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Any time is a good time for goal setting, but at the end of the year or the beginning of a new one we are often primed to review the past year and think about what we want to do differently. These goal setting tips will help you be more successful reaching your goals, whenever you set them.
Year in Review
If you’re setting goals for a new year, or a new month or a new week, it helps to look back on what you’ve accomplished (and what you haven’t) recently.
My 2019 was good, but I didn’t quite meet all the goals I wanted to. My house is still not totally decluttered, I’m not as healthy as I would like, I didn’t do all the writing and crafting I wanted to do.
The word I chose for 2019 was progress, and I did make progress in a lot of areas. I just didn’t complete much!
For me, 2020 is all about leveling up: more words, more crafts, more finished projects all around. I have goals related to how often I’ll post, how many ebooks and book proposals I’ll write, how much traffic I want to see and more.
Your goals, of course, will be completely different, but starting by reviewing where you’ve been and where you are should help you see where you want to go next.
And of course, use this time to celebrate what you did accomplish as well! I did make a lot of progress, and I’m proud of that. I also wrote an ebook all about decluttering craft supplies and launched a creative challenge for 2020, both of which I’m really excited about.
What Kind of Goals?
Of course we’ve all heard the goal setting tip that goals should be SMART: specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time bound. And that’s a great place to start.
So, instead of saying you want to do more yoga this year, you want to be able to do a shoulder stand by June.
And while attainable is certainly helpful when it comes to setting goals, what you think is reachable might not always sound all that exciting.
So one of the more interesting and helpful goal setting tips out there is to make sure you set some stretch goals, things you might not be 100 percent sure you are able to do but that get you really excited to try.
Exciting goals are things you will want to work toward, even when it’s hard and people say you are crazy. That even if you don’t make it, you’ll end up some place amazing.
Maybe instead of saying you want to run a 5K, train for a marathon. Instead of publishing an ebook, send out four book proposals and get two contracts. Don’t just learn to crochet; plan to make a sweater for everyone next Christmas (OK, that actually is crazy, but you get the idea).
Set a Clear Vision
This goes with setting SMART goals, but more than just having a goal, you need to have a vision and a plan for how to get there and what it will look like when you have met your goal.
When you master that shoulder stand, how will it feel? What does a decluttered craft room look like? How will getting that book deal feel, and what are you going to have to do to get there?
It’s easy to have ideas that reaching a certain goal would be nice, but without the plan behind it, all the goal setting tips in the world won’t help you get there.
Think about the steps you are going to have to take to reach that goal. Is there an amount of time you’ll need to set aside every day or a few times a week to get you there? Put that on your calendar now.
No Goal Setting Tips Matter without Planning
Seriously. Put it on the calendar. Don’t just think to yourself, “yeah, I’ll take 30 minutes a day to work on my book.” Actually write it in your planner or put it on your calendar every day.
I know this to be essential because that ebook I mentioned? Took three months longer than I meant it to because I planned with good intentions instead of actually putting it on my calendar. Once it started showing up in my to do list in a specific way, I worked on it a lot more consistently.
What specific way? Not just “work on the book” but “write x section” or “edit the first 20 pages” or “format and add table of contents.” When you know not only what you want to work on but what you need to do, it’s a lot more likely to get done. This is one of those goal setting tips you’re going to rely on no matter what you’re trying to do.
Start planning the projects or chunks of time you’ll need to get started toward that goal, and re-evaluate regularly how things are going and what you might need to change to get to your goal faster or more efficiently.
Get the Tools You Need
Maybe your goal involves doing something you’ve never done before, but that doesn’t mean no one has done it before. The odds are good more than one person has written a blog post, done a video, released an ebook or is selling a course about the thing you want to do.
Perhaps you need to ask a question in a Facebook group or search on Pinterest to find the best tools and resources you need to get to your goal.
And while a lot of information is available for free, you need to be aware that sometimes paying for help or advice can propel you forward faster (like taking a yoga class where someone can help you with your form instead of trying to do it alone).
Need more help coming up with and meeting your creative goals? Check out my goal setting ebook, which will get you started for just $5!
Ask for Help When You Need it
This somewhat goes along with getting the tools you need because, again, other people have been where you are, and a lot of them are willing to help (sometimes at a price, sometimes not). You don’t have to figure out how to format your book or where to sell it on your own, for example.
You can ask your friends, family, online community for help, and odds are good someone will be able to offer advice.
And even if you don’t need specific advice, checking in with supportive friends (online or offline) is a great way to stay motivated as you work toward your goals. You don’t always have to share what your specific goal is, but just asking for support or how people stay motivated when things get hard can give you a boost.
Share Your Goal Setting Tips
I’d love to hear if something has been helpful for you in setting and reaching goals.
Do you have a big goal you reached in 2019 to celebrate? Something amazing you’re aiming to do in 2020? I want to know about it. If there’s any way I can help I’d be glad to.