Hey, Gorgeous! Can you believe we’re already more than halfway through January? Did you set your goals for this year already? If not, there’s still time! For those of you who have, do some of your goals already seem a bit far fetched? Well guess what! There’s still time to revise them. We’re going to dive right in and talk about how to set achievable goals for the coming year.
Let’s start with why we need to set goals at all. Goals help us make concrete plans to curate our wildest hopes and dreams. Without goals, we end up not knowing where to focus our attention and direction. But why should we plan for them? Well, goals that are then written are 42% more likely to be achieved than those that are not. From personal experience, I spent many years saying I wanted to achieve certain things but not much ever changed. Instead of being discouraged by my failed attempts, I began putting my hopes and dreams to paper so they could help me take action! This was the missing piece I needed to make it happen. It’s been very empowering to plan for the life I want and I love to be able to look back on how much has changed, all because of setting goals.
We’re going to start our goal setting with dreaming big! Anything and everything is valid. Use an open section of your planner or journal to THINK BIG. Once you’ve got all those down, begin to sort though them and determine if they are SMART:
SPECIFIC- impactful on your life.
MEASURABLE - important to you or your overall wellness.
ATTAINABLE - can be achieved by making manageable changes.
REALISTIC - achievable or rewarding.
TIMELY - trackable and broken down in a manageable time period.
This theory came from George Doran, Arthur Miller, and James Cunningham in their 1981 article, “There's a S.M.A.R.T. way to write management goals and objectives”. Using this tool, we’re going to either filter out some of those dreams or fine tune them. For example, I want to commit to having better spending habits. Without a plan or goal in mind, I might find it difficult to take any action. Keeping SMART in mind, I might make a few goals such as:
- Use the cash budget/envelope technique.
- Minimize my online purchases.
- Set aside money for savings.
All of these are great actions to help me with the overall goal of having better spending habits. These are very close to fulfilling SMART guidelines. But need a bit more fine tuning. Let’s try it once more:
- Determine the exact amount needed for specific activities (groceries, recreation, etc) that month and set aside cash. Plan out when and how many times I will be doing that certain category so I can divide the money per trip.
- Make lists or bookmarks of the items I’d like to purchase and review them at the end of the month to see if I still want or need them.
- Set up an automatic transfer to a savings account the day after I get paid.
I now have a clear direction for the year on how I will spend my money more wisely. Now this guideline isn’t the end all be all of goal setting. Some might prefer a different approach. We’re still going to DREAM BIG, just as we did in the previous method. Brainstorm all those ideas and break them down by category.
Once we have an idea of what these goals and dreams relate to, we can pick the ones we want to work on. Some of your goals might be so big they might take more time. See if you can break them down into smaller goals for the foreseeable future, such as only what’s attainable for 2022. Next, ask yourself, what are the most important ones for this year? I personally like to pick one goal from each category for the whole year. Highlight, underline or do whatever you may need to show yourself these are the most important for you to achieve. Now, you’re going to take those goals and break them down even further to create some actions. For this example, we’ll go with the health category. Let’s say I want to lose 25 pounds. What are some actions I can plan that will help me achieve that goal? I’m also going to consider what the timeframe is that I’d like to complete this by.
I’ve decided I want to lose 25 pounds in year. That means I would need to lose about half pound per week. Here’s how I plan to do that:
- Exercise 4 days a week, 30 minutes per workout.
- Track my workouts and create goals along the way to level up my exercises (such as running a mile under 10 minutes, or lifting a certain amount of weight).
- Track my food intake and work on having a caloric deficit.
As you can see again, I’ve created clear, concise actions for how I will achieve my goal of losing weight. These of course are just a few guidelines to help you get your goals achieved. But if they’re still not for you, that’s ok! For those of you who have different methods, we’d love to hear from you about your favorite ways to set your goals. You can post in our Facebook group or share a story on your Instagram and tag us in it! With all that said, we here at the Fabulous Planner believe each and every one of you is a goal-getter!
The Fabulous Planner