Do you have goals you’ve thought about for years but don’t seem to be getting any closer to? These tips, based on research by psychology professor Gail Matthews of Dominican University of California, may help.
1. Write your goals down. Getting the goals out of your head and onto a piece of paper (or a computer screen) is often the first step toward making them more real.
2. Tell someone your goals. Making a public commitment to your intentions—even if it’s just telling one person—strengthens your resolve and ability to reach your objectives.
3. Break goals into achievable actions. If your aim is to buy a house, for instance, start by breaking it down into steps like “decide what I can afford,” “get prequalified for a loan,” and “research three neighborhoods.” As you cross off each step, you’ll feel more confident, and that builds momentum.
4. Report your progress. Find an accountability partner, perhaps one of the people you’ve told about your goals. The role of this person (sometimes called an accountability buddy) is to receive regular updates from you about what you’ve done to move toward your goals.