How to Set Goals You Will Actually Achieve
There is something about the new year that makes everything seem so exciting. It’s like the world woke up from a hazy fog and decided to actually make a change. I know that some people roll their eyes at the thought of setting resolutions and goals for the new year, and others who eagerly plan and prep for each new year and view it as an opportunity to continue achieving their dreams. I fall into that latter category. Lately, instead of setting strict resolutions, like I can’t eat x or I must do y, I create intentions. Today, I’m going to share my process for setting goals in the new year.
Select your word of the year.
Last year was the first time I selected a word of the year. I think I heard of the concept on Instagram and really liked the idea of defining my year by a word I hoped to embody. The word I chose for 2018 was fearless and in doing so, I felt like I lived fearlessly throughout the year. I changed my mind numerous times and surprised myself by handling things I never thought I could. For 2019, my word is grow. I chose this word because I felt like in 2018 I “planted the seeds” for growth, and now I need to actively choose it. Like the quote at the beginning of this post says in choosing growth, I need to overcome my fears.
I challenge you to think about what you want your next year to look like, and pay close attention to the words popping up in your head as you are doing the exercise.
Write your goals down as if they have already happened.
I read a few self-help books in 2018, and they all noted that I should write my goals down as if they have already happened. Instead of writing, “In 2019, I will…”, write “I wake up at 5:30 am to do x, this helps me feel better because y.” That way, I don’t have any room for excuses, like, well I said I will do it eventually, I’ll wake up earlier tomorrow. Then tomorrow comes and I’ll press snooze a bunch of times.
Start living your life as if you already had your dream life. What would you be doing differently?
Create a vision board.
People say that if you see your dreams/goals happening, you are more likely to achieve them. I think it is because you can imagine yourself doing those things and a feeling is attached. I had so much fun creating my vision board for 2019 and was inspired to create it by Stephanie Fleming, co-owner and co-founder of The Happy Planner. I had five or six Real Simple magazines around my house and I flipped through them, cut out the pictures that resonated with me and represented my goals, and placed them on the page!
However you decide to do your vision board is up to you! It can be a desktop background, pictures pinned on a cork board or glued on a poster, words written in your journal, etc. Have fun with it and make sure you feel inspired by it!
Schedule out time to work on your goals.
Now as much as goal setting can be fun, you’ll never achieve anything if you don’t schedule out time to work on it! Start by breaking down your goal into smaller, actionable steps. For instance, I want to maintain a healthy lifestyle. While that is a nice sentiment, nothing will happen if I just keep saying it. I need to take action. So, my plan is to work out at least three times a week, meal prep/plan, and stick to a healthier diet.
If you want your life to change, you need to actually put in the work to make it change instead of just wishing for it.
Remember: progress not perfection.
I love setting lofty goals and dreaming big, but sometimes that can get discouraging, especially when I’m not seeing results as quickly. I think that we all need to remember that progress is better than perfection. Just get started, don’t let your fears hold you back from achieving your goals in 2019!