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How to Set New Year's Goals

Setting goals is one of the best management tools to make progress while increasing motivation and performance.

Some people have already set their goals for the year, others have forgotten what they wrote before they even started, and some have been procrastinating because they don’t even know where to start.

Setting goals doesn’t have to happen at the beginning of the year, however it can help you step into your resolutions with a “fresh start.” It also gives you a way to easily track and measure your progress throughout the year.

When it comes to setting goals, the hardest part can oftentimes be deciding on which goals to choose. It may feel overwhelming thinking of all the possibilities and trying to tailor them to yourself. One technique that helps when setting goals is to break down your life into different categories and decide how you want to excel in each.

Making your goals trackable is another way to help stay the course.

Tracking allows you to have an unbiased report of how you’re doing when you sit down to review your progress. Tracking can help you see where you’re improving and where you’re failing in different areas which in turn allows you to adapt your goals to your lifestyle more or can determine if you’re slacking and need to step up your game.

Here are a few examples to help you get started:

1. Fitness/Health

This is an area that falls to the wayside for a lot of people, partially because it can take a lot of discipline to achieve and is easy to ignore.

A few trackable ideas to help improve your health and fitness levels are to record what you eat every day. This doesn’t mean you’re emphasizing caloric intake, but it can be a way to see how your food is affecting your body and mind. A great free app to use is myFitness Pal.

To track your activity levels you can start recording how long you work out for, how much weight you’re lifting, or putting X’s on the calendar on the days that you do something active. Having a visual is almost like having an accountability partner (and it’s sometimes less annoying too).

2. Interpersonal

Whether you want to improve your friendships, relationships with children, or your romantic relationship, creating ways to track this is a great way to make visible progress.

Some examples are: have friends over twice a month, date night with your children once a week (set the specific day and activity in advance), buy your significant other a small surprise gift every 30 days.

Adjusting these goals to how they fit into your lifestyle is important, but make sure to write these down or have them on your calendar in some way. That way, you can look back at the year and see how intentional you’ve been.

3. Financial

This is a huge one, and most likely the one that will get the most resistance. Some of you are well aware of the importance of tracking your finances while others may have no idea where to begin. For this reason, I’m going to break this down into two categories: beginners and advanced.

Beginners: You are in this category if you sit down at the end of the month with zero clue about where your money has gone. You may be breaking even, but you aren’t sure how. For you to get started in financial success the biggest place to start is simply tracking your spending. Don’t change anything, just track every single purchase you make.

There are so many free apps to choose from it can be slightly overwhelming. One that’s been great is Spending Tracker- you can record each charge manually to help you stay aware daily. Another good one is Mint, you can connect all your accounts so that it tracks your spending automatically.

Goal for beginner finance: Track spending for 4 months straight.

Advanced: You’re in this category if you’re paying off debt (or you’re debt free) and you know where all your money goes every single month. If this is you, congratulations! You may feel like you don’t need many goals in this area anymore, but there is always progress to be made.

Please adapt these goal ideas to your financial situations, but don’t be afraid to challenge yourself a bit.

Goals for advanced finances: Save 50% of your income, only spend $50 on eating out per month, invest 20% of your income, give away 10% of your income.

Setting goals like these can help you see how financially disciplined you are and can help 10x your financial success.

4. Personal

Setting goals in your personal life can vary greatly from person to person, but the main priority here is to give yourself a big enough goal that will be a challenge, but won’t be too overwhelming. Some examples can include: reading 12 books in the year, starting a new hobby for a month, studying a new language, journaling every day for 10 mins.

One beautiful thing about us as human beings is we always have room to grow. Allow yourself to be self reflective enough to recognize where you can improve, give yourself grace for struggling, and then create your goals to improve in those areas.

Being mediocre is easy. Not trying is easy. But who says living in mundane comfort is the way to thrive in this life?

The average lifespan of an American citizen is only 77 years, that is only 28,105 days. What are you going to do with that time? Do you want to continually improve who you are which in turn can positively impact those around you? Or do you want to spend your days on an endless cycle?

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