9 Sure Fire Ways To Achieve Your Goals

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Want some sure-fire ways to achieve your goals this year?  Look no further!

Now, I would say I have a pretty good goal achievement track record on the whole.
In the last couple of years I’ve:
There have also been goals that I’ve failed to achieve.
For example, I took up running a few years ago as I’d always wanted to run the Great North Run.  I did OK with it right up until the race finished.  Now I doubt I could run to the end of the road!!
So, how do you stay on track when the initial excitement of setting a goal has worn off?
Read on for my 9 top ways of ensuring you rock your goals this year!
9 sure-fire ways to achieve your goals


For an even more in-depth guide grab your copy of the free e-book ‘Make It Happen’. The book covers goal-setting and overcoming fears.  It also has specific sections on fitness, relationship, career and travel goals.



Go Small & Specific

It’s far better to set one goal rather than have multiple, broad ones.  Also, try to focus on a goal that you really want to achieve.  Don’t go along with what everyone else is doing or the current trend.
When you are thinking about your goal, be realistic about the time you have.  
For example, ask yourself if your goal of spending an hour in the gym 6 days a week is realistic. Particularly if you have a full-time job and/or a young family.
That said, there may be some mileage in doing something intensively for a short period.  The Washington Post mentioned a study which demonstrated this can bring about habit change.  
So if you can manage the gym for 6 days a week for a month, it could lead to you going more often in the future.
A mistake a lot of people make when setting goals is to leave them vague.  So for example, sticking with health and fitness aims – maybe you have a goal of losing 3 stone in 6 months.
This goal is too vague.  It doesn’t have any information about how you are going to lose the weight and when.  It’s OK to have this as an aspiration but you need to break it down into smaller steps.  
For example, you could set a goal of sticking to a certain amount of calories each day for the next month.  And you could plan to go to the gym for an hour on a Monday, Wednesday and Saturday.  These are smaller, more achievable and measurable goals. 
Add a few of these together one after the other and you will be well on your way to achieving your larger aim.
I’m sure you have heard about setting SMART goals?  Check out this guide to how to make your goals SMART.

Find Your ‘Whys’

 find your whys
Photo by Emily Morter on Unsplash
If you don’t have firm reasons for why you want to reach your goal, you are unlikely to find the commitment to achieve it.  This is another reason for not going with the latest trend.
Write a list of your ‘whys’ for achieving your goal.  Keep this list somewhere safe to refer to when your enthusiasm is waning.
I did this when I signed up to take a 90-day break from alcohol in December 2017.  
My ‘whys’ were that I:
  • Didn’t want to be hungover anymore
  • Wanted to have more energy
  • Wanted to feel less anxious and irritable
  • Needed to lose my ‘wine belly’
  • Needed to sleep better
  • Didn’t like the feeling that wine was controlling me and wanted to reverse this
When the initial euphoria of signing up to the challenge had worn off (about a fortnight in) I referred back to my whys many times.   
They reminded me of why I was doing the challenge.  I would then go off and find something different to do instead of having a drink. (And yes, I had prepared a list of alternative things I could do in advance).

Want some more help with reaching your goals?  As a certified life coach I would love to help you 1:1. Book your Power Hour call right now!


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Make A Plan

So now you have your SMART goal, the next step is to plan when you are going to do what to achieve it.
One thing I’ve used to good effect has been to use a planner. 
There are tons of ready-made planners to choose from.    Check out this beautiful selection at Paperchase for example.
At the beginning of each month, I write down my goals for that month.  Then I plan what I’m going to work on each week.  From this, I break it down even further into daily to-do lists.
The key really is in the daily to-do list.   If you can achieve what is on the list consistently (and celebrate those small wins) then you will succeed.

