We all set out with the greatest intentions to achieve massive things each year. And this New Year was no exception as I saw infinite references to goal setting and yearly planning on Pinterest, Instagram and Periscope in the last month. But once all the dust settles, how can you make sure you are doing your best to achieve your goals in 2017?
Below, I have more than 20 simple and effective ways that will help you achiev your goals in 2017, so that next New Year you can really party.
Let’s dive in.
Review your previous 12 months
If you don’t review your past 12 months, how can you know where you are headed?
What worked for you? What didn’t work? What made you feel alive and what did you continually put off.
By looking at the goals that we reached and “failed” in the last year we can analyse what might work for us this year and make the best choices about the direction of our lives.
It can be really strange to look at where you started 12 months ago and really motivating to see where you have ended up now. It might feel like 2016 just flew by, but you have 365 days worth of learning, creating and growth that you did – you might as well learn from them too.
Actually set goals for yourself
Part of self-sabotage is the thought that by not setting goals you aren’t going to fail at anything. Avoiding setting goals for yourself is an avoidance method and one that can really ruin your chances of a great year.
But you would be surprised how many people wish they had done more throughout the year or done better, without ever realising they didn’t set out what more or better was for them.
It’s not enough to just wish a successful year, you have to state and set what that success would look like to you.
Make a step-by-step plan for each one of your goals
To avoid getting to October and realising you haven’t nearly achieved most of your goals, you must set up a plan for every single one of your goals if you want to actually achieve your goals in 2017.
What is your step one?
What are you going to do in March to achieve it?
When are you going to complete it?
A goal without a plan is truly just a wish, and it is never going to come into reality if you don’t do the work to get it there. The plan is the easiest part, so you should be doing it right now!
Don’t make goals that clash
If you set yourself a million and one goals which all have a different focus and don’t give them individual priorities, then you are probably not going to achieve any of them.
I used to work by assuming if I set a lot of goals and just worked my way through them I could achieve all of them.
But it is much better to have fewer, big goals which can be worked on in small chunks, but all relate to the overall theme of your life.
For example, you want to start a new business but you also want to compete in a marathon at the end of the year. Before and after work you only have a finite amount of time but each of these goals require more time than you have to give. You are far better waiting a year for one of these goals, than trying to fit in a 10K run and make 10 products each day.
Don’t make things harder for yourself than they already are
Focus on one thing at a time
Don’t try and finish every goal at the same time. Larger goals with specific timelines are much better suited to focused attention and commitment.
Savings goals, can run all year but if you are starting something which is going to make you a certain percentage of your income, you might want to dedicate 2 full weeks of uninterrupted evenings and weekends to this goal.
Pulling yourself in too many directions is just going to lead to burnout and will not help you achieve your goals in 2017.
Plus, by completing a goal early in the year and moving on you are giving yourself motivation for your next project.
Keep a record/journal
You must keep track of each of your goals and their steps. Put a copy of your plan into your journal so that are constantly seeing it and seeing if you are on track.
Making measurable goals is key to a great year.
Journaling is an essential skill for many people to de-stress, but it is also very useful to see how your goals are affecting your life and making you feel. Always think about your big goals while you are writing, to keep them fresh in your mind and your main focus.
Make a vision board
Vision boards are all about positive reinforcement and auto-suggestion making you happier and more likely to achieve your goals.
By showing yourself what it is you are working toward you are more likely to stick to your goals for the entire year, and see results sooner.
If you want to see more about how to create an amazing vision board – check out this popular post!
This year particularly, I am really focusing on vision boards, manifestation, law of attraction and mindsets to achieve my goals so stay in the loop to see how these pan out for me!
Tell someone about your goals
Accountability is very motivating and will be a key factor to helping you achieve your goals in 2017. If you aren’t someone who keeps promises to yourself easily, find someone else who can help. The benefits of mastminds and groups is definite, but anyone will do as long as they are supportive!
Telling your parents, partners or friends (online or offline) suddenly makes your goals feel real, and you will have more than just yourself to tell if they fall through.
Allocate time every day to your goals
By making small, consistent progress you will eventually achieve great results. Consistency is important for both large and small goals.
You are far more likely to achieve your goals if you see them every day, than if you take weeks off at once. Taking a break from your goals, while it might seem like you need it, will only hinder your progress because re-starting once you stop is far harder than pushing through.
