The start of a new year is a great time to work on new goals and resolutions — or revisit old ones. Whether you’re trying to stick to a budget, looking to switch jobs, or want to spend more time with your family, setting specific goals can help you stay on track. Here are some quick tips to help you set realistic and achievable goals this year and beyond.
Write Down Your Goals
Did you know writing down your goals increases your chances of achieving them? This is because when you write something down, you’re more likely to remember it. Once you decide to set goals, make sure you take the time to write them down. Then, put the list in a place you’ll see often, like by your apartment door or on your bathroom mirror.
Set SMART Goals
SMART goals are goals that are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-Bound. The idea behind this acronym is to set goals that are both clear and reachable. Choosing specific goals that are realistic, trackable, and have clear deadlines will help increase your chances of success. If you tend to get off track when it comes to reaching goals, this method can help you be more intentional with them.
Goals need target dates so they won’t be forgotten. When you set goals, ask yourself when you want those goals to be reached. You should also take into account whether or not that timeframe is feasible. For example, if you want to buy a house, a 6-month timeframe might not be realistic if you don’t have enough money saved up for a downpayment.
Find an Accountability Partner
Asking a friend or family member to hold you accountable can help you stay on track with your goals. Find someone that you trust, and ask them to check in from time to time to see if you’ve made any progress. This way, if you get busy throughout the year and your goals start to slide into the background, someone will be there to remind you to stay focused.
Revisit Your Goals
Goals and dreams can change, so it’s a good idea to reevaluate them every once in a while. For example, if you set a few work-specific goals at the beginning of the year but end up switching jobs, you might need to update your professional goals to reflect the new role.
Sometimes reaching your goals comes down to staying motivated, which is why it’s important to reward yourself whenever you accomplish something. If you’re saving up to buy a car, divide that goal number into a few smaller numbers and treat yourself each time you hit one of those milestones. You might work harder to reach your goals if you know there’s some sort of special reward waiting for you at the finish line.