Goal Setting 101

Bringing in a new year has always been a big deal in my family. Since it is New Year’s Eve, I figured it would be fitting that I share a tradition that has kept us on track for as long as I can remember.

Everyone has some kind of “New Year’s Resolution,” even if they don’t say it out loud. Whether it be to lose a certain amount of weight or to take on more community service, we all seem to recognize January 1stas a sort of blank slate or white canvas.

In my family, we see January 1st as an opportunity to think critically about what we would like to accomplish in the coming year. It’s more of a time to declare our goals (that may or may not be confined to a one-year period). It varies based on where each of us are at in our lives, but usually there is at least one item that involved personal health and wellness and one item that involves financial goals. We take time as a family to write down short-term and long-term goals, and then share them with each other. There is something about sharing your goals with others that suddenly make them seem more real and hold you a bit more accountable.

Goal setting is incredibly important no matter what your career, status, religion, you get the picture! Here are some suggestions for how to set goals that will be more attainable, making you feel so much more successful in reaching them!

  1. Write them down. Grab a pen and paper and brainstorm what is truly important to you! Then, put the piece of paper somewhere that you will remember so that you can revisit it when necessary.
  2. Be specific. Don’t be vague when it comes to pinpointing your goals. Picture the details of what it will look like or feel like when you accomplish certain goals.
  3. Be deliberate. After you figure out the what, think about the how. It will become so much more real and exciting when you begin to plan the process of accomplishing your goal.
  4. Use a timeframe. Give yourself a time period to aim for accomplishing each step of your goal. It may be helpful to use 6-month, one-year, two-year and five-year increments. Even if you don’t make every deadline, it will help keep you on track.
  5. Lastly, be flexible. If you don’t succeed in hitting your goal the first time, odds are you are much closer to it than you were when you started. Look at the positives and keep going!

2019 is a great opportunity to create new goals for yourself. I hope you find them and accomplish them no matter what they may be. Happy New Year everyone!