How do you stick to a goal?

I have listed below some of things I would do if I wanted to stick to a goal.

Write it down
The first thing I would do is write it down and place it in a visible place in the house like beside my mirror stand. I look at myself in the mirror every day, so I would automatically have a glance at my goal.

Be accountable to someone
Another thing I would do is tell someone about it. I would not just tell anyone but someone who I know would challenge me and ask me about the progress I have made so far. For example, I would not tell a friend who has problems exercising if my goal was to exercise more regularly as the friend may not have enough motivation to encourage me.

For the two above, some people even go a step further by being accountable to the "whole world" by journalling their goals/challenges online in form of a blog.

I think this is a good way of being accountable because if one has a blog and subscribers, they would want to know the progress of the goal/challenge and would regularly ask about it. And apart from that the blogger would feel obliged to let his/her subscribers know how far they have gone with the goal.

Get someone to join in the challenge
Like minded people, they say, act alike. Another way to stick to a goal is to find someone who has the same interest as I have and get together to achieve the goal. Lets say for example, I have a desire to learn how to knit baby cardigans for a friend who is pregnant and I know of another friend who also shares the same interest, I could engage the friend to join me and we could exchange ideas about the project in order to get it going.

Find something to do to occupy yourself
I could look for alternative things to do to occupy myself so that I wouldnt get distracted. An example is if I want to go without watching television for 30 days, I could challenge myself by listening to audio books within that period instead. The reason why I have mentioned audio books is because if listen to them, I probably won't feel cut off from the "box" called television. Well just a thought!

Do it in batches
If the goal I aim to achieve is a long term one, then in order not to get overwhelmed, I would probably do it in batches. For example, if my aim is to teach myself how to become a web designer and I discover that there are different components to learn and undestand - then I would probably first of all learn the basics very well and then take a break. The break could be weeks or even months - the aim being to be able to put into practice what I have learnt and not to get under too much pressure into completing the whole process at a particular point in time.

For this example, since I am teaching myself and I am not under any pressure i.e. studying for an exam, then I can do it at my own pace and not feel that I have to compete with others in order to get it done by a specific time. The bottomline however is to ensure that I remain focused.

Reward yourself
This is something that I don't do often - perhaps I don't think it is neccesary or I just think the fact that I have achieved the goal is enough. However, I do remember that when I completed my first degree, I rewarded myself with an Ipod! It may have not seemed like a big deal to other people, but I was so glad that at the age of 35+ I was able to enrol as a mature student and also having concerns about my dyslexia, I was able to accomplish something like that.

Dont beat yourself up
One thing that I have learnt over the years is that if you are unable to achieve a goal you set for yourself, don't beat yourself up about it. The fact remains that you at least made the attempt. There are a lot of people who out of fear or one excuse or the other - never ever took one single step. It is better to try something as they say, and fail at it rather than not try at all!

There you have it - the 7 ways I would go about sticking to a goal. What about you?