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4 executives share their top tips for setting goals and sticking to them

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It's mid-March. Have you implemented all of the goals you set for 2019 in January, or have they faded to the background already?

Studies show that 80 percent of New Year's resolutions fail by the second week of February, because many people don't set a plan for how they'll achieve their goals.

CNBC Make It caught up with four executives who shared not only their approach to setting goals, but also their plan for following through on them throughout the year.

Here's how four people at the top of their game stay focused on their goals month after month:

Jaclyn Johnson, CEO & Founder of Create & Cultivate

Jaclyn Johnson, CEO & Founder of Create & Cultivate
Photo credit: Jessica Bordner Photography

Jaclyn Johnson is the CEO and founder of online platform and conference for millennial women Create & Cultivate. She is the author of "Work Party: How to Create & Cultivate the Career of Your Dreams," in which she talks with female entrepreneurs about how they found happiness and success.

Do you set new goals at the start of each year?

I always set goals, both personally and professionally. At Create & Cultivate, we're growing at such an incredible rate and it's important that I map out what we're looking to accomplish over the next year. I then break down the goals by month, quarter, etc. to mark deadlines for when and how we're going to attain each.

It's rewarding to look back on goals for 2018 and see all we've achieved!

Are there any specific tips or tricks you follow to ensure that you stick to your goals throughout the year?

I write them down. I find that if I put pen to paper, I'm more likely to follow through on my goals. It's also a good point of reference when I look back during our mid-year review to see where we're tracking.

Michael Katchen, CEO of Wealthsimple

Wealthsimple CEO Michael Katchen
Photo credit: Michael Katchen

Michael Katchen is the CEO of millennial-focused investing platform Wealthsimple. So far, the Toronto-based company has raised more than $74 million in investments, according to Forbes.

Do you set new goals at the start of each year?

Yes. I set goals against three categories, including my personal life, my relationships, and my work.

Are there any specific tips or tricks you follow to ensure that you stick to your goals throughout the year?

I write them down and share them with someone. There's a lot of data that shows when you do these things, you're much more likely to succeed.

Also, I recently read two books — "How Will You Measure Your Life?" by Clayton Christensen and "Measure What Matters: How Google, Bono, and the Gates Foundation Rock the World with OKRs" by John Doerr. Both books are good for looking at the value of goal-setting and how to set and achieve [things].

Ezinne Kwubiri, Head of Diversity & Inclusion, H&M North America

Ezinne Kwubiri, Head of Inclusion & Diversity for H&M North America
Photo credit: Ezinne Kwubiri

Ezinne Kwubiri is the head of diversity and inclusion at H&M North America. Prior to stepping into this role last year, she worked at Viacom for more than 10 years.

Do you set new goals at the start of each year?

Yes! I set both personal and professional goals throughout the entire year, not just at the start of the year.

Are there any specific tips or tricks you follow to ensure that you stick to your goals throughout the year?

Once a year I set long-term goals. For example, "get a new job." Then, I list short-term goals and strategies per quarter to help me achieve that long-term goal. For instance, "update my resume" and "update my LinkedIn page."

I also share some of my quarterly goals with peers who can hold me accountable or challenge my strategy. I've recently, joined The Cru, an intentionally curated female group, where we practice listing our intentions for the year and the steps we plan to follow to achieve them. We also include targeted dates to help keep each other accountable.

It's important that you remain realistic. If your goal is to participate in a marathon, there are steps before the day of the race that you have to do, like practice, register and maybe get a coach. Remember, the smaller goals are just as important as the day of the race.

Amanda Zuckerman, Co-Founder and Creative Director at Dormify

Amanda Zuckerman, Co-founder and Creative Director at Dormify
Photo credit: Alexandra Wolf

Amanda Zuckerman is the co-founder and creative director at Dormify, a one-stop shop for decorating your dorm room at an affordable price. She co-founded the company in 2012 with her mom after experiencing frustration with finding fashionable decor for her college dorm.

Do you set new goals at the start of each year?

I strongly believe in setting one, or two, goals to work towards in the new year because accomplishing something beats accomplishing nothing. I also think setting personal goals alongside goals for the business is important. Work can be consuming, but it's easier to find that balance if I'm also putting goals to things I'm passionate about outside the office.

Are there any specific tips or tricks you follow to ensure that you stick to your goals throughout the year?

Breaking down my goals into actionable steps can make them easier to stick to. Also, establishing how I'm going to reward myself up front, so that I have something to work towards, like a new pair of shoes, a restaurant I've wanted to try, or a spa day. I also check in with myself after a month to monitor my progress.

Patience is key, and it takes time to see results in anything you do.

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