This is a post from the archives. First published on June 24, 2012, this is one of the first posts since I started blogging. Hope you enjoy and leave a comment below!

You have talked about making changes in your life. I have, too. The new year is a common time where people make resolutions or goals. It is now about halfway through the year, but how many of us have make or kept the changes?

Change is one of those things that is easy to talk about, but difficult to do. There is something that sparks inside of us that makes us realize that we need to change something. We mentally – or perhaps verbally or in writing – set goals that we want to meet. What can keep us motivated to stick to the plan? How can we keep the changes in our life?

1. Be Realistic

The goals that we set for ourselves must be specific, yet realistic. “I want to lose 30 pounds this month” is a specific goal, but is it realistic? Maybe on the Biggest Loser show, but not for the average person. The goal should not be too easy, either. Sit down and realistically think of what you can do. Then set it a little higher.

2. Strive for Habits

When you set a goal or try to make a change, don’t just look at a final result. Look for a habit that you can develop to reach and keep that result. It is said that if you can do something consistently for 40 days, that it become a habit. There have been many books and teachings based on this. It is not a hard and fast rule: it may be a little less or a little more for some.

If you are trying to lose weight, don’t just shoot for the weight goal. Figure out why lifestyle changes will be needed not just to reach that goal, but then to keep at that target.

3. Accountability partner

Find someone to help you. Maybe not someone to do it with you (but that’s not a bad idea, either), but someone that can keep you going. Find someone that will tell you the truth even if it hurts. Someone that will make you feel bad if you quit. You don’t have to find the local boot camp drill sergeant, but find someone with tough love.

You must give this person the right and responsibility to “pry into your life.” Don’t get mad at them if they confront you if you stop or slow down. Inevitably, we all get to the point where it is difficult, and we need that little shove to keep going.

4. Repetitive review

I love listening to different podcasts and reading books. It helps remind me of what I need to do, why I need to do it, and some tips to help me keep going. Reading blogs and connecting to people online also can help in similar fashion.

It is also good to review your goals regularly. You don’t have to get obsessed, but be aware of how you are progressing compared to your goals.

Question: What helps you to stay motivated to make changes in your life?