Make Yourself Accountable

woman with megaphonePhoto by Clem Onojeghuo on Unsplash

Making a public declaration can be a very helpful way of achieving your goal.  You can do this with friends and family.  You can even go one step further and join some Facebook groups and declare your intentions there.
I’ve done this a couple of times, both with the weight loss goal and the alcohol-free goal.  Taking part in Facebook group discussions has led to me not wanting to ‘let the group down’ on both occasions!  
I’ve also found paying money for something or getting sponsored to be motivating factors.  I realise that the paying money thing doesn’t work for everyone though. (80% of people with gym memberships don’t actually go…)
Another way to make yourself accountable is through finding a ‘buddy’.  Research indicates that you are more likely to succeed if you do this.  Check out this article for why exercise is better with a buddy

Don’t Rely On Willpower

Willpower alone doesn’t work.  It’s like a muscle so it gets tired.  It’s no coincidence that many people find it easier to exercise in the morning than in the evening.  This is because willpower declines as the day goes on.
Think about it.  You’ve used your willpower throughout the day to choose healthy food options and to not lose your cool with that irritating person at work.  By the end of the working day, you are more likely to drive straight home and put your PJs on rather than hitting the gym!
Rather than relying on willpower, try to make allowances and plans for when you know it will be lower.  
Plan alternative strategies.
So, for example, try to plan to work on your goal at times of the day when you know you are at your most committed and productive.  
If you know that you are more likely to cave on the food front after a stressful day at work, don’t plan meals out in the evening.  Make a lunch date for the weekend instead.

Don’t Give Up

The moment you’re about to quit is the moment right before the miracle happens. Don’t give up.  Anonymous
I love this quote and keep it in mind whenever I feeling like giving up.  I’ll tell myself that success could be around the corner and if I give up then I’ll never know if I could have been successful!
I also find these stories of famous people who didn’t give up incredibly inspirational.
There are many inspiring quotes on this topic.  Here are a couple more!
One of the most common causes of failure is the habit of quitting when one is overtaken by temporary defeat.  Napoleon Hill
97% of the people who quit too soon are employed by the 3% that never gave up.  Daymond John
It’s always too early to quit.  Anonymous
Don’t expect immediate results, remember new habits take time to form.  
Consistency over a period of time is best.

Track Your Progress


person writing on notepad
Photo by Cathryn Lavery on Unsplash
Another great way to achieve your goals is to track your progress.  I have another page in my planner where I track what I’ve achieved each week and month.  I also like to draw a line through each item on my goals list as I achieve it.
If there are things that I haven’t achieved I take time to consider why this was.  I then plan what I might do differently next month.  (This doesn’t happen all that often as I tend to underestimate what I will be able to achieve, which is a whole other topic :-D)
It’s also important to take the time to reward yourself.  Celebrate small wins by doing something you enjoy.

Find Out Your Tendencies

Gretchen Rubin’s 4 Tendencies Framework is a useful tool to discover the best ways to achieve your goals  You can find out which of the 4 tendencies (upholder, questioner, obliger or rebel) apply to you by taking this short quiz.  
It turns out that I’m a questioner.  
what do you mean
This means I can suffer from ‘analysis paralysis’.  I’ve definitely noticed this with the goal of setting up and running my blog.   Sometimes I need to tell myself to start instead of signing up for yet another course!   

Allow For Slip-Ups

Realise that you will have ups and downs.   Build some wriggle room into your goal setting to allow for this.  
So for example, if you have a goal of exercising 4 times a week, if you miss the odd time then don’t beat yourself up.   
Celebrate the fact that you did do some exercise this week. Then re-focus on getting the 4 sessions in during the next 7 days.  
Treat failure as an opportunity to learn and to do better next time.
Another tactic is to see achieving your goal as skill development.  Accept that there is a process for learning new skills.   
Think back to a time when you learnt a new skill before, for example driving. You made mistakes didn’t you?
If the ‘primitive brain’ does take over, you may find the cake or the drink in your hand.  Put it down.  You don’t have to actually consume it!   Then take a minute to assess why you have wavered, learn from it and keep moving forward.
I hope that you will find these 9 ways of achieving your goals helpful.   If you would like a more in-depth guide to goal setting then don’t forget to grab the free e-book ‘Make It Happen’
This book is awesome and could really help sky-rocket your goals this year.
Related posts with yet more ways to achieve your goals:
Finally, what better way to achieve your goals than by making yourself accountable right now. Tell me your current goals in the comments section! 👇👇👇

