The presents are unwrapped and the eggnog carton is empty. What’s next? That’s right, it’s time to set your New Year’s resolutions.

The great news is, this year you’ll be part of the elite 8 percent who achieve their resolutions. How to achieve your new year’s resolutions? You’ll be equipped with the knowledge for success and a corresponding goal-setting booklet. With these in your arsenal, success is yours.

To lay the foundation, here’s what you need to know: Humans are goal-seeking creatures. Our brains are hardwired to align our outer and inner worlds. If we deliberately, rather than passively, seek something, we will find it. It’s the law of attraction. If you take the time to clearly define what you want and chart a realistic course, you will be successful. It sounds simple because it is. Where most people fall short is personal accountability.

To hold yourself responsible, practice these four goal setting and tracking tips:


  1. Frame your goal statement correctly. Instead of stating, lose weight, declare, after one year, I weigh 185 pounds. The latter example is time sensitive, personal present, positive and specific – which has proven to be the most effective way to state your goals. It’s all outlined in Brian Tracy’s goal achievement program, which is recognized as the gold standard for setting and achieving goals.
  2. Divide your goals into priorities. Once you’ve pinpointed your goal, split it into actions. For instance, what must you do to weigh 185 pounds by the end of the year? Maybe you need to go to the gym three times a week, cut calories by x percent and set time aside everyday to visualize yourself at your ideal weight. Specific actions lead to measureable results.
  3. Write down your goals. Countless studies show the effectiveness of committing your objectives to paper. From my own experience, writing is powerful because it begs for clarity. Before you can write something down in a succinct sentence, you must think deeper and pinpoint what you really want. Conversely, when goals are in our minds only, they’re a bit fuzzy and undefined. Writing boosts exactness, which increases your goal’s likelihood of completion.
  4. Form a habit. Write your goal, be sure to use the framing format outlined in tip 1, and then jot a corresponding action beneath it. Do this everyday for 30 days. Why 30? That’s how long it takes to reinforce your wants to your subconscious.


Take the last few days of December to consider your life goals. Once you’ve defined them, then decide what you’re going to tackle in 2014. To help you achieve your new year’s goals, I’ve assembled a goal-tracking journal, which is conveniently modeled after the process above. Visit our homepage for a free pdf download. (It’s the WTF download.)

Happy New Year!

Originally published in the Tennessean.

Photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/kwerfeldein/5397877689/