6 Tips for Successfully Achieving Your Goals This Year ~ Stephanie Ghoston

Happy New Year! It’s that time again. It’s the season for vision boards, desire maps, and visualizing your future successes. Gym memberships will see a huge spike (per usual), as will various addiction-themed groups, and the forgive/forget/organize/improve/live/love vagueness is at an all time high.

Unfortunately, statistics show that only 8% of the population is successful at keeping their resolution. How can you revamp your resolutions so that you’re part of that 8%? By taking the following actions…

1. Start with a review of your previous year.

Don’t rush right into making resolutions without taking stock of the previous year. Make a list of accomplishments from 2014. What kind of person did you have to be in order to accomplish those feats? What worked for you and what didn’t? What obstacles did you face in implementing your resolutions? Reviewing the previous year helps you to better understand what you need to focus on and improve and perhaps what you need ditch. 

Implement a cyclical review for 2015. Take a look at your calendar and mark times to review your progress—be it monthly, quarterly, or maybe centered around some big events you have planned during the year. Waiting a full year to review is too long. You want to make sure you have up-to-date data and a fresh memory so you can continually improve.

2. Get specific and get real.

Many people aren’t successful with their resolutions because the resolution is vague. What’s your actual accomplishment? How will you know you achieved the goal? Don’t be afraid to articulate a specific goal, even if you’re afraid you won’t achieve it. And notice I said real, not “realistic.” I think it’s important to get real with yourself, and set goals that align with what you actually want, instead of what you feel like you’re supposed to want or that you can “realistically” achieve.

Vague resolutions may seem easier to accomplish, as they give wiggle room. Specificity sets a target in our minds and feels more restrictive. However, as Parkinson’s Law points out, a task expands to fill the time allotted for completion. For example, one of my resolutions last year was to “research how to make a blog.” Does that mean spend one minute on the Internet? Do a little research everyday? How was I supposed to know if I accomplished the goal? I wouldn’t, so I amended it to “start a blog by the end of the year.” Then I noticed myself dragging my feet because I knew I had until the end of the year. I amended it to, “start a blog by March 31st.” I launched the first week of March.

3. Give yourself the power.

I think this is the most important step. Most goals depend upon or are based on other people’s actions and decisions, or something outside of your control. However, to be successful at accomplishing your goals, you have to rely on yourself.

Instead of saying “I want to get 100 paying customers by the end of the first quarter,” change it to, “I will reach out to 100 customers by the end of the first quarter.” If you’re in the sales or service industries, you have customers. And you want to make your customers/clients/etc. happy. So you want to make goals that revolve around them. But you are doing yourself a disservice by setting a goal over which you have no control. Focus on upholding your end of the deal and see the magic that ensues.

4. Identify your WHY.

Dig a little deeper: Why do you want to achieve this goal? What will it mean to you? You may have to ask why several times to get to the bottom of the matter. Your “why” will be your motivation on the not-so-good days. Most people focus much of their energy on HOW they will accomplish a goal. But understanding your “why” will not only inspire and motivate you to persevere, it will also give your goal meaning and clarify if it’s really what you say you want. 

5. Plan ahead. 

At some point during the year, you will not feel like doing what you promised yourself. If you know that will happen, why not plan for it? Since you’ve done your review for 2014, you know what you want to avoid. You’ll understand your triggers. But you’ll also know how to react to a funk and how to get out of one. During your scheduled reviews, it’s OK to amend your resolution based on what you know about yourself and what has happened. In addition, be gentle, be nice, and be kind to yourself. 

6. Set up a support network.

We all need people encourage, support, and hold us accountable. As part of planning ahead, you’ll need help along the way. Identify certain people you can count on to motivate you, be your drill sergeant, or offer words of comfort. Let them know ahead of time you’ll be counting on them. They can be anyone—spouse, family member, close friends, or co-workers. You may also choose to hire someone, like a life coach, nutritionist, or personal trainer. Whoever it is, make sure you can really trust them. And also, don’t forget that you must still hold yourself accountable. You’re your own first go-to in your support network.

Remember: resolutions are supposed to focus on the positive. By anticipating the reality that you will have a few bad days or weeks (which is inevitable), you can proactively combat the obstacles and struggles you may face. Figure out how to work through feeling less than 100%. What baby steps or progress can you make even when you’re tired? And don’t be afraid to ask others for help! While you’re in control and self-accountability matters, the more people you get on board to root for you, the merrier!

Photo: Shutterstock

Stephanie is the founder and life coach of Cultivated Sense, a movement that promotes ordinary ways to live extraordinarily and encourages people to stop settling in life and love. She’s also the Director of Logistics for the Paul C. Brunson Matchmaking Agency, an award-winning boutique matchmaking and lifestyle coaching agency. She loves helping people through life transitions and empowering them to cultivate their own sense of how to manage their daily lives. You can find more about Stephanie at www.cultivatedsense.com or on Twitter: @CultivatedSense.




10 Characteristics of a Healthy Relationship ~ Jennifer Twardowski


We all desire to have a relationship that is filled with happiness, joy, and — most importantly — love.

