By which I mean, set goals that you care about. Set goals that matter to you. The best way to ensure you're motivated to achieve your goals, is to set ones that have value you to you, personally. If you're not bothered about getting a promotion at work or running a marathon, you ain't gonna work for it!
How do you achieve something without knowing what you're aiming for? Instead of "lose weight", why not say "lose x lbs" or "reach x weight" or (if, like me, you're more interested in your body than your actual weight) "fit into x outfit". If you want to save up for a holiday, work out how much you need to save up - £800 is a much easier goal than an indeterminate number!
Make Yourself Accountable.
It might mean telling your Mum or your best friend, or keeping a note in your planner - in my case, I share my monthly goals here on my blog! Having someone who knows what you're aiming for and who is able to check up on your progress, will make you that much more likely to stick with it, in my experience. Telling yourself you don't need to go for a run today is one thing, but try telling your sister who knows you're training for a 10km that you don't fancy it - I don't think so!
Break It Down.
Some goals are bite-sized to start with but other, bigger goals can be a little daunting. If you can break them down into more manageable pieces, it can be far less overwhelming for you! So if you need to save £800 for that holiday, try breaking it down into £50 a week - as well as sounding far less scary, £50 is much easier to visualise than your overall target, so you're more likely to feel positive about it. One of my goals for the year is to get out of my overdraft - but with a £2000 overdraft, I've found that setting myself a smaller goal each month is making it far less terrifying prospect!
Check In Often.
This is one I need to work on more, as I actually hadn't looked back at my goals for the year until I came to write about my progress - which is why I was so surprised at how well I was doing! Ideally, you want to check in on a regular basis so you can see how far you've come and keep yourself on track. If you can see your progress, it's really motivating to keep working at your goals! A weekly weigh-in, running the same route once a month, or tracking your savings each month, can all help you to really visualise your progress and what you've got left to achieve.
Learn From Your Failures.
No-one is perfect, and it's okay to sometimes fall short of your goals! This is something I really struggle with as I can be a real perfectionist, but life is about taking the not-so-good with the good and learning from your experiences. Okay, so you didn't quite reach your target for your 5km run this week - what could you do differently? If there's something you know you should be doing, falling a little short can be a real kick to get you to just bite the bullet and do it. Like me and hilly runs...
What are your goals at the moment? Do you have any pearls of wisdom for keeping on track with your goals and making sure you achieve them?