems like a no-brainer, but your chances of success increase dramatically when you have a compelling reason to succeed. Sir Isaac Newton’s law of inertia says every object will remain at rest or in uniform motion in a straight line unless compelled to change its state by the action of an external force, in other words how it has been going, is how it will keep going unless a greater force causes change. Your compelling reason is your greater force. If you want to change because “it would be cool” or because “my friends have been trying this” the chances of you quitting are high. If you are trying to change because “your health is at risk,” or “because you want to be around to raise your kids” your chances of success are much higher. Narrow down your goals to those goals that give you compelling reasons to succeed.

2. Be specific

This is so important but usually missed. The more specific your goals, the higher your chance for success. A goal of “trying to be more positive” is a tough target to hit, and furthermore, how would you know you hit it? But if you changed your goal to give five compliments per day, you can track your progress and know when you accomplished your goal. Don’t set a goal to “run more, eat less, be nicer, spend less” be specific about it. Run 3 miles per week, only eat sugar two days per week, write 3 thank you notes per week, only use cash for purchases. You can’t be too specific; a moving target is tough to eat.

“If you aim at nothing, you’ll hit it every time” – Zig Ziglar

So now let me give you my simple formula to raise the success rate of your New Years resolutions. Are you ready?

Set short, medium, and long-term goals

That’s it. It’s so simple yet so underused. Here’s what I want you to do, think about the goals you want to accomplish this year and ask yourself how long it will take you to accomplish them? My guess is it will take you, at least, a couple of months. Most people want to lose 20 pounds, save $1000, etc., and those are great goals, but they take some time. The chances of you losing momentum and giving up before you achieve success is high, but not if you achieve success all along the way to your big goals. I set goals that can be completed in one week, one month, three months, six months, and 12 months. For example, if you set a goal to organize the garage, that can be done this week, and think about how accomplished you will feel, but all of us have set a simple goal like cleaning the garage at the beginning of the year, and it’s still undone by August. Make it a 1-week goal. I have a goal to save $10,000 this year, but it will take me all year, in the meantime, I want to read the first Harry Potter book to my daughter this month.

Sit down with your list of goals and figure out what goals can be accomplished in one week, one month, three months, six months, and 12 months. Don’t put off the simple goals, and all throughout the year you will gain momentum towards your big, long-term goals.

You can do it! I know you can. I’ve provided a “Goal Setting Cheat Sheet” as a Free Download to help you get started. I hope 2017 is your best year ever.

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