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The beginning of the year is a time for assessing the past year and setting goals for the new year.  Here are some practical tips to achieve success from our Associate Contributor, Lisa Bobyak, CEO of Living Fully Balanced.
You may be eager to make some changes. Everybody’s talking about their New Year’s career and business goals and lifestyle resolutions. It might be a good time for you to hop on that motivation train and ride it to a new you.
You’re confident that you want to make some changes, but if you are truly honest with yourself, you’re just not sure how this year will be any different from those of the past. You feel this energy each year, but you’ve never been able to follow through to fully achieve your goals. If this resonates with you, join the club. According to the Journal of Clinical Psychology, the University of Scranton found that over 45% of us make New Year’s resolutions. And the harsh truth is that only 8% of that group are successful in achieving them.
So what’s the disconnect? We have been led to believe that once we set our goals, all we have to do is “just do it”; that all we need is more motivation and stronger self-control. We think we lack willpower to see it through. There’s more to achieving goals than that. Much more. As a culture, we have only focused on the goal itself, however the magic happens when you combine the logical goal (the What) with the inner psychological (the Why) aspects.
The magic happens when you combine the logical goal (the What) with it’s psychological (the Why) aspects.

Here are 6 steps for creating Success around the changes you desire in the New Year:
1. Identify your WHAT (the goal): This is sometimes the hardest part. Do not overthink. What do you want to achieve this new year? 2. Identify your WHY:  This is the most important part, so I’d encourage you to take your time with this. Write down your story and mull it over for a while. Why is it so important to you to achieve your goal? What would achieving this goal give you?  What will you be able to do when you achieve it? Who will it affect once you achieve your goal?  And how will it affect them? 3. Detach from the goal:  I know. This sounds counterintuitive. However, disconnecting from the end goal, and tuning in to the behaviors that will get you there, is THE key.  What do you need to do in order to achieve your goal?  What action steps will you choose to take? Focus on those behaviors. 4. Note your thoughts and feelings:  Most of us have never taken notice to how we feel while implementing new behaviors. Instead, we tend to just power through. I believe it’s critical for us to take the time to understand the importance of our feelings.  Interestingly enough, you may experience fears about actually achieving your goal. Think about and recognize them. 5. Let go of time constraints:  Rather than telling yourself you are going to achieve this goal in this amount of time, tell yourself that you’re going to practice the behaviors it takes to achieve the goals. 6. Frame everything in the positive: When you start to feel yourself slip, (and you will) you may hear old negative thoughts creeping back in your head. This is the time to REFRAME those thoughts.
There you have it. 6 steps to setting yourself up for a successful year. I don’t claim that it will be easy to achieve your goals now that you recognize their logical and psychological aspects. I do promise that goal setting can be simple when you understand how it works. Using this  fresh perspective on goal setting, you can have the best year ever.

Lisa Bobyak
Lisa Bobyak is a speaker, wellness coach and educator dedicated to empowering individuals and families with the tools they need to move beyond life challenges.
She is a member of Women Entrepreneurs of Minnesota (WeMN), the International Coaches Federation-Minnesota, Women Business Networking Team (WBNT) and serve on the Ambassador Committee of the Wayzata Chamber of Commerce.  She works with Project Success, an extension of Interfaith Outreach and Community Partners in Plymouth, MN, to support families as they move toward increased economic self-sufficiency.
This article was adapted from a post on Lisa’s website first published 12/29/2014:
Dr. Jan Hoistad