A client sent me an email telling me that she wants to make drastic changes next year. She is weary from the inability to follow through on her most audacious goals.

She struggles with what many of us do as well. She just can't pull the trigger! The commitment to change a lifestyle habit is there. But distractions get in the way, and motivation goes out the window. Sound familiar?

She wants to set goals for real results. She told me "I really want to make this happen!"

I appreciated her raw honesty, and that level of motivation will surely help. If we don't plan things out, everyday distractions and interruptions will plan it for us.

Here's what I told her as the solution to her goal challenges.

I commended her for knowing what the bigger picture is. That's the first step. Then, I told her that she needs to learn some techniques (as described below) to keep her focused so that when those distractions happen, she has a compass that will carry her along.

I told her moving forward she has to make sure that her goals are...

1. Clearly identified and meaningful to her, and her only. No fuzziness. She has to know what she wants, and the end-result. What's at the top of the mountain?

2. Result-oriented. I told her to think one small goal per week that she can attain toward the larger goal. Breaking it into smaller parts makes it easier and less overwhelming. It will keep her from lack of focus and distractions.

3. Obtainable and measurable. What will be some markers along the way that will tell her "I'm on track?"

4. Tied to a larger life, or personal vision. I asked her to consider this: "Will your lifestyle change lead you to reverse [her personal challenge], and give you more energy so you can be more productive at work, and get out and play with the kids when you get home? Will it bring more vitality to your marriage? What's your long-term vision? Then work backwards from here once you know."

5. Posted so that she can either see or hear them. I told her to set reminders, and prioritize them toward the beginning of the day so she can get to it first. Also, I said that she needs to surround herself with people she loves (a support group) who can encourage her and hold her accountable....with her permission.

Parting thoughts.

That sums it up. Simple and effective. If you're taking this on for yourself, remember to do this: plan the actions to achieve your goals, and perform them in a timely manner. That's when you'll see real results.