How many times have you made a goal, only to not achieve it?
If you’re like most of us, it’s a lot of times. In fact, most of us create goals only to let them go within weeks of their start. But this year can be different.
Dr. Gail Matthews, a psychology professor at Dominican University in California, set out to find out what’s the best way to stick to goals. She recruited 267 students and broke them into 5 groups:
- Group 1: They were asked to think about goals they hoped to achieve within a 4 week period
- Group 2 to 5: These groups were asked to write down their goals
- Group 3: In addition to writing down their goals, they were also asked to write action commitments for each goal. (Smaller steps that would help to achieve the goal.)
- Group 4: Had to write down their goals, break them down into action commitments and also share those commitments with a friend.
- Group 5: Had to do everything Group 4 had to do plus they had to send weekly updates on their progress to their friends
And the results? Of those completing the study, less than half of Group 1 had completed any goal or was half-way towards completing the goal.
- 62% of Group 4 accomplished their goals or were at least half way there!
- 76% of Group 5 accomplished their goals or were at least half way there!
What does that tell you?
- Write down your goals. Break them up into actionable commitments.
- Share your goals with a friend to help keep you on task.
And to get you off to a great start with your healthy habit goals, download our goal tracker tool below. Start with 3 goals (too many can be overwhelming and not achievable at one time) and 2 action items for each goal. For example, if your goal is to eat healthier this year, your action items might be to bring lunch to work 4 days a week and to spend two hours planning weekly snacks/dinners every Sunday. Before you know it, you’ll be in a healthier and happier groove!