It’s the first week of January, meaning it’s officially the season for setting goals. So many of us sit down each year to write out our goals and resolutions for the year. For most of us, figuring out how to set goals is not the problem. It’s the follow-through that’s the problem. I know I’m guilty of this! I set a “New Years Resolution” and have forgotten all about it by February. So today we aren’t going to talk about New Years Resolutions, yours or mine. Today we’re going to talk about goals. More specifically, we’re going to talk about how to set goals you can actually achieve.
Write Them Down
I’m a huge proponent of lists of all kinds. Just ask my husband! There’s a list for everything. I have lists of blog projects I want to get done, lists of products I want to add to my Etsy shop, lists of things we need to do around the house, etc. Sure, sometimes I’ll write something on a list and it won’t get done. But I guarantee that if I don’t write it down, I’ll forget all about it and it will never get done. When thinking of how to set goals, making a list is the best place to start.
If you read my blog regularly, you know I write a monthly goals post where I share everything I hope to accomplish each month. I love writing these down and sharing them with my readers keeps me accountable and gives me the opportunity to come back and look at them whenever I want!
Set Big and Small Goals
When we talk about setting goals in January, we’re often talking about big goals. Like, goals we’re going to work on all year. But make sure to write down a combination of big and small goals! Not all goals are created equally. I want to add new products to my Etsy shop this year (small goal), which can be done in an afternoon. I also want to consistently hit 100K monthly page views this year (big goal), which is something I’ll be working on for months and months.
Set Realistic Goals
A large reason so many of us fail at our resolutions each year is that we aren’t realistic when setting them. When thinking of how to set goals for this year, think of what you actually intend to accomplish. I would love to see more of Europe. But if I add that to my resolutions this year, I know I’m going to fail. Why? Because I have so many other things that are priorities this year. I want to see friends in other parts of the country, visit family in Alaska, etc. Sure, going to Europe would be a great goal. But I know it’s not in the cards this year.
Maybe you would love to set the goal of losing weight this year. Okay, great! Do you have any intention of improving your diet and incorporating exercise into your life? If you know you aren’t going to do those things, you’re setting yourself up with a goal you likely won’t meet.
You see my point. When writing down your goals, stick to goals you intend to take actionable steps to reach.
Focus on Each Goal Individually
Looking at a long list of goals and trying to figure out where to start can be daunting. A great place to start is by isolating the small goals from the big ones. Start getting small goals crossed off the list, one by one. In the meantime, create actionable steps for each of the larger goals. In order to truly accomplish all your goals, you need to give each goal the individual attention it deserves.
Add Actionable Steps
Another reason so many people fail at their annual resolutions is because they don’t create actionable steps to get there. Maybe you want to lose weight this year. That’s a common resolution. That’s a great goal, but that can’t be your only step. Have to break it down further than that! If your big goal is to lose weight, some actionable steps would be to eat healthier (get even more specific with what foods you’ll cut out and what you’ll add to your diet), workout on a regular basis (will you get a gym membership? What workouts will you do?), drink more water, get more sleep, etc. There are so many actionable steps you can take to reach that goal!
You should be doing that with all of your big goals. Think of the small, actionable steps you can take this year to reach your goals.
Track Your Progress
You’re never going to reach your big goals if you write them and then never check back in to see how you’re doing. I have lots of blog goals, including goals for my page views and social media reach. So each month I track my progress on a spreadsheet. I plan to workout more and eat healthier this year, so I use an app called MyFitnessPal to track how I’m doing. You see a trend? No matter what your goals are, there are tools you can use to help you track your progress!
Don’t Be Afraid to Evolve Your Goals
At the beginning of January, many of us are setting goals for the entire year. One year is a long time, and I promise your life is going to be different by the end of 2016. It might be drastically different. I have lots of blog and business goals for this year, but I fully expect my blog and business to be wholly different creatures in one year than they are now. Therefore, I might have to adjust my goals to fit the new reality. And that’s totally okay! Better to evolve your goals so they are the absolute best fit for your life.
Those are all the tips I have for you today on how to set goals you can achieve. I plan to come back throughout the year and share even more tips on goal setting!
What is your strategy for how to set goals you can achieve?
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