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It’s time set a goal and get serious about actually achieving it. Enough already with the New Year's resolutions where 3 days in and you've already slipped up on and haven't followed through. Why do we constantly set ourselves up for failure this way year after year?

The trick with setting a goal, especially an ambitious one that requires a lot of change on your part, is that setting the goal is just not enough. You have to actually have a more intentional, almost engineering approach to how you're going to achieve this wonderful change for yourself. You may have read all sorts of goal setting books and blog posts with tips and tricks, but I want to break down one very simple method to ensure that if you set a specific goal, you also set up the tools in the structure within which to achieve it.

So the trick to doing things differently this year are in these five simple steps:

#1 - Choose a very specific goal that you are actually committed to achieving! Committed being the key word. The first place people go wrong with New Year's resolutions is they pick things that sound like they would be nice to have, but when push comes to shove they aren’t actually ready to do what's necessary to accomplish it. For most of us, resolutions require a pretty significant amount of change. And we fail to appreciate that change is always met with resistance because it's part of our human nature. Change Makes Us uncomfortable! Change may sound exciting in the short-term, but when you're in the day-to-day, nitty-gritty grind, it is not that comfortable. So when you think about what goal you want to achieve, really consider if you are absolutely ready and committed to make this happen.

#2 - Assuming you are committed, list out all the various steps, milestones or parts and pieces that would be necessary for you to achieve this goal. This is where reverse engineering and thinking like a pragmatic scientist is going to be to your best advantage. Think about every little thing you would have to change, and everything you would have to do, to get yourself from point A to point B. Better yet start at point B, your goal, and work backwards thinking about everything you have to do differently. Again you're going to want to look at this list and make sure you are actually willing to do everything on it.

#3 - You need to have a gut check. This means looking at your action plan and evaluating step by step if you're truly willing to do all the work necessary to reach your goal. This is where the rubber hits the road fro most people. It's all fun and games until you have to take action. THat's why is important to have a real conversation with yourself, look at this lis, and make sure you can say YES that you're willing to do everything on that list, actually whatever it takes, to execute that action plan and reach your goal. If not, it's ok, it just means you might need to set a smaller goal. If you are absolutely willing, still committed, and still excited about your action plan now that it's very specific and you know exactly what to do, then you can proceed to step four.

#4 - Execution! Step four is just following the plan. Checking your progress. Checking boxes off that list of things you have to do. It means putting one foot in front of the other day in and day out. Step 5 is the other place where people get tripped up.

#5 - Don't quit. Or in the words of one of my favorite books “stop stopping.” Most of us fail to reach our goals because we stop before we get their. Things get tough, something changes, you had a new challenge, there's a curveball, and we stop. We stop taking all the actions in our perfect action plan to achieve our goal. We stopped moving forward. Because the reality is if you know your goal, and you at least stay moving on the same path, you will eventually get there. It's when we stop that we get tripped up. But if we keep going, we're sure to succeed because now we have a serious plan we've checked our commitment and we know exactly where we're headed.

That's it! All you need to do differently this year to achieve your New Year's goals, is get very specific, get very committed, and just don't stop!

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