Having reached the end of the holiday season, the time has arrived to follow through on all of those resolutions, promises and goals you have committed to accomplishing. “Next year” has arrived and it’s time to take action.

Will this year be different than the others, where most of these things have faded from memory in a matter of weeks?

To increase the chances of success let’s review some tips and advice.

1. Have a written plan. – First things first, in order to follow through on your goals you have to create a plan and no plan seems to survive our memories for very long so write everything down. You’ve likely heard this advice many times and for good reason. It works!

We can think it all out, covering every conceivable angle, but when it comes time to execute there is always something that escapes us. Writing things out provides us with a solid guide to follow while reinforcing our thoughts so we don’t forget important elements.

2. Review your repeat goals. – If you have goals that are being repeated because they were not met, review the process and determine where things went wrong to avoid the same results. Addressing the downfalls of the past allows you to complete the goal once and for all.

3. Don’t take on too much. – Avoid setting yourself up for failure by taking on too many goals at once. It is easy to become overwhelmed and discouraged when you cannot successfully manage all that you want to, resulting in little if anything being accomplished.

Focus on one or two goals and see them through before moving on to others.

4. Review your plan and monitor your progress - Place your plan in a place where you can see it daily, preferably first thing in the morning. This serves as a great reminder and places a priority on the plan. Monitor your progress to stay on-track while keeping detailed notes of everything.

5. Consistently take action – This is where things often break down. The key to successfully reaching any goal is in taking consistent action. Whether you decide to do this daily or every other day, the important thing to remember is consistency. Following a haphazard schedule will get you nowhere near completion because you’ve made the goal a task of convenience.

You cannot work on this when it’s convenient to do so, or work 3 days then wait a week before doing more, that’s what we do with hobbies.

6. Stay inspired by focusing on the end results. – As we work our plan we sometimes second guess ourselves and wonder if what we are doing is really worth the effort. Focusing on the end results and rewards can serve as a great source of inspiration.

In Summary

Make those goals a reality by creating a plan, taking continual action and applying the proper follow through. With an eye toward the results, you’ll soon possess the ability to successfully obtain your dreams. Keeping yourself motivated makes the task so much easier.

Care to share your thoughts?

Please do so in the comments below.

Stay Productive!

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29 Responses to How to Follow Through on Your Goals

  1. Evelyn says:

    Hi Jimi,

    Perfect timing for this article!

    I wrote down some goals for this year, but I also got an idea from a friend to do a vision board (never done a vision board before). I did it and wow, is all I can say. Not only does writing down my goals help me stay on point, but seeing the goals in picture form on a board is very powerful too.

    Take care,

    Evelyn´s last blog post ..10 Important Keys to Become a Healthier You

  2. Dandy says:

    Hi Jimi,
    This was really helpful. Your tips are smart and thought provoking. For myself I need to analyse why I have the goals I have. Are they to make others happy or myself? I really like what you wrote about consistently take action. That’s it! Consistency will take us from habit to making a profound lifestyle change. Thanks for this post Jimi! You always seem to help me out!

    Dandy´s last blog post ..Kiss my muffin top- A study in self-image

    • Jimi Jones says:

      Hi Dandy.

      Reassessing goals and situations is a very healthy thing to do. Sometimes we will find that not much, if anything, needs to change but it provides a great opportunity to see just where we are along the path of life.

      You know, we can sometimes be too close to certain things to see them, so stepping back and having a look is a good thing. I’ve done this many times. I always say, never be afraid to make a change.

      I see my goals as personal and never craft them to make someone else happy. Those close to us will benefit from the fruits of our labor and we would not have it any other way, but I will never make someone else goal mine. We may end up with the same goal, but you have yours and I have mine. LOL

      consistency always seems to get the job done, no matter what we try to do. I think that is one of the differences between successful people and those who are not. Be willing to do what most others shy away from.

      I’m glad you these posts helpful and enlightening, makes writing them rewarding.

      Thanks, Dandy!
      Jimi Jones´s last blog post ..The Sunday Seven Weekly

  3. Jimi,

    You, of course, have the subject of goals nailed. I think you hit everything important there is to say about reaching in achieving your goals. Having distinct goals and a written plan rather than just a loose collection of hopes desires and dreams is essential to becoming a success.

