Christmas is finally over. The new year is quickly approaching.
Every where you turn people are posting on social media their plans for the next year.
Maybe you’ve starting thinking about your own resolutions or maybe you’re waiting until Jan 1 to set make your new years resolutions.
Maybe your saying this year will be the year that I’ll finally lose that weight, start that business, finish that degree or spend more time with my family.
Yes, this year will be the year!
And then…it’s March and somehow our resolutions have already fallen to the wayside.
We’ve slipped back into our old habits for one reason or another.
And we’ve resigned ourselves to try again next year.
But what if that doesn’t have to be the case?
What if there was a way we could crush every resolution we’ve set this year?!
Are you ready to achieve your dreams this year?!
If you’re answer is, “Yes!”
Then keep reading.
9 Steps to Help You Set and Achieve Your Goals This Year
1. Reflection on the Past Year
You can’t really know where you are going until you know where you have been.Maya Angelou
We live in a time where everyone is always on the go.
Everything has to happen quickly and everything has to happen now.
But one of the most important keys to success is reflection.
When we stop and reflect on our actions, deeds, and choices we gain a deeper insight into ourselves and the world around us.
Many of our lives are stuck on repeat every year because we don’t take the time out to reflect on our lives.
If your resolution is to get out of debt, then we need to reflect on how we got into debt in the first place.
Most people assume that the answer is to make more money, but what if you’re making enough money, but you’re spending more than you make?
Then the solution becomes reducing your spending habits instead of trying to work yourself to the bone to make extra money.
Grab a piece of paper or open an app on your phone (for my techy people) and reflect on this past year.
What was great about it?
What really worked for you this year?
What did you fail at and why? What did you succeed at and why?
2. Ditch the Resolutions
In the spirit of being transparent, I stopped making New Year’s resolutions a long time ago.
Instead of making a long list of vague resolutions like losing weight, saving money, or getting out of debt my family and I make New Year’s goals instead.
Why is a goal better than a resolution?
Goals tend to be more specific, which makes them a little easier to tackle.
When you go to the gym and work with a trainer one of the first questions they ask you is what your fitness goals are: Do you want to lose fat? Build muscle? Or just tone up a little?
Goals give you something to focus on and cause you to think about HOW you’re going to achieve it.
For example look at these two statements:
- I’m going to get out of debt this year (resolution).
- I’m going to pay off one credit card this year (goal).
Which one sounds more manageable?
The resolution sounds overwhelming and scary (especially if you have a lot of debt).
While the goal seems practical and something that can be easily worked towards.
3. Use SMART Goals
So now that we’ve decided to ditch the resolution and trade them in for goals. I want to show you how to make those goals achievable.
When I was a teacher we were required to create SMART goals for our class assessments.
Before we switched to SMART goals my lessons plans would look something like this:
Objective: By the end of this lesson students will be able to identify the parts of the food web and how energy is transferred between each level.
Goal: Students can identify the parts of the food web and show the flow of energy on the ecology exam.
That sounds like an acceptable goal. What teacher doesn’t want their students to pass their quizzes and test?
Then our school district changed the way they wanted our lesson plans written and introduced us to SMART Goals.
What is a SMART goal and how is it different from a regular goal?
In order for something to be considered a SMART goal it has to meet the following criteria:
As you can see, unlike a regular goal, smart goals tend to be very specific.
If we go back to my original example:
Goal: Students can identify the parts of the food web and show the flow of energy on the ecology exam.
SMART Goal: Students will be able to identify the parts of the food web and transfer of energy with 90% accuracy on the unit exam. (FYI: these goals were more for the teacher than the students.)
But we’re not here to score well on tests. We’re here to create life goals!
The process behind SMART goals can be used to achieve those life goals.
(And it’s way easier, than those education goals. It took a lot of brain cells to get that right!)
This year I have a few different goals: losing weight, being a more consistent blogger, developing my spiritual relationship with God, and getting out of debt.
I’m sure many of you have at least 1 or 2 of these on your list. I’ll start with the easiest one and probably most common of all new years goals…losing weight!
After 3 kids and transitioning to being a SAHM. It hasn’t been easy to shed those pesky pounds.
2020 Goal # 1– To Lose 20 lbs.
Now let’s turn that into a SMART goal.
SMART Goal– By April 5th, 2020 I will have lost 20 lbs.
Is it truly a SMART Goal? We’ll let’s see..
Is it Specific…Yes,the target weight is 20 lbs.
Is it Measurable..Yes, I can measure how much weight I’m losing per month.
Is it Achievable…Yes, as long as I stick to my diet and exercise plan.
Is it Realistic…Yes, that’s about 6 lbs a month which is a safe and healthy rate of weight loss.
Is it Time-bound…Yes, I have 3 months to complete the goal.
Goal # 2: Get out of Debt
Ok, I don’t know if you’re like me, but I have a lot of student loan and credit card debt that I need to get rid of.
Being a SAHM makes this part a little more challenging since I only work once a month.
SMART Goal: Pay an extra $25 towards my credit card with the lowest balance each month.
Is it Specific…Yes- the target is paying down my credit cards by and extra $25.
Is it Measurable…Yes, I can keep track of my balances with my monthly statements.
Is it Achievable…Yes, I can make an extra $25/month .
