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Better late than never, right? So it may be halfway through February, but it is never too late to work on your goal setting. Besides, why do you only have to wait until the New Year to set and achieve your goals?
Did you know that only about 8% of people who set New Year’s resolutions achieve them? 25% of people who set New Year’s resolutions bail on them within the first week!
So let’s talk a little bit about goal setting and what you can do, any time of the year, to set and achieve your goals.
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Goal setting, no matter how you do it, is important to achieving what you want in life. One of my favorite quotes is:
A goal without a plan is just a wish
-Antone de Saint-Exupery
So, no matter where you are, let’s make the next 30, 90, 365 days great!
Below are some tips and tricks to help you reach your goals in life or business.
How to Set Goals!
Do you have a goal that you were previously working on? Starting a blog, losing weight, saving money? Think of that goal…
Review your previous goal(s) and objectives
Ok, think about your previous goal and answer these questions…
- What was the goal you were previously working on?
- How do you think it went before?
- What about your goal was successful?
- What about your goal didn’t work out?
- What did you struggle with?
- How could you have done better?
By answering these questions you can figure out what you need to do with your goal(s) next time to be even more successful
Make S.M.A.R.T. goals
If you have ever read a self-help book or blog post I’m sure you have heard of SMART goals, but let’s take a minute to review.
A SMART goal is:
- SPECIFIC-Specifically, what is your goal? I’m going to use savings as a running example here: You can’t just say “I want to save money”. Think about how much money you want to save. Are you saving for something specific? What changes do you have to make to save that specific amount?
- MEASURABLE-How much are you saving? $100/week, $1/day? How are you measuring your progress? How will you know that you are staying on track?
- ATTAINABLE-Is your goal actually attainable? For example, paying off your mortgage in a year is not attainable for most people, however, saving up $5,000 in an emergency fund over a year is a much more attainable goal.
- REALISTIC/RELEVANT-Can YOU realistically achieve your goal? Is the goal you set worth it?
- TIME-BOUND-In what timeframe will you achieve your goal?
It is really important to sit down and write out your goals and think about each of these points. For example, setting a SMART goal changes “I want to save money,” to “I want to save $5,000 for an emergency fund by the end of 2018 by putting $193 from each paycheck (paid bi-weekly-26 paychecks) into my savings.”
Do you see the difference there?
Write down your goals and objectives
Writing down your goals is critical!
Writing them down your goals not only helps you to remember them but also helps you to remember WHY you want to achieve them. I am the type of person that if I don’t write something down or have a consistent reminder of things, I will forget about it.
My husband and kids hear this all the time from me, “if it’s not on my calendar, it doesn’t exist!”
Besides, if you can’t remember your goals, how are you supposed to work on them?
There are a TON of ways to write out your goals so you don’t forget about them:
- Check out Etsy for just about every kind of goal setting worksheet you could think of!
- Create a vision board
- Start a blog to detail your progress
- Download any number of habit tracker/goal setting apps
- Use IFTTT to help simplify your life and make your goal setting and habits easier
- Put post-its around your house to remind you of your goals-the bathroom mirror is always a prime spot
- Use the calendar app on your phone to set reminders or to-dos
*If you’re looking for a planner that isn’t date specific, the Panda Planner is a great choice! It has sections for morning review, schedule, tasks, notes, priorities, end of day review, review from the previous week, plan for the upcoming week, projects, goals, monthly overview, focus and daily habits, planning and reviewing your month.
Create your goal plan
In order to stay motivated in reaching your goals, you need to create a plan of action!
A plan helps to break down your goals step by step so you know exactly what you need to do and when. Otherwise, you might feel like you are all over the place and overwhelmed by the big, end goal.
Your plan should detail the steps you will need to take in order to reach your goal(s). What happens at each step? How will you track your progress? Be as detailed as possible as this will help in your success!
Break down your goal
As I stated in the previous point, you need to break down your goal into smaller steps. When you have a BIG goal, especially if it takes place over a long time frame, it can feel so overwhelming. Take the saving money example, $5,000 might seem like a lot, but $193 every paycheck doesn’t sound as scary. Or weight loss is another good example. Say you want to lose 100 pounds over the next year, that is less than 2 pounds per week. See, that sounds totally doable!
If you are setting a goal for a whole year, break into down into 12, 26, or 52 steps-monthly, bi-weekly, or weekly. You will stay more motivated if you are seeing ?.
Thinking about starting a blog to make some extra income? Check out the timeline below as an example:
- January – Think of a blog idea, name, and do some research.
- February – Start a blog and create an overall blogging plan.
- March – Create an editorial calendar from your research.
- April – Find ways to monetize a blog and implement those.
- May – Put together and implement your marketing plan (hello Pinterest!).
- June – Attend a blogging conference.
- July – Guest post on 10 websites.
- August – Grow your email list to X subscribers.
- September – Build an emergency fund for X months.
- October – Reach X in blogging income.
- November – Grow a social media account to X.
- December – Become a “famous” blogger!
Keep track and adjust accordingly
Just like you would get a review at a job, make sure you are reviewing your goals on a regular basis. Things change all the time. Set a recurring time to review your goals, daily, weekly, monthly, whatever makes sense for the goal.
Having a recurring check-in will let you know whether you are on track, behind, or need to make any changes.
Looking for ways to track your finances better, check out Personal Capital. It’s a free service that can help you gain control of your spending and saving, similar to Mint.com, but Personal Capital also gives you access to your investments and retirement accounts!
Find small ways to stick to your goals
It happens, we all have those “off” days and fall off the wagon with our goals. The goals we set just might feel WAY too big some days. When this happens, you might just outright ignore your goals, or just be lazy and put them on the back burner. Or maybe you’re too tired or have too many other things going on. This can lead to a spiral effect and completely getting off track.
Forgetting about your goals, even for a short period of time, can cause you to get off track.
Do you feel like your goals are just too big? Try to find small ways to take steps in the right direction towards achieving your goals every day. Try to do little things on a daily basis to work towards your goals. Habit trackers are great for this!
Just remember that even the smallest steps in the right direction are still better than nothing!
Ways you can get back on track with your goals:
- Wanting to eat healthier? Have pre-made healthy meals and snacks so you don’t go for the unhealthy stuff when you’re hungry.
- Don’t feel like working out? Do some small things like pushups against the counter while cooking dinner.
- Struggling to make your financial goals. Try automation some things to make it a no-brainer to save-like automatic withdrawals from your checking into savings.
Consistent motivation to reach your goals will help you when you feel like quitting. Sometimes your goals might seem impossible, and having that little bit of extra motivation can make a world of difference. But motivation might always be easy to find either.
Here are a few creative ways to keep yourself motivated:
- Create a vision board and keep it in plain sight.
- Make your goal into a friendly competition.
- Reward yourself for milestones.
Make your goal a friendly competition
This can help you in tow different ways. First of all, if you are at all competitive, you understand what is at stake in any competition. Secondly, this also gives you an accountability partner.
Having an accountability partner can make your goal journey fun and maybe even a little bit easier. You also then have someone who is going through the same types of challenges that you can turn to and someone who is pushing you to succeed.
You accountability partner can be anyone with similar goals as yourself. When it comes to blogging, I like to find other bloggers online who have similar goals as me but are also a little more advanced than I am.
And the most important aspect of goal setting for ANY kind of goal is to just keep moving forward! It really doesn’t matter what kind of goal you are setting, you can always work to improve and expand on your goal even after you reach it.
What are some of the goals you have set for 2018 and beyond? What goal setting tips do you have to share?
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