New year, new goals. Yes, I’m one of those who enjoys making new goals each year… and sticking to them! Well, at least trying to. Why should you set goals? I’ve read several articles that claim that people who make goals are more successful than those who don’t. It makes sense, at work we make goals that we work towards to reach and once they’ve been hit, you truly feel as if you’ve done your job… and often it can lead to a good bonus. Monetary motivation aside, creating goals at the start of the year can lead to self-improvement, greater success and feelings of accomplishment as well as being highly motivating.
Tips for Making and Keeping Goals
Before I share my goals for 2018, I want to share a few of my best practices for setting goals and resolutions… along with how to actually stick with them.
1. Write Down Your Goals
First step in the goal making process is to write your goals down. Grab a pen and a piece of paper and make a list of what you want to accomplish in the next year. Once you’ve fine-tuned this list, put it somewhere that you’ll see it and remember what you are working towards on a regular basis. I’ve read a few studies that found that if you write down your goals, you’ll be more successful at keeping them. Even better, share your goals! When you share your goals with someone, you add on an extra layer of accountability.
2. Set S.M.A.R.T. Goals
Have you heard of SMART goals? I highly recommend creating SMART goals to make sure your goals are clear defined and reachable.
Specific: Clearly define what you want to accomplish along with the details on how you’re going to achieve the goal. Include the What, Why and How (and Where and Who if applicable too).
For instance, “I want to be healthier” is not a specific goal. “I want to lose 30 pounds by working out at the gym 4 days a week so I can look amazing in a bikini for my Hawaii vacation in June” is a specific goal.
Measurable: In order to achieve your goal, you need to be able to measure your progress towards reaching the goal. If your goal is to lose weight, make sure you include how much weight you want to lose as well as how you’ll be measuring your weight loss progress (daily weigh-ins, etc.). I suggest breaking your goals down monthly or even weekly to make it easier to accomplish. For instance, if you’re planning to lose those 30 pounds by June, break it down to 5 pounds a month.
Attainable: Of course you don’t want your goal to be something so easy that little to no effort is involved, but you also don’t want the goal to be something that you won’t have the time, energy or focus to complete. Stretch goals are fine, but be realistic with what you want to accomplish.
Reasonable/Relative: Is the goal something that will be a priority for you? If not, you may need to reexamine to make sure it’s relative to your life and will be something you will actually want to work towards.
Time-Based: By having a specific timeframe for your goal, it gives you a sense of urgency and extra push to actually accomplish the goal. Your timeframe should make sense for the goal. Again, go back to A-attainable and R-relative to make sure the timeframe you are planning for your goal will actually work with your lifestyle and needs.
3. Create an Action Plan
For each goal you make, add at least one action item as to how you will accomplish the goal. If your goal is to lose 30 pounds, your action items should include specific details on what action you’ll be taking in order to meet this goal (hitting the gym 5 times a week, removing carbs from your diet, etc.) If you have an action plan already in mind, it will be that much easier for you to actually complete your goals.
4. Progress Check-In
Creating progress checkpoints circles back to ‘M- measureable’ in the SMART method. Depending on your goals’ timeframe, check-in on your goals every few months to give yourself a progress report. If your goal is to lose those 30 pounds before June, give yourself a progress check-in every month or two so you know exactly where you’re at with your goal and what you need to do.
5. Revisit and Redefine
Life happens and while we may start with every intention of working towards our goals something may happen that gets in the way, our motivation just isn’t there or maybe the goal is no longer a priority. You know what? That’s okay. These are YOUR goals that you can revisit and redefine at any time. Maybe you started the year off working out like crazy and eating healthier but only lost 2 pounds the first month, not the 5 that you initially needed to. Revisit and redefine to make sure the goal is attainable and relevant to your life.
Now that I’ve shared my best practices for creating and keeping goals and resolutions, I wanted to share a few of my own, along with the action items needed to accomplish them.
1. Workout at least 3 times a week to tone and build muscle: Schedule a combo of fitness classes such as pilates, as well as at-home strength-building workouts
2. Make Healthier Food Choices: Use less fat when cooking; eat brown rice and whole wheat pastas; eat dark green food at least once a day; and participate in Blogilates’ 28-Day Reset
3. Cut Spending by 25%: Create a personal budget for necessary and un-necessary expenses. Commit to at least one monthly no-buy.
4. Travel to 3 New Places: Start planning trips to three places I have never been, including what I want to see, do and eat and find others who want to join these trips as well.
5. Read 12 books by the end of the year: Take time to read at least one book each month for pleasure and to help de-stress. Update my Goodreads reading list to track books I want to read.
1. 12K Followers on Instagram: This past year I was able to succesfully double my Instagram following and I would like to do the same this year. To do so, I will need to create compelling and engaging content with quality images; engage with other IG accounts; participate in Follow Fridays with other bloggers to help with account discovery; and engage in best IG practices.
2. Increased Page Views & Site Visits: Create a Pinterest strategy to add new pin content to help drive new site visits; include inbound links in blog posts to help increase page views and time spent on site.
3. Create Videos: Film and edit one video per month to upload to YouTube and promote across social to gain video views.
4. Secure More Brand Partnerships: Proactively send out at least 5 pitches to brands each week to secure additional brand partnerships and sponsorships.
5. Blog Accounting: Create and update monthly blog budget sheet to track expenses and incoming payments. I was doing great with this in 2016 and for some reason I totally lagged it in 2017.
1. Certification: Become Google Adwords and Facebook Ad Certified by learning and following best ad practices for each account
2. Social Strategies: Come up with 3 out-of-the box ideas for social strategy to help grow followings and engagement
3. Development Courses: Take at least 3 development course this year for career growth and self-improvement.
4. Make New Connections: Make at least one new legit contact at events attending.
5. Read 3 Career-Related Books: I have a few career-related books sitting on my shelf starting to collect dust. This year, I will read at least three of these (in addition to the above 12 books I want to read this year).
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What are some of your goals for 2018? Let me know in the comments below!