Unfortunately, for many of us, we’ve been exposed to so many unhealthy relationships in our lives that we don’t know what a truly healthy relationship even looks and feels like. So here are 10 characteristics of a healthy relationship:

1. Both partners know that they are responsible for their own individual happiness.

Many people unfortunately fall into the bad habit of believing and expecting that our partner is meant to be our source of all happiness, love and fulfillment in our lives. However, in a truly vibrant and healthy relationship, neither partner expects the other to be the source of all their happiness in life. Both people know and understand that they themselves are responsible for their own happiness and well-being. They each know that they are there to support and help one another, but they both know that they are ultimately responsible for themselves.


2. Neither person is really trying to control or “fix” the other person.

If one person is more of a procrastinator while the other always gets their work done early, the other person isn’t going to try to “fix” them by pushing them to get their work done early in a healthy relationship. Both people respect one another’s differences. One doesn’t try to force the other to change or be anything different then themselves.

The reality is that nobody wants to be changed or fixed — especially if it’s unsolicited! If the person really truly wants to change, then they will ask for help on their own terms and in their own way. Change isn’t going to happen through nagging or force.

3. The relationship is balanced.

No one person has any more power over decisions made as a couple than the other. Both people have an equal say and have equal control over decisions made and both equally respect each other as a different and unique human being.

Now, it may be that the decisions made are different for each person. Such as, one person is more focused on interior decorations while the other is more focused on finances because it better highlights each person’s strengths. But, aggregately, everything is 50-50.

4. Conflicts are dealt with head-on and then dropped.

In a heathy relationship, conflicts aren’t a deal breaker. Just because a conflict happens, it doesn’t signal that it’s time to just check out and move on to something else. Rather, the conflict is seen as an opportunity to learn and grow. Both sides openly share their feelings and views honestly and with respect.

Conflict is accepted as a natural part of life and any frustrations are dealt with early rather than repressed and brought back up time and time again.

5. Feelings are shared honestly and openly.

Both people share their genuine feelings with one another freely. Both partners respect and accept the other’s feelings. Expressing one another’s true feelings aren’t repressed because both partners know that by not sharing them and that by not accepting the other person’s feelings it will cause conflicts later on.

6. Each person makes time to take care of themselves.

Both people in the relationship understand and know that self-care is an absolutely vital component for a healthy relationship. They know that if they don’t take care of themselves and do things for themselves that they will be stressed, drained, and exhausted. They know that when they don’t take care of themselves, they have little love to give to their partner.

7. Both partners are willing to put the relationship before themselves.

In a healthy relationship, both partners are able and willing to consider their partner when making decisions. They don’t just go off and plan a trip for themselves without discussing it with the other person. They make room in their lives for the other person and are willing to work together as a unit.

8. Both people understand and accept that they’re not going to agree on everything.

In a healthy relationship, both partners know that it is perfectly okay to agree to disagree. They know that just because one partner has one viewpoint, it doesn’t mean that the other has to completely agree. They know that having differences in opinion and beliefs doesn’t have to be a deal breaker.

9. They both truly value the relationship.

Both partners are loyal to one another and willing to work through conflicts together. They both truly believe in the relationship and are committing to the lessons and growth that come while being together — despite the challenges that come up.

10. They want to be together simply for the sake of being together.

For some of us, we can find ourselves staying in a relationship because we want some kind of security. That can be emotional, physical, financial, or whatever. In a truly healthy relationship both people want to be together because they genuinely want to be together for the sake of living a life with the other person. Security isn’t a primary motivation to be in the relationship, as the motivation of genuine love runs so much deeper than the security that can be gained on a physical level.

Take action now!

Ask yourself: What characteristics on this list are you amazing at? What characteristics could you use some work on? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Jennifer is a self and relationship coach, writer, and spiritual teacher. She is the founder of JenniferTwardowski.com and the creator of Ignite Love from Within: Meditations to Create Relationships and a Life Filled with Love, click here for a free meditation from the album. Her mission is to help women create loving relationships with both others and themselves. Click here for her Free Self and Relationship Healing Meditation and weekly blog updates. To learn about how you can work with her, click here.




Cookie Monster Is The Life Coach You Never Knew You Needed ~ Ali Velez

Cookie Monster is a great life coach who really listens to his clients.

Cookie Monster Is The Life Coach You Never Knew You Needed
PBS / Via youtube.com

He knows how to relate to what they’re going through.

Cookie Monster Is The Life Coach You Never Knew You Needed
PBS / Via youtube.com

No matter what the problem is…

Cookie Monster Is The Life Coach You Never Knew You Needed
PBS / Via youtube.com

He will try to find something positive in the negative.

Cookie Monster Is The Life Coach You Never Knew You Needed
PBS / Via youtube.com

When all seems hopeless, he helps you find your passion…

Cookie Monster Is The Life Coach You Never Knew You Needed
PBS / Via youtube.com

And provides the perfect comfort.

Cookie Monster Is The Life Coach You Never Knew You Needed
PBS / Via youtube.com

What are you doing with your life? Listen to Cookie Monster! This is all the life advice you will ever need:

Cookie Monster Is The Life Coach You Never Knew You Needed
PBS / Via youtube.com