Is it Realistic…Yes, with the plan being to roll that extra money over into the next card when the other is paid off. (The Debt Snowball Method)
Is it Time-bound…No, I don’t have a specific date for when all of these cards will be paid off, but If I crunched the numbers I could probably come up with an actual date.
I’m not going to bore you with the rest of my goals. I think you get the picture.
SMART goals are a great way to help you break down your new year’s goals and transform them into something manageable.
If you’re a blogger check out this post where I talk about what goals bloggers should set.
4. Don’t Go Overboard
I have A LOT of things I want to accomplish this year.
I mentioned a few of my goals earlier, but that’s not even the tip of the iceberg.
I could try to tackle them all this year, but when it comes to setting goals and being able to achieve them more is NOT better.
If I tried to achieve all of the plans that I have running around in this little head of mine I probably wouldn’t achieve any of them.
So my advice to you is to pick your top 3-5 goals and focus on those.
However, don’t toss out your long list. Many of us have goals that can be considered short-term and long-term goals.
A short-term goal is anything that can be completed in 1-4 months, while a long-term goal is anything that is going to take 5 months or longer to complete.
Yes, yes. I know this is not the technical wisdom on short and long-term goals, but we’re talking about stuff you can realistically complete in a year.
So if you finish one of your short-term goals early, then you can always add another one to the list.
5. Make A Plan
“Nobody ever wrote down a plan to be broke, fat, lazy, or stupid. Those things are what happen when you don’t have a plan.”Larry Winget
I’m not really sure I need to write anything here. The above quote kinda says it all.
If you want to achiever you goals, then you need to have a plan.
You can’t just wing it and hope that everything will work out.
Look at your goals for this year.
Think about how you’re going to make that happen?
What steps do you need to take everyday to reach that goal?
Write it down. Put it into action.
Do you need a place to write down your plan or way to stay organized?
Check out my planner pages in my etsy shop.
There is nothing more satisfying than crossing something off your to-do list.
In order to crush your goals this year, you need to have a place in your home where you can see them daily.
You can dedicate a whole wall in your house to your goals or you can just write it on a sheet of paper and tape it to the bathroom mirror.
It doesn’t matter what you do as long as you can see it.
When you complete a goal celebrate it! Throw yourself a mini-party.
Keep your completed goal on the board.
So on those days when you feel like you haven’t accomplished anything you can look back at your paper and remind yourself that you finished one goal and you can knock out another one.
7. Change Your Mindset & Your Habits
You can reflect, set your goals, make a plan, create a vision board and follow 100 other steps that you can find on the internet for goal setting, but none of that matters if your don’t change your mindset or your habits.
There isn’t a magic pill or diet that will help you lose weight.
The results will only last, until you finally ditch the diet and return back to your normal eating habits.
Getting out of debt can be and often is a slow process, but you will never get out of debt if you don’t check your spending and continue to carry a lack mentality.
In order to succeed at your goals you have to be willing to change your mindset and your habits.
Most of us have spent/spend our lives around negative people telling us what we can’t do and those are the voices that limit our beliefs in ourselves and keep stuck where we’re at.
Those negative messages need to be replaced with positive one’s.
One of the things that can help you change your mindset is by using positive affirmations.
I know for some of you that may sound cheesy (raises hand), but after a while of saying them you really start to believe them.
For me that belief in myself and in God is what motivates me to keep pressing towards the goals that I’ve set for myself.
8. It’s Okay to Fail
I know for me failure was not an option growing up.
But for me failure was a double edged sword.
Because I was afriad to fail it pushed me to get better at the things that I struggled with in school.
But it also kept me from trying new things and experiences.
Or if I did try it was only half-heartedly. That way if I failed it wasn’t that big of a deal.
I almost didn’t start my blog because I was afraid to fail.
But what most people miss about failure is the opportunity to learn from it, pick yourself back up, and try again.
If you don’t reach your SMART goal by the date you planned it’s ok.
Reflect on what you did right and what went wrong.
Then try again.
That ’s the good thing about goals.
You can always re-evaluate and start reaching for them all over again.
My final step for you today is to remember to breathe and relax.
Goals are just what they are goals.
It’s awesome if you complete the goal. But it’s not the end of the world if you don’t.
If I don’t lose 20 lbs by April 5th, but I’ve lost something or I went down a dress size.
Then that’s still a success in my book.
If I can only manage to pay an extra $5 a month towards my credit cards, at least I’ve still taken a step to getting out of debt.
When your goals become a source of sadness and frustration they are no longer goals but have become unnecessary weights.
At that point it’s time to take a deep breath and re-evaluate your goals.
Maybe it wasn’t realistic or maybe the time to complete it wasn’t long enough.
Or maybe life just happened.
Don’t forget to stop and celebrate the little wins along the way.
Those are the 9 steps that you need to take to set and achieve your goals this year.
Ok, so those last two wore more like tips then steps, but they’re still important.
No matter what happens this year don’t stop reaching for your goals.
You are sure to succeed if you take it one step at a time, one day at a time.
I hope that you met each and exceed every goal that you set this year.
Now it’s your turn.
Share with me 1 goal you have for this next year. Or a success story from this year.
Let’s inspire someone today!
As always don’t forget to like and share this post!
Until Next Time,