How to Achieve Your Goals in the New Year

Happy 2017! We are a few days into the new year already, and as we begin, many of us choose to set aside time to pause, reflect, and set some goals to help us achieve new heights over the next months. Goal setting is absolutely essential to success, and I often encourage the practice of goal setting over resolution writing. Resolutions never seem to truly stick and tend to fizzle out come March {if not sooner}. Goals are measurable, energizing, and catalysts for actionable change. Want this year to be your best one yet? Your key to success is creating goals that can be broken down into success-building daily habits. 

You see, we often think about goals as these lofty aspirations or big accomplishments, and while some may be, the way to get there is through small actions done consistently. It's often said that it takes about 21 days to start a habit. If we're making changes, we need to examine our habits and see if there's some edits to be made in relation to our new goals.  What does your daily routine look like? Are there some tweaks you need to make to your mindset, input (music, movies, books, shows, etc.), or even waking/sleeping hours? Is this going to be comfortable? No, probably not, but is it going to lead to your success? Absolutely. The success stories we see are never brought about overnight...they are all preceded by consistent, non-glamorous, behind-the-scenes preparation work.  

Is it worth it? Well, that question is something only you can answer. For my own goals, the answer is a resounding yes!! I encourage you to find the things that challenge you to become better, push you far beyond whatever you dreamed possible, and cause you to grow into more of the person you've been created to be! This year is what you make it; let's commit to making it the best one yet!

Ready for a few action steps? 
1. Set aside time to write out 8-10 things you are going to accomplish in the next 6-12 months; all goals should be written in the present, positive tense as if you have already achieved them. 
(Example: I am thrilled to be traveling to Hawaii for a fun-filled vacation.) Don't forget to get specific! A simple 'I want to go on a vacation this year' just isn't compelling or action-oriented. Try to keep the "SMART" acronym in mind when writing your goals: Specific Measurable Actionable Realistic Time-bound
2. Commit to reading and visualizing your goals everyday. 
The best way to make this happen is by placing them in a spot you'll see each morning and evening. I place mine by my mirror so I can review them while I get ready or wind down for the day. 
3. Jot down a list of small habits or actions you can take to start working toward the accomplishment of your goals. 
For the Hawaii trip example, setting aside a certain amount of money each month into a 'vacation fund', doing a little research on places you'd like to eat/stay/explore on the trip, putting up a photo of where you want to go, and subscribing to flight notifications from certain airlines when they have good rates to where you want to go are all small, actionable steps to help you start working toward making it a reality. The more you place the goal in front of your mind, the more you'll begin to subconsciously work on it's creation. It may sound crazy, but I can honestly vouch for this technique's success. 

Here's to your most successful year ahead!

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