If you find yourself reflecting on the year that was and realising you haven’t achieved your 2017 resolutions, you’re not alone – only 8% of us will. Honest reflection is the best weapon we have to avoid finding ourselves in the same position in 12 months’ time.

Did fear hold you back? Were your goals too lofty that they were relegated to the too hard basket? Did you fall short of clearly defining your investment goals and setting a plan to achieve them? Whatever your reason/excuse, a little introspection goes a long way to having more success in the years to come. Here are five concrete steps you can take today, to give yourself a fighting chance of achieving your 2018 resolutions.

1. Assign Accountability

Share your resolutions with friends or family. We understand that it takes courage and vulnerability to share with others a goal you might not achieve, but it’s harder to break a commitment you share than one you keep to yourself. Check out Brene Brown’s TED Talk on the Power of Vulnerability here.

2. Set Specific Goalsy

Anything less and you increase your chances of feeling overwhelmed, procrastinating or, worse still, becoming disenchanted. Try using the SMART system to goal setting:

  • Specific
  • Specific
  • Achievable
  • Relevant
  • Time Bound

3. Get Planning

‘A goal without a plan is just a wish’ – Antoine de Saint – Exupery.

Your plan should be clear, structured and reward incremental milestones. Start by asking yourself why achieving a particular goal is important to you.

4. Get Up if You Fall

‘Falling down is an accident, staying down is a choice.’

Half the battle of achieving your goals is having the mental fortitude to rise and continue on course if you happen to fall. Although it may sound cliché, shifting your perspective to view setback as a learning experience, is key to success. The support you’ll have by making yourself accountable will help too.

5. Measure Progress

‘If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it.’ – Peter Drucker.

Keeping track of your progress keeps you motivated, engaged with your goals and less likely to procrastinate.

Although it seems counterintuitive, successfully achieving your goals isn’t about willpower. It’s about being strategic, building a support team and developing the right skills.Will 2018 be the year you join the 8%?