Start Strong: Goal-Setting for the New Year (and New Decade!)

Can you believe it’s a new year—and a new decade? It’s true what they say . . . time flies. 

If you’re feeling a sense of renewal this season, you’re not alone. Now is a perfect time to set goals for what you’d like to accomplish in the days, months, and years ahead. With a few simple, intentional actions, you can harness the power of possibility for 2020 and beyond. Read on to discover the keys to setting and achieving impactful goals for the new year (and decade!).

Establish Meaningful Goals

Take some time to consider your goals. As you do, question your “Why?” for setting each goal and ensure the goal is in alignment with your values. This will greatly improve your chances of achieving your goal. Also, be sure the goal is within your control. Is it your own hard work, dedication, and fortitude that will deliver results, or does meeting your goal rely heavily on an outside source? Strive to ensure it’s the former. 

Meaningful goals should be:

  • Specific 
  • Measurable
  • Attainable

“Read more” or “lose weight” are not goals. They are aspirational ideas. Instead, set goals such as “Read one self-help book per month,” or “Lose 15 pounds by December 31”—these are specific, measurable, and attainable.

Reach Your Goals

You’ve determined the goals that will guide you from the place or person you are to where or who you want to be. Now what?

Write them down. It doesn’t matter whether they’re jotted on notebook paper, calligraphed into a bullet journal, or plastered on a dream board—just get your goals written down. Keep the list in an accessible place where you’ll be reminded often so you can stay on track. 

Develop small but effective habits. According to habit expert James Clear, author of Atomic Habits, “It’s easy to overestimate the importance of one defining moment and underestimate the value of making small improvements on a daily basis.” Slow and steady wins the race. 

Give it time. Good habits (and conversely, bad habits) compound over time. At first, obvious results will likely elude you, but if you practice patience and perseverance, you can be confident that your efforts will pay off once you’ve reached a tipping point. 

Start 2020 strong with a set of specific, measurable, attainable goals. Achieving these goals is as easy as staying the course with small but effective daily habits. Give it a try . . . what have you got to lose? Good luck, and happy new year!

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