You are going to lose motivation throughout the year for various goals, the idea is to keep going and move through those tough patches.
Make it easy to keep your goals
Don’t make it hard for yourself. We are all guilty of self sabotage so just be aware of these behaviours when you see them come up.
If you have almost reached your savings goal for the month, don’t go and buy a $200 dress and sabotage those good efforts!
Put habits, systems and routines in place now to make it easy to keep your goals once their shiny appeal has worn off – because it will at times!
Review your goals regularly
How are you going? Are you making progress or falling behind?
Several of your goals may need to be altered throughout the year due to various circumstances and that’s ok. It’s better to review and make changes as soon as you see something going wrong than just ignore it and hope you can catch up later (you won’t be able to!).
Do quarterly reviews and set monthly objectives
Don’t plan out 12 months at once! Plan out smaller chunks – I love 90 day planning (often with an overall theme for that quarter) and then I set out 2-4 weeks of objectives and goals to achieve those 90 day goals.
This will also remind you to do a review once you have got to the end of each month and quarter.
Pick timeframes that are easy for you and manageable so you don’t overwhelm yourself.
Be gentle with yourself
Don’t beat yourself up if you fall behind on one or all of your goals. You are only human and going to have ups and downs.
Give yourself enough time and space to achieve what you are trying to, even if it feels like too much.
Giving yourself a hard time because you didn’t achieve something seldom helps you to actually achieve it – by diminishing your confidence you are more likely to give up altogether, and often will.
Be prepared to fail, and keep going
The greatest quality of successful people is definitely persistence.
It takes a great deal of courage to keep going after a setback or a failure, but that is when the magic happens. Every failure, every disappointment should be studied and analysed because you can learn great things about yourself in those moments that you can use in the future.
Think about your goals every day
If you have your vision board somewhere that you can see it, you are going to start to put those goals right in the forefront of your mind every single day.
By constantly picturing your goals in a positive way, auto-suggestion makes it more likely that everything you do is going to start brining you closer to those goals.
If your goals are absent from your mind you are hardly going to work on them, let along achieve them because you honestly probably won’t even want to.
Put your goals where you can see them
Put them on the inside visor of your car, on your refrigerator, on your bedroom mirror.
Put your vision board at the foot of your bed.
Write them down and make them the screensaver for your phone.
Email them to yourself. It doesn’t matter where or how you get them in front of you but you really want that constant reinforcement to be in your mind.
Understand your purpose in life
If you know the reason why you are trying to achieve all of these goals, then achieving them will be far easier.
Knowing your why, and the why of your goals gives you momentum, motivation and stamina to hang in there the whole year.
You don’t have to know that one thing that you were born to do, but by trying to ascertain your purpose for the year then you will at least the purpose of why you are doing these things.
Set a guiding word for the year, related to your goals
I love setting #onelittleword. I found it so powerful last year, and am continuing this onward into 2017 (and for every single year I’m sure!)
2016 my word was CREATE and I did manage to follow through in creating more of everything in my life and it particularly allowed my to start a handmade business – something that I may never have done had my year not been about creating things.
2017 my word is EXPAND so that I don’t just continue to make new things and go in new directions but stick to these and expand them.
I cannot recommend enough picking a guiding word before you set your goals because it will help you to reign in all your ideas and give you a solid foundation and mantra to come back to throughout the year.
Understand your limitations
Last year did you want to run 3 times per week, even though you had never run before, the pavement around your house is crap and the weather is never good? In the end you didn’t even get out once most weeks.
Instead of putting that on your goal list again and being determined to actually do it this time, change your goal to something within your limitations that would get you the same result – fit and active.
Not everyone can do everything.
Pick some goals which are low-hanging fruit and allow yourself to feel good for achieving them.
Nothing gets done if it has forever and if you want to achieve your goals in 2017 you have to set that date in 2017!
Just like school assignments, a time crunch can really make you hustle. Every single goal should have some kind of timeframe whether that is I will complete X every day/week/month or I will complete X by this date.
You can hardly plan out your goals successfully if you forget to mark their stop date.
By realising when you are procrastinating and actively stopping yourself, you will have a far more successful year.
Anytime you feel yourself procrastinating, pledge to do the next smallest step you have to do in order to achieve your next goal.
That usually gets the ball rolling enough to get you back into the swing of it.
So there you have it, 21 strategies that you can use now to help you achieve your goals in 2017 and set you up for success!