How To Set & Achieve Realistic Goals in 2019
By: Austen Tosone
Another year is wrapping up, and each year, I find myself surrounded by friends who are excited about setting their New Year’s resolutions. My hesitation with resolutions is that they just feel like vague statements that people care about for around three weeks before they get overtaken by day-to-day life and other responsibilities.
Even though I’m not a big believer in resolutions, I am a big believer in goal-setting because it’s never too late to start that business, take that course, or travel to that dream destination! By setting goals with realistic steps that you can take to achieve them will make you much happier than empty pledges to “go to the gym more” over glasses of champagne on December 31st. Here is your guide to making sure that 2019 is your best year yet because of you and all the work that you’re willing to put in to get where you want to go.
PICTURE YOUR DREAM YEAR
In a perfect world, what do you want this next year to look like? Feel free to dream big and take into account all of the different aspects of your life. Write down a few key words on a piece of paper that you won’t lose or even on the notes section of your phone that stands out to you that could help describe your dream year.
CATEGORIZE YOUR GOALS
Now it’s time to start to narrow down that big picture. Create different categories for your goals, so that you can see how many you have for each section of your life. These different areas can include career, personal relationships, travel, volunteering, hobbies, and more. Grouping things together can help you see patterns in what you want and how those different categories intersect with each other.
CHOOSE GOALS THAT YOU CAN REALISTICALLY SEE YOURSELF ACHIEVING
From the items you have in each category, think about what goals are the most likely for you to achieve. If you want to travel to South Africa, but can’t afford a ticket right now, think about a trip you might be able to plan in December where you can have the time to research the country, plan to take time off from work, and save up some money for your trip. Try to choose one or two big goals from each category to focus on so you don’t get overwhelmed and you can switch to something different if one task feels overwhelming.
BUILD A ROADMAP TO ACHIEVING ONE GOAL
Say you want to grow a following on Instagram to 50,000. What would it actually take for you to meet that goal if you’re at 10,000 now? Create smaller steps that will help you get closer to achieving that goal. Start by polling your audience in January and see what they like about your content and what they want to see more of. In February plan to experiment with Facebook ads and see if you can bring on new followers that way. Host a giveaway in March for a brand you know your audience is excited about. Plan a meet-up in April with other bloggers. Having a vague goal like “grow your Instagram by 5x” seems like a lot but breaking it down increases the chances that you’ll actually achieve it.
CHECK IN WITH YOURSELF THROUGHOUT THE YEAR
Set aside one hour a month (set an alarm or reminder on your phone!) to review your initial list of big picture words and goals for the year and see how close you are to achieving them. If one has fallen behind, make it a priority for the next month. Anytime you achieve one of your goals, don’t forget to treat yourself along the way and to give yourself a pat on the back for all of your hard work. Whether that means a chai latte or that handbag you’ve been eyeing, give yourself permission to celebrate your work and accomplishments.
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