The Self-Improvement Feedback Loop

When we set goals or make resolutions, we tend to spend time coming up with a goal, writing it down, making it real. But then...what happens?

Related: Set Goals For Yourself This Year

As is the case for many well-intended New Year's Resolutions, it fades into the background until next year. Even though 40% of Americans make resolutions, only 8% complete them, according to Forbes. So how can we become the 8%?

The Feedback Loop

When you're trying to make yourself better, it can be exhausting. It can be easy to say, "Well, this is who I am. Take it or leave it."

It can be easy to give up.

Taking the first step is the hardest in improving yourself, but each time you take a step, it becomes easier. Self-improvement feeds on itself. The more you work to improve, the more steps you take and complete, the easier it becomes to continue to improve.

Your potential is exponential. 

Create A Map

The secret to actually fulfilling your resolutions (besides hard work, which is a given) is to break up the goal into smaller, more manageable steps. It forces you to be clear about what you want. Instead of saying, "I want to lose weight this year," you have to start with, "I'm going to go to the gym today."

Each time you achieve a smaller goal, it becomes easier to keep going.

Each time you achieve a smaller goal, it becomes easier to keep going.

Each time you complete a milestone, no matter how small, you're that much closer to your larger goal, giving you the motivation to keep going. Find the actions that make up your goal.

Find Your Path

To make your map into a path, you have to connect your smaller goals together. This is the start of turning your goal into a plan, and achieving it, instead of letting yourself say, "Well, this is what I want..."

Let's continue with the lose weight example, since it's a popular goal for many Americans. If you want to lose weight, you'll have several smaller goals, like eating vegetables with dinner, choosing a salad instead of a sandwich for lunch, and going to the gym each day. Rather than thinking of them as separate, you have to connect them into a path. 

As you begin to achieve your smaller goals, you need to see where you'll go next. In the gym example, going from 30 minutes to an hour. It's a small but steady improvement. Now, instead of an abstract wish like "I want to lose weight," you can easily tick off a box and start to make changes.

Take Your First Step

So, what do you want to accomplish in 2017? Figure out your goal, make a map, and find your path to success by taking something large and insurmountable and turning it into small but steady gains.

What will you accomplish?