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  1. Geraldine

    Ah this is great Alison!! I’m actually working to carry out some of my new year’s resolution out, one being starting a “portfolio” for my artwork and hopefully creating my own business someday. I try to set small goals for myself and try to make a plan of what I want to do. That’s definitely still a WIP but I hope to get there too!! 😄

    1. Alison

      Sounds like a great goal Geraldine! Good luck, I look forward to hearing all about your successes in 2019!

  2. Chloe Chats

    Great tips, I want to try and stick to my goals this year! I definitely agree that it’s good to track and write things down, I feel like when I write what I’ve achieved down it makes me feel good too, because sometimes you don’t realise how much you’ve actually achieved until you see it all written down. Small goals is definitely good to do too! Thank you for sharing 🙂

    Chloe xx

    1. Alison

      This is true Chloe, can’t beat writing stuff down. I have planning apps and things on my phone, but still love my pen and paper!

  3. Lavrax Rinc

    I normally do “month” resolutions rather than new years! But I find that going small and specific, as well as holding myself accountable are the best tricks for me personally. I also think writing them down helps a lot!

    1. Alison

      There’s definitely a theme emerging around the effectiveness of writing them down here 🙂

  4. Oluchi

    Oh this is very helpful. I think the points that struck the most chord with me are the finding the whys for the plans and not relying on will power! Those two will change a lot for my resolutions this year.

    1. Alison

      I’m glad you found the post helpful 🙂 I only learned about the willpower thing recently too, it definitely makes sense!

  5. Jessica

    I absolutely loved reading this post. I do set myself yearly goals but I do also set myself little goals throughout the year too. I find these easier to achieve so I always feel good because I have at least reached a few of the goals even if I don’t reach all my yearly ones. Writing down ”whys” I feel is a great way to stick to reaching goals, I feel like that would really keep me in focus whenever I may lose focus xx

    1. Alison

      Thanks Jessica, glad you enjoyed the post 🙂 I definitely recommend the ‘whys’ thing. I only learned about that last year and it helped so much with my alcohol-free goal that I apply it to all my other goals now. Good luck with your goals in 2019!

  6. Abby Heird

    You are seriously someone I looks up to, Alison!! You really seem to have it together. You always have great advice. All of this will be so helpful to me. Especially the “Whys” that is my favorite thing to think about and it definitely helps me keep going when I don’t really want to. Thank you!💗

    1. Alison

      Thanks Abby, not sure my hubby would agree that I always have it together 😀 I’ve found the whys thing really useful, I definitely recommend jotting them down x

  7. Kevin

    Very powerful stuff!

    I love how you made these actionable, and bite sized morsels!

    I’m looking forward to the e-book!

  8. Ellie

    I definitely need to start planning more and focusing on my goals! Lots of amazing tips here x

    1. Alison

      Planning definitely helps and it doesn’t have to take ages either! Good luck with your goals 🙂

  9. Savannah

    These are great tips! Thank you so much for sharing your personal experience and goals and how you accomplished them.

  10. Miranda

    Awesome post on goals! I love how you break everything down and show how to make goal setting a process. I love setting and achieving goals. Thanks for sharing and blessings to you on your journey.

    1. Alison

      Thanks, Miranda, glad you liked the post. I wish you well in achieving your goals this year 🙂

  11. Alexx

    Love these! It’s really good to have why’s and a plan instead of just a list of things you want to achieve!

  12. Erin

    This is very useful! I love the idea of remembering your ‘whys’. That’s so important and I often feel it’s forgotten. Love your tips, great article!

    1. Alison

      Thanks Erin, quite a few people have said the same! It can make so much difference when you remind yourself why you are doing something 🙂

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