Setting goals and sticking to them!

Happy New Year!

The new year is a time for people to set new year's resolutions, but did you know that only 8% of people are successful in achieving their new year's resolutions, yet year after year, 45% of us continue making them? [Source: University of Scranton]. So how do you get out of this cycle? How do make sure you keep your resolutions?

First, I want to encourage you to stop calling them new year's resolutions. Instead, let's just call them goals. This way, they don't specifically have to be set at the start of the year and we immediately make them a lot less likely to fail, because let's face it, most of us know new year's resolutions are doomed to fail.

But even the goals we set sometimes fail. 

While there are many reasons our goals fail, these are some of the major culprits:

  1. We set too many goals,
  2. We reach too far when setting our goals
  3. We're not specific enough about our goals
  4. We don't write them down
  5. We don’t celebrate the small accomplishments

[Image source: UNC Chapel Hill]

So what is the solution?

1. Don't set too many goals. It's tempting to set a lot of goals. You sit down and start brainstorming and before you know it you have a long list of goals. There's nothing wrong with a long list of goals, but you want to make sure you only tackle a few goals at a time. This makes it easier to stay on task and achieve your goals. 

2. Set SMART goals. You want to make sure you set both long-term and short-term goals that are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-bound AND give you opportunities to celebrate small accomplishments.

3. Be realistic. I'm not saying don't push your limits. I'm all about pushing limits and challenging yourself to achieve new goals, but be realistic about it. You want to recognize the work your goal will take, be realistic about potential setbacks and be realistic about the attainability of the final goal. 

4. Create a plan. A goal without a plan is just a wish. If you're going to set goals, you have to make plans to achieve those goals. Write down your goals and set yourself up for success by creating a plan that starts where you are and builds you up step by step until you reach your goal. Small steps are not only the key to long-term success, celebrating them is also the key to keeping you motivated!

5. Track progress. Sure you'll be able to know you're making progress when you go out do something you've never done before, but there will be days when things don't go so well or where your progress is slow. Tracking your progress, whether with paper and pencil, on a computer or with an app, will help you see how you're doing and keep you motivated. Tracking progress is also useful to identify when things aren't going so well. Plans don't always work perfectly and if you're collecting data and tracking progress, you can determine if you need to make changes to your plan.

What are some of Behavior Basics Goals for 2015?

  • • Review and update our performance monitoring systems to ensure we continue providing quality services to our clients.
  • • Expand the use of ABA in fields other than Autism by 1.working with clients in other fields, 2.participating in special interests group and 3.disseminating information about ABA to other fields. While we love working with our clients with Autism, we have seen the benefits of ABA in the other areas we work in and we want to make sure other people see those benefits as well!
  • • Expand our BACB Supervision program; review & update current training modules, create topic-specific review sheets, develop new supervision activities.
  • • Develop a 40hr RBT Training Course
  • • Become a BACB CEU provider

We definitely have some big goals for 2015, but we're going to follow our own advice and tackle them one step at a time!

What are some of your goals for 2015? And how can we help?

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