Make 2021 Your Best Year for Achieving Goals
It’s time to take the overwhelm out of goal setting. 2021 can be the year you set goals that really matter to you and jump for joy at the end of the year as you achieve what you once only imagined was possible!
Happy New Year, Momma! I’m sure I’m not the only one who is looking forward to some major changes in 2021.
Obviously, I hope that there are BIG changes in our world. (Hoping that COVID goes away for good and we never have to even hear the word again!) I hope there are big changes to our culture here in America. But, I know that ultimately, the only big changes I can control are the ones that pertain to ME.
Enter goal-setting. I am a big believer in setting yearly goals. I don’t set resolutions because statistically-speaking, resolutions don’t work. But, clearly-defined goals? Those are another story! A good goal can catapult you years ahead of where you should be in a certain area of your life. How exactly do you set good goals: Ones that challenge you, push you out of your comfort zone, but ARE achievable within a year’s time frame if you bust it? This post will walk you through the exact process I use to set and achieve my goals for the year.
This will be a process you can follow over and over to achieve maximum results when it comes to achieving the goals you set for yourself. Let’s get started!
From Macro to Micro
Basically, in scientific terms, I’m talking about how we’ll start out setting overall goals for the year, then break them into smaller chunks. In other words, from big, to smaller, to smallest.
What you’ll do first is figure out what you want to have accomplished by December 31st of this year. Then, you’ll start taking these goals you’ve come up with and plugging them into different months of the year. Then you’ll break up those goals into weekly actions that you act on each week. These actions will go right into your weekly planner or to-do list.
This process of goal-setting can be simplified into 3 steps:
- Set goals you want to achieve by the end of this year in 7 different categories of your life.
- Take 3-4 of those goals and plug them into a given month (or more) so those are the goals you focus on during that month.
- Once you know what your goals are for the month, break them into smaller action steps and schedule them into your week.
Let’s take a deeper dive into each of these steps.
We begin the goal-setting process with the end in mind. It was Stephen Covey who popularized the phrase, “begin with the end in mind” in his book, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. You can incorporate this concept by setting goals for the end of this year. December 31st is a pretty arbitrary date, but let’s just go with it for now. In reality, you can decide to change and transform your life any time you wish. In other words, any day can be January 1st.
Because I’m writing this post in January, we’ll just start where we are with the first month of the new year.
You’re aiming to create 10-20 decisive goals that span 7 different areas of your life.
Here are the 7 areas I set goals for each year, along with some guiding questions to help me figure out my goals:
- Financial– What do I want my money situation to look like?
- Family- How do I want to strengthen my most important relationships this year?
- Social- How do I want my other relationships to look?
- Spiritual- How will I connect with God on a deeper level this year?
- Personal Development- How will I grow and develop personally this year?
- Physical- What will I do to care for this one body I live in?
- Career- What will I do to advance my success in my career?
If you assign 1-3 goals to each category, you’ll end up with 10-20 goals to work on this year.
Take some time to brainstorm and create your goals for each category. I’ve created this awesome printable for you to write down your goals for this year! It’s completely, 100% FREE, so grab yours now!
As you set goals for the year, I ask that you keep this one “rule” in mind: make sure each goal you create makes YOU excited to work on it. If it’s not a goal you’re excited to spend time working on this year, do you really think you’ll actually put forth the effort to try to achieve it? Big, fat NO! More than likely, if it’s a goal that doesn’t excite you, you’re setting a goal that you think someone else expects you to set. Someone else’s goal is definitely not allowed on your list of amazing, shiny goals.
Goal-setting is a super personalized process! No one’s goals should look the same because we are all slightly different. And that’s what makes us so wonderful and unique.
Do you have your goals set for the year? Okay, next, we’ll look at fitting these goals into your monthly schedule.
The secret to achieving the BIG yearly goals you set for yourself in the last section is to plan to work on them during a given month. Some goals may span more than a month, and that’s totally fine too.
Some goals you’ve set will be seasonal, so you won’t need to work on them in certain months, and really bust it in other months. For instance, one of my personal goals this year is to get to a certain weight. However, I am currently 8 months pregnant, so weight loss is clearly not in my goal planning for the next two months. But that’s fine because I’m focusing on other goals on my list that I can work on now.
Here’s how this works: Pull out your goal list that you just created. (Didn’t get your printable yet? Here’s the link to that free download again.) Look at your list and choose 3-4 goals you want to focus on this month- whatever month it happens to be when you’re reading this post.
Choosing to focus on 3-4 goals does not mean you can’t make any progress on the other goals on your list; it just means you plan to take definite action on the 3-4 you’re focusing on.
Write those main goals down for the month on a sheet of paper, then list out 3-4 action steps that are smaller than the actual goal but help move the needle toward achievement. These action steps will become your even smaller goals- you’ll aim to complete one action step each week.
And now we get to the “micro” part of our goals, where the small steps you take week by week help you start to make real progress on your goals. This is where life gets exciting!
If you use a weekly planner, the weekly spread is the perfect place to jot down an action step you’ve created for one of your monthly goals. If you don’t use a planner, you might consider writing your action steps for the week on individual sticky notes, and put them where you’ll see them daily. Or you could create a reminder of your actions steps on your digital calendar if you prefer.
Try to work on your action steps Monday through Friday, and use the weekend to play catch-up as needed.
What happens if you don’t complete an action step for the week? Simply move that action step to the following week and resolve to complete it.
Be More Successful at Goal Achievement
I hope this post has shown you that having a solid system in place where you start with big goals and break them down into smaller, achievable action steps can yield the results that you want.
Remember… start with your yearly goals, then focus on 3-4 of those in a given month, then schedule weekly action steps from those monthly goals. You can do this! I am right in the trenches with you, working on my own goals for this year.
There’s a lot more to come on goal setting and achievement this year on the blog. Be sure to look out for next month’s post, along with a goal-setting product that will skyrocket your success this year! I can’t wait to share it with you!
Let me know how this goal setting process is helping you achieve all your goals this year! I can’t wait to hear about what you accomplish.
What is one goal you are setting for this year? Leave me a comment below.