Once again, it’s that time of the year when we say goodbye to the old and hello to the new year. And as we say hello to the new year, we are also saying hello to what we’d like our future to look like.
Maybe you want to lose weight, finally create your business and quit your job, travel more, or spend more time with your loved ones.
And if you love planning like I do but struggle to actually make those plans happen, I have some tips to help you set new year goals and finally achieve them.
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Set Goals Instead of Resolutions
A resolution, like the name suggests, is a resolve or determination to do something. Resolutions help us imagine what we’d like our future to look like, but they don’t help us map out the steps to make them happen.
Resolutions tend to be too broad like, “I want to be less stressed next year.” Sure, that’s great, but how will you make that happen?
A goal is an ambition or effort; an aim or desired result. Sure, goals and resolutions seem to be similar but the mindset behind them are quite different.
Whereas resolutions are wishes you have, goals involve setting clear intentions, preparation, and taking action.
Write Your Goals Down and Review Them Frequently
You already know what you want in your mind, but make sure to write them down. When you write down what you want, those wants become real because they’re taking physical form.
And writing them down means you are 42% more likely to achieve them.
I am a firm believer in letting the universe know what I want just in case she wants to send some magic my way to make it happen.
So write down those goals and keep them visible on your nightstand, your desk or your fridge. As long as you look at them every day, you’ll get a daily dose of motivation — giving you a push in the right direction.
You’ll be able to review your goals regularly if they’re visible. How far have you gotten? Are you doing the best you can? Is this what you truly want? If you feel closer to your goals daily, you are on track.
If you feel like you are losing motivation, reassess your process and your goals.
Set 2-3 Goals for Each Quarter to Prevent Overwhelm
If you love planning like I do, it’s easy to get carried away and set 50 or so goals for the new year.
Perhaps you are looking to exercise more, lose weight, finally get organized and Marie Kondo your home, learn a new skill, quit smoking, and more. Those are great goals but keep the quantity realistic.
You’re just one person and cannot pursue 20 or so goals simultaneously, let alone right out of the gate.
I recommend setting 2-3 goals each quarter so you can devote enough time and energy to accomplish them without burning out.
Create Goals for Different Areas of Your Life
When setting your goals, consider all the areas of your life that you’d like to improve.
What would you like to improve in the career area? How are you doing in terms of relationships with those around you?
What else can you improve about your health besides simply losing weight?
Don’t forget about ways to improve your personal development. It’s important to always be learning so you can improve yourself.
These posts provide more info to help build your skills.
Make Sure Your Goals Are SMART Goals
To ensure you have the best chances of achieving your goals, make sure to apply the SMART principle of goal-setting.
SMART is an acronym for how you should set goals: specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and timely.
Make sure your goals are specific, meaning well-defined and focused. A goal like “Be healthier” is too broad and will set you up for failure. A goal like, “Exercise every day for 15 minutes” is much better.
Make Them Measurable
You should be able to track the progress of your goal using metrics. If not, how will you know if you’re moving toward success or away from it? Measurable goals are more tangible.
Make Them Achievable
Will you be able to achieve this goal? Evaluate if there are skills you must develop or further education you should seek out to achieve your goal. Keep in mind that while you should dream big and aim for the stars, you should keep reality in check too.
Do your goals align with the bigger picture of what you aim to do? If you want to create a virtual assistant business, does the goal of “Finding a new job” align with that? Probably not.
Essentially, do your goals make sense?
Setting goals is great, but if there is no set time to accomplish them, you’re setting yourself up for failure. A lack of deadline means you won’t push yourself to complete the tasks to meet that deadline.
When you set clear target dates, you’ll be able to see the big picture and plan accordingly because of the sense of urgency.
The start of a new year brings with it a blank canvas to mold your life as you see fit. It’s an exciting time to start over but be strategic and implement SMART goals to make sure you don’t give up before January is over.