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Setting goals is one thing, but accomplishing your goals is another.
Each new year, we all tend to reflect on our goals, our priorities, and how we want to grow ourselves over the next 365 days. It’s an inspiring time of year, for sure.
I used to get sooooo excited for the new year. I couldn’t wait to grab my journal and start mapping out my success plan. My plan for becoming the absolute best version of myself.
I’d fill at least an entire page with alllll the things I was going to do in the upcoming year.
- Exercise more.
- Be a better wife / sister / friend.
- Eat healthier.
- Blog more.
- Practice my Spanish more.
- Make more money.
- Save more money.
And every year, I’d start out strong, and like so many others, after a month (or even after a week or two), I’d get off track.
So instead of filling a page with all the things I needed to do more of, this year I took a different approach.
In this post, I’m sharing my 6-step strategy for accomplishing my goals this year by simplifying.
Set no more than 2-3 goals at a time
Because the key to success is to do less, not more.
Science shows that we can really only focus on two goals at a time effectively.
If we’re working on too many things at any given time, we lose focus.
By creating just two goals, we give our brain the space it needs to think through what we need to do to achieve those goals, and then perform the tasks to accomplish them.
It also helps us prioritize better. Which goals are most important to you?
Make your goals super specific
While it’s all well and good to say I want to exercise more, that’s not specific.
Exercise more than what? More than The Rock? More than my 87-year-old mother-in-law (who works out daily, I should add)? More than I do now? (Because at one time, that would have been setting my bar pretty low.)
My first goal this year is to exercise 3 times per week for at least one hour each time.
My second goal is to publish a new blog post weekly on Wednesdays.
Notice how specific those goals are?
I didn’t say, “exercise 3X per week”. I said “3X per week for at least one hour”.
I didn’t say, “blog weekly”, I said, “blog weekly on Wednesdays”.
This gives me a much more clear point to aim at than having goals that are vague.
Map out your plan of action
Now that you have specific goals set, it’s time to map out the exact steps you need to take to achieve them. Create a roadmap, so to speak.
To get my exercise on three times a week, I joined a boxing class here in Loreto (Baja, Mexico, and possibly my favorite place we’ve traveled to), where I go Monday, Wednesday, and Friday mornings from 7:30-8:30am.
To get these blog posts out every week, I:
- Wrote down each and every task that goes into publishing a blog post
- Created templates to make things easier to get started (so I’m never looking at a completely blank page or creating a graphic from scratch)
- Put each task in Asana (a free project management tool) with deadlines.
Now I don’t have to guess what I need to do to hit my goals. Mapping out my to-dos will help me actually get them done.
Create small habits around the steps in your action plan
Every year, I choose a word to help me focus on the me I want to be, and this year, my word is CONSISTENCY.
Once I start doing these two things consistently, they will become habit.
I will no longer need to think about them, and instead, they will then become part of my routine.
And once these habits come second-nature to me (I estimate it may take 2-3 months), I’ll choose two more goals and work them into my current routine.
By the end of the year, I’ll be a certifiable badass – in my own eyes, at least!
Put your money (and time) where your mouth is
My mentor, friend, former boss, and New York Times bestselling author Ramit Sethi (one of the smartest people I know) says:
“If I looked at your spending for five minutes, I could tell where your priorities lie because people go to where their time and money go. For example, health-conscious people spend time and money on being healthy. Fashionable people spend time and money researching the latest fashion trends and shopping.”
It’s so true.
I get emails from people who say they want to start a blog so they can make money while they travel.
But when I email them a link to my free blogging course, they don’t sign up for it. Or they do, but they’re unwilling to spend $3.95/month on website hosting, even though there’s no other way I know of to start a money-making business for just $48 per year.
And that’s totally ok! But it also means they don’t really want to start a blog. Maybe they want to make money, but starting a blog isn’t a priority for them.
Again, totally fine as long as you’re being honest with yourself.
Personally, when it comes to something I want to accomplish, I’ll spend money if it saves me time OR helps me do something more quickly.
That’s why I LOVE online courses. They get me to the finish line much faster than if I were on my own.
Sure, I could have spent a week or more researching ways to increase my affiliate income. Or I could spend $197 on a course that took me two hours to go through and gave me a step-by-step plan.
The course saved me at least 15-20 hours of research and implementation time, and it came from someone I trusted, so I knew the info was good. Plus it’s something that will make me money in the long run. (It has loooooooong since paid for itself.)
So online courses save me time AND help me reach a goal faster.
Another example is my boxing class.
Sure, I could work out at home on my own for free, or go for a run down by the beach. Except I wouldn’t work out consistently at home (I know this about myself), and if you ever see me running, call for help because something scary is chasing me. 😛
But I chose to invest in this class because it keeps me accountable, and it’s fun as hell. I also invested in a new pair of badass boxing gloves (instead of using the ones at the class) so I feel even more motivated.
Bonus that there’s only one other person in the class, so essentially I have a personal trainer since the instructor is able to spend some time working with each of us individually.
This one is super important! Because once you’ve achieved a goal, you deserve to do something nice for yourself (even if the goal itself is a reward).
Maybe it’s to get a massage (one of my favorites) or get your hair done. Or visit that new restaurant you’ve been dying to try. Maybe you can rent an airbnb and get away for a few days alone.
Whatever it is, make sure it’s something special. This will also keep you motivated as you set new goals for yourself.
Recap: how to make sure you accomplish your goals this year
So in summary, these are my 6 steps for accomplishing your goals this year.
- Set no more than 2-3 goals at a time
- Make your goals super specific
- Map out your plan of action
- Create small habits around the steps in your action plan
- Put your money where your mouth is
- Reward yourself!
What are some of your goals, and how do you plan to reward yourself if you achieve them?