    Great list and awesome steps. With reasonable goals in a well-defined action plan we shall all achieve our desires for 2011. :)
    Steve@Lifestyle Design´s last blog post ..42 Internet Lifestyle Success Habits to Develop in 2011

    • Jimi Jones says:

      Hey Steve,

      merging good habits and good goals is a recipe for success and I truly feel that we will make 2011 a really fine year.

      As much as I love the holiday season, I am happy it is over so we can get down to the brass tacks of creating something worthwhile.

      I’ve seen a level of excitement that is wide-spread, something that has been missing for a number of years now. People everywhere are pumped, which means we had best get busy.

      Thanks for the comment.
      Jimi Jones´s last blog post ..How to Follow Through on Your Goals

  4. Gordie says:

    It’s also good to write our goals in the present tense as if we’ve already achieved them. This stimulates the subconscious into directing our behavior to follow through.
    Gordie´s last blog post ..Live a Healthier Life in 21 Days Challenge 21DHL- Days 1-3

  5. Tristan says:

    Great post, Jimi. For me, monitoring my progress is the single best thing I’ve done to help achieve my goals. And a close second is telling people about the goals so that there is some accountability there.

    I’m super pysched about 2011! I hope all of our hard work pays off this year :D
    Tristan´s last blog post ..How to Turn a Lousy Blog Headline into a Great One

  6. Steve Youngs says:

    Hey Jimi!

    All great points. I think for me, the stand out one is #5. Without action you have nothing.

    Kind regards,
    Steve Youngs´s last blog post ..SYcom Stats — December 2010

  7. Ching Ya says:

    #2 & #3 speaks to me the most. I think I do have a few repeated goals that I need to improve, one of the most struggling part is exercise. Due to weather condition, I had quit my evening jog for the whole December and I know it’s not an excuse to drop that habit. As for #3, I learned it from the hard way so no more this year. I will be focusing on more important matters, no more lengthy resolution list that overwhelms me when I look at the un-attended tasks. :-)

    Thanks for the heads up, much needed.

    Social/Blogging Tracker
    Ching Ya´s last blog post ..14 Facebook Applications to Encourage Fans Engagement in 2011

    • Jimi Jones says:

      Happy New year, Ching Ya!

      Aha, the ole exercise routine. I know what you mean there, I’m not so good at that one myself. :-)

      I could write a book on #3, I too had to learn that one the hard way. It’s not a good feeling at all, finding yourself overwhelmed by commitments we freely made. Sometimes things look easy and we think we can get it done, but the cumulative effect of all that goes on in life makes many things tough to get done. I guard my time now like it were a bank vault. LOL

      Focusing on what matters most is without a doubt, the thing to do.

      Good to see you.
      Jimi Jones´s last blog post ..Are You Just Drifting Through Life

  8. Hi Jimi,
    This is a very interesting post to start the year. I usually take down notes and keep lists on what I want to achieve in a month. At the first week of 2011, I’ve written down goals for 2011, but I don’t expect everything will go smoothly. I agree with your last point – Staying inspired by focusing on the end results. When we get tired of doing something (like working), we tend to give up and complain, but if we think about why we are doing it (to have money, have fun with family during weekends), we stay inspired and go on finishing our work each day. Thanks for sharing!
    Johanna @ GIJoh.com´s last blog post ..URL Shorteners and their Security Issues

    • Jimi Jones says:

      Hello and welcome, Johanna!

      I agree with your approach, taking notes and writing things down is the first critical step to getting things done. Having attempted so many things in the past without writing them down proved to me that it just doesn’t work that way, at least for me. :-)

      Looking ahead to finishing up a project or task and visualizing the results / rewards of doing so is a great motivator.

      Thanks for visiting and I wish you well with your goals for this year. :-)
      Jimi Jones´s last blog post ..The Sunday Seven Weekly

  9. Hi Jimi,

    I just wrote a different kind of post on why people don’t follow through on meeting New Year’s goals and objectives based on an article I recently ready by a British Professor. I think the biggest reason people don’t accomplish their goals is because they don’t give themselves a deadline. If I say I want to lose 20 pounds in 2011 but don’t set a “by this date”, then I may keep lingering throughout the year trying to make that goal and eventually give up. If I set a target date, then I will be more inclined to work hard to meet that objective.

