How often have you written down a bunch of goals in January, only to fall off the Resolution Wagon by February? I know I have. It never feels great to fail at follow through. I’m sure intentions were so good and each resolution or goal was probably set up to increase the quality of your life.
But thinking about it is the easy part. If that’s where your goals setting ends...I’m sorry to break it to you, but you are most likely going to end the year in the same place you started.
For me, goal setting is imperative to a happy and fulfilled life. If you’re not setting your sights on gaining something, improving your circumstances, or being a blessing to others, what are you really doing?!
Here are 3 reasons why you’re probably quitting your new year goals (or not even setting them at all at this point)
I mean, these are valid. And probably common reasons why many people fail to succeed at New Year Resolutions. I’m sharing with your 7 Steps to CRUSH your new year goals, and really any goal, anytime.
Before we dive into the 7 Steps, I think the key to setting a goal you can conquer is having a clear and strong reason WHY you want to accomplish it. If it is a surface-y, generic reason, there won’t be much motivation to follow through. If I set a goal to lose 15 lbs, WHY is that important to me? Is it just to look nice in a swimsuit? Or is it so that I can be at a healthy weight, full of energy to keep up with my kids, to feel comfortable in the clothes I wear, and have a chance at a long healthy life. THAT means a whole lot more to me than simply looking nice in a swimsuit.
I hope your goals move you to your core.
Let’s get into it!!
7 Steps to crush your New Year Goals
1) SET SMART GOALS
Setting a goal is a lot more than thinking about what you want. It is writing it down and putting it into action. An excellent framework for creating a good goal, so that you’ll be likely to accomplish it, is setting S.M.A.R.T. goals. Smart goals are:
Specific: Instead of writing down “I want to be rich”, you might say “I want to make $10,000 a month”. Don’t set a vague goal. Be as specific as possible.
Measurable: A measurable goal is quantifiable. “I want to weigh 130lbs”, instead of “I want to lose weight". It can be measured. “I want to sell 200 cakes”, instead of “I want my bakery to have a good first quarter”
Attainable: An attainable goal is something you can realistically achieve. A post office clerk might not make it a goal to be a brain surgeon in 3 months. It might be more achievable to want to lose 10 pounds in Quarter 1, rather than 100.
Relevant: Make sure your goals align with your core values. (I share more on the importance of core values and priorities in my Manifest Mama course) Do your goals make sense to your lifestyle and long-term objectives
Time-Bound: Set goals according to a timeframe. You might say “I want to publish 1 blogpost each week this year for a total of 52 posts by the end of December 2021”. Not “I want to work on my blog more”.
2) PLAN OUT ACTION STEPS
Break up each large goal into smaller/shorter goals. I recommend 30-60-90 day goals. Did you know it takes 66 days to get a habit to stick? Have grace with the process and take it one step at a time.
Once you’ve done that, plan out action items to help you reach that goal. For the sake of generalization I’ll go back to weight loss.
SMART GOAL: I want to lose 15 lbs by July 1st
Smaller Goals: I will lose 3 lbs a month January through the end of June
-I will drink 64 oz of water daily
-I will replace one meal a day with a healthy shake
I will do 30 min of exercise 5 days a week.
These are practical things you will do that will get you closer to your goal. Again, it’s more than just thinking about it or talking about it.
3) GET ACCOUNTABILITY
Sticking with goals is usually hard. It’s uncomfortable at times, and when we lose motivation or have a down day, it’s easy to fall out of rhythm, and then just toss it out altogether. Get Accountability! Share your goal with someone! Have a partner to pace with. Maybe you have the same goal, similar goals, or different ones. But you can cheer for each other, keep one another on track, and have someone to lean on.
Better yet, see if you can find a group to track with. There are so many Facebook communities for so many causes. They can offer great support. Don’t try to conquer a big goal alone. I promise it’s so much better with others. You’ll need it some days.
4) REWARD YOURSELF ALONG THE WAY
I said it. And I’ll keep sayin it. TREAT YO SELF! Whenever you hit a milestone toward your goal, you best be celebrating!!! If you are shooting for the 15 lb weight loss, when you drop 3 lbs, honor that! Maybe buy yourself a top, do a happy dance, share your win with a friend, or go get your nails done. Associate your hard work with something fun! You deserve it. But be sure your treat doesn’t get you off track of your goal though.
The process of upgrading your life should always be a celebration!!
5) GET A MENTOR
We talked about having a buddy or support group. For specific, dedicated support, finding a mentor will be HUGE in your goal journey. Find someone who’s farther along the way and get their help. Or if you can’t personally work with a mentor, try getting a book by someone expert on the topic. For example. If I’m doing my weight loss goal, I could work with a trainer or coach. If I have a goal for my blog, I might buy a book from a successful blogger on how to do it well. It's so inspiring to see how someone else has done it. And the advice & motivation will be super helpful.
6) REDUCE ROADBLOCKS
Yall this the hard part. To conquer a challenge, you’re going to have to do things different. So you will have to be intentional and consistent about avoiding distractions. If your goal is to be single for a year, you better delete them dating apps. If your goal is to write a book, have you blocked specific uninterrupted time to work on it? Making your goal a priority means reducing things that might get you off track. If you want to go plant-based, toss out food items that aren’t going to help you out. You know what you need to do. And if you don't, go back to steps 4&5.
7) USE A VISUAL
The most underestimated tip right here! Having a visual tracker system was immensely beneficial for me when I did 100 days of Morning Meltdown workouts. The simple task of crossing off a day was a big deal for my psyche. I didn’t want to fail to cross off a day! Being able to see my progress, watch myself get closer to a goal, and even celebrate every 10th day...I’m sayin...don’t knock it till you try it.
Many planners nowadays have habit trackers inside. I don’t love them. I’d say create a calendar or tracker that inspires you. (Canva is my favorite) Put it somewhere you can clearly see it daily. And get hype every time you check off a day you moved closer to your goal!
Grab a FREE PRINTABLE HABIT TRACKER here
Grab a FREE ACTION STEP WEEKLY TRACKER here
So are you ready? Do you feel more equipped to conquer a new goal this year. Don’t be discouraged if you’ve failed at a New Year’s resolution in the past. And don’t feel like goals can only be set in January. In fact, I plan to do quarterly goals this year. I really hope you discover a goal that is meaningful for you; that you apply these principles, and that at the end of 2021, you come out feeling victorious for accomplishing something you set your mind to do.
Share this article with a friend, maybe your goal pacing buddy. I wish you the very best. Lord knows we could use more magic and joy this year. I dare you, comment below what goal you plan to CRUSH this year!
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Malia was born and raised in Kaneohe, Hawaii and graduated from Azusa Pacific University. She spent the majority of her career as an Early Childhood Education Teacher/Administrator.