5 Tips to Ensure Your Success in 2020

Posted By: John Kuehl XCEL,

According to U.S. News & World Report, the failure rate for New Year's resolutions is believed to be around 80%, and most lose their resolve by mid-February. If you’re reading this, and have goals, then statistically, you are likely to fail very soon if you haven’t already. But that’s ok! Failure isn’t always bad, it can actually spark positive change. The only real failure is not working hard and going for something in the first place. Below are some tips and tools that can help you win this year and beyond, regardless if you hit your goals or not.

1. Set Daily Goals

The best goals focus on personal growth one day at a time, not long-term results. People want to lose 20 pounds in a year but don’t want to exercise or eat healthy daily. If you want results, you have to put in the work on a daily basis. Focus on one day at a time, work hard, and before you know it something even greater than your long-term goals will come to fruition.

“Success is a journey, not a destination. The doing is often more important than the outcome.” -- Arthur Ashe

2. Have a Plan

In the digital age, with information and demands coming at us 24/7, we as a society are busier than ever. If you don’t have a plan on how you’re going to carve out time for yourself or your goals, then you’ll be at the mercy of what the world throws at you. When you make plans, make them simple; that will allow you to adjust on the fly. The more complex a plan is, the harder it will be to adjust, and the easier it is for that plan to break down.  Have a game plan, keep it simple, and be ready to pivot when needed.

“A goal without a plan is just a wish.” -- Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

3. Make the Process Fun and Reward Yourself

If you’re trying to adopt habits that are painful for you, then you’re not likely to stick with them. Find habits that give you a dopamine-driven feedback loop. When your dopamine rises, so does your motivation to act. One way to do this is by pairing something you like to do with something you need to do. For example, if you enjoy being in nature, and want to lose weight, then schedule times to exercise outside in nature. Also, remember to reward yourself. The anticipation of the reward, not the fulfillment of it, will get you to take action. If you plan to diet all week, then schedule a cheat meal day on Sunday at your favorite restaurant as a reward. The more attractive the goal process is, the more likely you’ll see it to the end. 

“If you want to be happy, set a goal that commands your thoughts, liberates your energy and inspires your hopes.” -- Andrew Carnegie

4. Wake-Up Early

The number one excuse you hear regarding why people don’t hit their goals is that they don’t have enough time. That is simply because they are not making enough time. We all have the choice to wake up one or two hours earlier than needed. If you get up and start your day at 5:00 am, while the rest of your time zone is asleep, you can work out, read, meditate, work on a side business, write, or catch up on work. Also, when you start the day strong, you are energized, and free to do what you want for the rest of the day; making you more productive during normal work hours. Waking up with the birds is no easy task, but when you do it, you’ll never regret it!

"Early to bed and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise." -- Benjamin Franklin

5. Track results

Winners have systems in place. Winners also keep score. Find a way to track your progress and your chances of hitting your goals will increase exponentially. Everybody is different though, so find systems that work for you to help keep you on track. Some people love data and spreadsheets, others prefer getting an accountability partner, crossing things off a list, or putting “X’s” on a calendar. Whatever your jam is, tracking your results and watching your victories and personal progress unfold before your eyes will bring you great satisfaction!

 “What gets measured, gets managed.” -- Peter Drucker

Most importantly, don’t give up on personal growth. Try not to focus solely on your end results, but instead to focus on growth, and getting better every day. Do that and you will not lose. Whether you hit a goal or not isn’t important; how much you grew is. It’s hard to hit goals or grow if you’re not striving to be your best and putting in the work, day in and day out. Life is short and you get just one 2020, make the most of it!

"Those times when you get up early and you work hard. Those times you stay up late and you work hard. Those times when you don't feel like working. You're too tired. You don't want to push yourself, but you do it anyway... That is actually the dream." -- Kobe Bryant


Goal Tracker

For those that love spreadsheets and data, I've created a goal tracking system you can utilize throughout the year. As you can see, this is about tracking the work you put in every day. Accomplishing goals is a marathon, not a sprint. And, this isn’t just about hitting the goals, it’s about personal progress. Make a copy and revise it to fit you best. Hope this helps. Good luck! 

View Goal Tracker*

*To make an editable copy of the Goal Tracker, open the Google Doc, then click File > Make a Copy

Suggested Books

7 Habits of Highly Effective People – Stephen R. Covey

Atomic Habits – James Clear

Extreme Ownership – Jocko Willink and Leif Babin

Mindset – Carol Dweck

The Magic of Thinking Big – David J. Schwartz

Suggested Video

Kobe Bryant: What Does Losing Feel Like To You?

If I can help you to reach your goals in any way, please let me know. Good luck and may victory be with you!

This article was written by John Kuehl with Real Floors, as a part of the XCEL Committee's goal to provide regular, educational, posts for TAA's blog.