    Just my thoughts. Glad I found you through Mitch.
    Beverly Mahone´s last blog post ..New Year Old Ways

    • Jimi Jones says:

      Hi Beverly and welcome!

      You’ve nailed it, open-ended goals are really little more than wish-list items. We must place some time frame on it to have a realistic chance at succeeding. As you’ve said, setting a date is committing to getting it done and not just hoping it will happen this year. MAKE it happen!

      Thanks for visiting, nice to connect with you.
      Jimi Jones´s last blog post ..Are You Just Drifting Through Life

  10. greg urbano says:

    step one is the heardest for me because i like to “wing it” although my best blogging success so far (my wordpress blog and current domain name) came from writing down the plan and brainstorming on paper, so i am my own worst enemy here, write it down ! … write it down!!!
    greg urbano´s last blog post ..Seminole Indians Attack!

    • Jimi Jones says:

      Hello Greg, welcome to my little corner of the world. :-)

      There is a certain level of comfort in winging it, but only because we’ve escaped the actual planning. I once followed the same model but soon realized that I needed more structure to keep me organized and motivated to get things done.

      There is just something about writing things down that reinforces what you should be doing. Makes you feel more committed to the goals.

      Thanks for visiting!
      Jimi Jones´s last blog post ..How to Beat the Blues When They Arrive

  11. Less is more because less is better… more focused… and effective

    Can’t emphasize enough how crucial it is to schedule less tasks (I now have max. 4 a day) and less projects a month ( my limit is two!)

    I keep my daily journal with me and strive to write inside every night before I put the head on the pillow and jump out of bed at 5 AM as Robin Sharma taught me.

    What about you guys, when do you start your day and how do you make sure you follow through?
    Codrut Turcanu´s last blog post ..Hapiness VS Financial Gains I Lessons from 20-year Study for Authors and not only

    • Jimi Jones says:

      Hi Codrut

      My day starts around 5:00am as well and like you, I keep a journal. Actually it’s a spiral notebook. LOL
      But this low-tech approach works like a charm for me.

      Without this, I’m subject to get off course or forget something that really needs attention.

      Thanks for visiting, see you around soon.
      Jimi Jones´s last blog post ..How to Follow Through on Your Goals

  12. I wrote my resolutions down this year Jimi, the first time for about 5/6 years. :roll: I didn’t publish until 31st December because I was worried about your point #3, taking on too much and setting myself up for failure.

    Now I’ve committed myself I can just get on and do it. I have measurable targets for each day and week that I record, to keep myself on track.

    I’m 6 days in and still on target. :lol:

    Wishing you a happy and prosperous New Year Jimi. 8)

    Leamington Spa, England
    John McNally@Blogging for Pleasure and Profit´s last blog post ..New Year’s Resolutions

  13. Hey Jimi,

    These are definitely all sound advice. I agree that you must set a plan to achieve your goals and new year resolutions. I just got done writing out my plan yesterday, and it’s definitely a great way to put all of those actionable steps into memory. A plan also acts as a guide – so that you make sure you complete all of the steps on the list.

    However, creating a plan isn’t enough. As you mentioned, you also need to take action. Creating a plan without action is just a lot of wasted effort. You need to execute that plan and motivate yourself to do so by focusing on the end result and reading case studies of people who already did what you’re setting out to do. You can even motivate yourself by tacking up an inspirational quote or image that touches you and helps to keep you going.

    Great tips,

    Christina Crowe´s last blog post ..6 Questions- 6 Answers – Happy New Year!

    • Jimi Jones says:

      Hello Christina.

      There really is something about writing out those plans that makes the magic happen. :-)

      Sounds like you’ve gotten off to a great start for 2011 and I wish you well.

      I definitely believe in keeping your plans or goals somewhere that is regularly visible. Otherwise we run the risk of getting caught up in other things that life throws our way and they may begin to fade from memory and no action is being performed. Seen that movie before. :-)

      After continually working on something, a little bit daily as a minimum, you look forward to getting back to the task. That’s how things get done.

      Thanks for your nice comment.

      Stay awesome!
      Jimi Jones´s last blog post ..When Bloggers Unite Creativity Results

  14. Solid info, as usual, Jimi. I’m working on a post for my goals and an action plan is in place. Excited for the near year.
    Alison Moore Smith´s last blog post ..My Bold Prediction for 2011

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