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8 small things that increase your chances of achieving your goals
Broken resolutions getting you down? These 8 small changes can help you reach any goal. - photo by Cosette Jarrett
Although goals are crucial when it comes to personal and professional growth, broken resolutions are all too common. Past broken resolutions diminish hope that future resolutions will actually be met.

Although it may seem like the achievement of your goals stands miles away from where you are now, it's actually closer than you think when you put the big picture aside and focus on the small things. Whether your resolutions are related to your personal or professional life, the 8 small changes I've listed below can turn your hopes into reality.

1. Your smile

According to Psychology Today, the act of smiling activates neural messaging that benefits your health and happiness. It activates the release of neuropeptides that help fight off stress and releases feel-good neurotransmitters such as dopamine, endorphins and serotonin. In other words, flashing a smile is a great way to instantly boost your mood and decrease stress levels.

Although it can be difficult to muster up a smile when your anger and/or anxiety levels hit a peak, its not impossible. At the end of their study report, Psychology Today researchers recommended things like watching a funny movie, chatting with positive friends, listening to your favorite song and taking a visit to your favorite caf to inspire a smile.

2. Your inner dialogue

The way you speak to yourself plays a key role in determining your overall sense of well-being and self-worth. Focus on your inner dialogue. What are you saying to yourself when things get hard? How could you correct your automatic negative response to challenges and fears in a way that will increase your ability to overcome difficult situations?

A great tactic for this is to develop a personal mantra. This is a simple sentence you repeat to yourself to increase calm and help eliminate stress and anxiety. Rather than allowing your fears to overtake your abilities, use the mantra to help you clear your mind of negative thoughts and distractions. Use it to regain focus to work on achieving the task at hand to the best of your ability.

3. Your outer dialogue

Positive inner dialogue will set the stage to put you in a better mood and boost your confidence. From there, it will be important to focus on your outer dialogue or the way you talk to others. Constantly apologizing for your work or downplaying your successes not only makes you feel as though your performance is lacking but also negatively influences the way your coworkers and superiors perceive what youve done.

One of the tools Ive used to break the nasty habit of using dialogue that downgrades my message at work is the Just Not Sorry Gmail extension. Once youve downloaded and set up the extension, youll notice corrections when you overuse words and terms like just, sorry, I think, and Im no expert.

4. Your hobbies

Its important to take time for things that build the person you are outside of your professional life. Creative hobbies not only help you find release from your day-to-day routine but also help you increase your creative abilities when you get back to work.

Look for ways to enjoy your favorite hobbies in your free time. If you dont have free time, make some! Understand the important role hobbies play in determining your overall success. Once youve made time to enjoy your hobbies, youll notice how they help you decompress and restart your creative engine after a long day on the job.

5. Your posture

The benefits of good posture have been praised for years. Some of these benefits include improved breathing, decreased joint pain and overall improvement in appearance and confidence.

Although individuals know their ability to stand and sit upright positively impacts how they look and feel, finding a good starting point for postural correction can be tough.

Common treatments for poor posture include exercises, braces, chiropractic adjustments and orthotics. Orthotics serve as a fantastic starting point.

Many physicians recommend you start with an over-the-counter orthotic to gauge your initial reaction to the treatment, then move to a custom option to maintain ongoing progress.

6. Your ability to disconnect

Taking a moment to disconnect from your favorite electronics at the end of the day can improve both your relationships with others and your relationship with yourself.

In 2015 plastic surgeons saw more requests for procedures as a result of patients becoming more self-critical due to an increase in sharing photos on social media platforms, according to the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. Clearly, our obsession with our social apps is more damaging to our self-esteem than many of us think.

On top of the negative impact excessive device use can have on your relationship with yourself, it can also affect how you connect with others. According to a recent study, nearly 1/3 of US Internet users polled said they would give up physical intimacy with their partners for 6 months to keep the Internet.

Focusing on the people in front of you and taking a break from whats going on in the online world at the end of each day has the potential to help you strengthen the most critical relationships in your life.

7. Your water consumption

Water is one of the biggest catalysts of positive change in our bodies. According to WebMD, drinking a sufficient amount of water each day can help control calories, energize muscles, cleanse and moisturize skin and stabilize bowel function.

Healthy adult men should drink about 13 cups of water per day. For women, around 9 cups of water daily is sufficient.

8. Your acknowledgment of your successes

Last but not least, acknowledging the things youve already accomplished can help inspire and motivate you to put more effort into accomplishing the goals youve set for the future.

Start by making a list of some of your top accomplishments from the past year. From here, write down how you made each happen, what specific steps were required and what personal qualities you utilized to achieve your goal like discipline, drive, etc. Once youve done this, take a cue from tip 2 in this article, and create a mantra specific to success.

Working on each of these smaller goals is an effective way to increase your chances of achieving your larger goals.

If you have a suggestion for the list, Id love to hear it! Let me know in the comments below.
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