It’s January & gyms around the country are full. Full of promise, hope and intention. Like many, I ate so much ham and so much cheese over the Christmas period, I could almost toast myself. Come early January, I dragged myself back to the gym with all the other toasted sandwiches.

I have been a gym regular now for about 2 years, I know the drill. I need to just get through January. In January, the gyms are busy. I need to wait for equipment and queue for the treadmill. But I just need to be patient and wait it out. Once we hit the end of February, the numbers tend to thin out (no pun intended). The motivation and promise of the new year’s resolution have worn off. Losing a few kilos in 2018 can wait. After all, we still have 10 months to do that!

Why does it always happen this way? Quit smoking, start a new business, lose some weight. Why do so many goals set in early January go unfulfilled by late December?

Let’s look at some ways to beat the odds and make it happen.

Creating the right goals


Commonly attributed to Peter Drucker is the acronym SMART goals. This is a great way to frame your goals to make them achievable for the coming year. According to Drucker, your goals should be:

S – Specific: What is it that you want to achieve?

M – Measurable: By how much? Or by how many?

A – Achievable: Is this goal a realistic objective given my time and resources?

R – Relevant: Does this goal align with my core values?

T – Timely: By what time do I want to achieve this goal?

Using this formula, a common goal of “losing weight” becomes… Lose 10kg by March 31. Or “make more money” becomes… Earn $10k per month by June 30.

These goals are now specific, measurable and have a deadline for you to achieve them. This is giving you two vital ingredients – focus and direction.

Making goals work


No action, no chance

I went to a networking event last year. The speaker at the event suggested that in order to achieve goals, I should simply write them on a piece of paper and pop them on the fridge. Visualising them each morning as I grab for the milk.

Whilst writing down your goals is excellent advice, the speaker in question didn’t emphasise the need for action to make your goals happen. Without specific, indented action, my piece of paper was essentially worthless.

Once you identify your goals, you need to identify the key steps and actions required to achieve them. Keeping with the Lose 10kg by March 31st goal, what are the key steps needed to make this happen? How many times do I need to do those steps? Your goal needs an action plan, processes in place to make it happen. So now it looks like this…

Goal: Lose 10kg by March 31
Process: Go to the gym in the morning 3 times per week for 45 minutes

Your calendar, your friend

Now you have your steps required, you need to make some dates with yourself. You need to book off time in your calendar and stick to it. No excuses. Don’t let other people’s goals and schedules get in the way of yours. Be selfish!

Make it a habit

Now you have your action steps, try to form habits around them. If one of your action steps is going to the gym in the morning, set an alarm. Put your gear out the night before. Eliminate the friction required to jump in when your motivation is low. After around 30 days, it will be a habit and you’ll never look back.

Reflect & review

Calendar block this too, it’s equally as important. How did you go with your appointments this week? Did you keep to your action steps? If not, what can you do to change this? Taking just 15 minutes at the end of the week to review this will skyrocket your chances of success.

Aim short

With 52 weeks in the year, its easy to see why most goals and resolutions fall through the cracks. After all, you have so much time to catch up! Many goals fail because the deadline is just too far away. You can’t see the finish line. By making smaller goals with a shorter timeframe, your chances of success are much higher.

Begin with the end in mind

What’s the point going on a journey with no destination? If you can’t see the finish line, you will just go off course. Having the desired outcome helps with your motivation and to keep you going when times are tough, or you just can’t be bothered. If you think about the end result when you frame your goal, it will help push you forward. So it now looks like…

Goal: Lose 10kg by March 31
Process:  Go to the gym in the morning 3 times per week for 45 minutes
Result:  I will have more energy throughout the day and will look great.


Taking these steps and forming your goals correctly will greatly help you achieve what you want in the coming year. Small wins here and there, will lead to bigger wins in the future. Good luck with your 2018 goals and make sure you frame them properly to ensure their success.

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