Sometimes, the goals we set for a new year are just dreams. But, if you’re serious about achieving your goals and plans in this new year, you’ll need to find a way to stay motivated in your pursuit of them. So, what can you do? Start by creating some momentum. Take the first steps. Then, learn from the science of motivation. Here are some research-backed techniques for staying the course.

1. Break it Down: According to the Zeigarnik Effect, our brains have an easier time processing tasks when they’re broken down into smaller steps. So, if you’re planning a home renovation, don’t just jot down “renovate kitchen.” Break it into actionable items like “choose countertop material” or “pick paint color for cabinets.”

2. Visualize the End Result: Studies have shown that regularly visualizing the successful completion of a goal can bolster motivation. Picture your renovated living room or that garden you’ve been dreaming about. Imagine the compliments from guests and the satisfaction you’ll feel.

3. Accountability Partners: A study from the American Society of Training and Development found that people are 65% more likely to complete a goal if they commit to it with another person. So, tell someone!

4. Celebrate Small Wins: Dopamine, often referred to as the “feel-good” neurotransmitter, plays a significant role in motivation. When you achieve a milestone, no matter how small, your brain releases dopamine. Celebrating these small victories not only feels good but also propels you to keep going.

5. Stay Educated: According to the Expectancy Theory, the belief that your efforts will result in success can boost motivation. Read books, attend workshops, or consult experts related to your goal. The more knowledgeable you are, the more confident you’ll become in your path to success.

Good luck with your 2024 goals and plans!