Want to reach your goals this year? Follow these three steps when setting your goals. I have been using them for years to achieve goals as big as running a marathon, completing a triathlon, building an income generating blog, writing a book and more.
3 Steps For Successful Goal Setting
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1. Be Realistic, But Still Stretch
If you want to be successful at reaching your goals, you have to set goals that you can reach. Yes, big goals can help motivate you to stretch and grow, but when goals are too big, they can deflate your “I can do it” boat and leave you feeling like you are drowning. There has to be a happy medium.
What I like to do is set a mix of easy to obtain goals and goals that will stretch me each year. For instance, if you read my list of goals for 2019 below, you will see one desire I have for 2019 is to increase my body strength, one of my goals to make that happen is to hold a full body plank every evening before I turn on the TV. That seems like a small goal, and it is.
Holding a plank each night is simple and should be easy for me to remember to do each night once I make it a habit. But I also set what I call a Wow Goal for the amount of time I would like to be able to hold that plank for by the end of the year.
I wrote in-depth about setting a yearly Wow Goal a few years back. This year instead of setting one HUGE Wow Goal I am setting several smaller Wow Goals that are still going to push me out of my comfort zone, just in several areas of my life instead of one.
Trust me, right now the end of year goal for the length of time I want to hold a plank doesn’t sound remotely possible without being consistent with my daily plank goal all year long. The wow portion of my plank goal will push me out of my comfort zone.
What you need to do is make the smaller goal something that can quickly become a habit, and the larger Wow Goal something that takes that habit a bit further than you think you are capable of right now. The easy win will spur you on to the wow portion of the goal.
2. Concentrate on Habit Stacking
I highly recommend reading the book The Power Of Habit: Why We Do What We Do In Life And Business.Within its pages, you will learn how to stack habits and once you learn this skill, you will bust through your goal list.
Here is an example of habit stacking that happened in my life this year. I set a goal to start the day by drinking a full glass of water before eating or drinking anything else. It didn’t take me very long to make this goal a habit and soon I woke up craving water. At that point I added a new habit, I started drinking a full glass of water after my cup of green tea. Once that was a habit I started drinking another glass of water after my mid-morning cup of coffee. Habit stacking now has me drinking at least three full glasses of water a day. Yes, I know the healthy water goal right now seems to be a gallon a day, but three cups is a start and I am hoping to continue stacking on this habit in 2019.
3. Do What You Need To Do To Stay Motivated
Many people write their goals down in a fancy journal and then place that journal on their bedside table and forget about their intentions before they are even a week old. Don’t let this happen to you. Stay motivated to reach your goals by first remembering what they are. To do this, I like printing out my goals several times and placing them in places I look often. A copy goes in the binder I use to stay on track while I am working, one goes in my morning devotional bag, and another gets placed on the back of a cupboard door that I reach into several times a day.
Don’t stop the motivation there, though. Make sure to tell several people about your goals. Ask some people if they want to join you in reaching one or a few of your goals and form an accountability group. Post your goals on social media.
Another great way to keep motivated is to set rewards for goal milestones at the same time you are writing out your goals. For instance, perhaps one of your goals is to lose 20 pounds by year’s end. When you hit 5, 10, and 15 pounds lost, give yourself a non-food reward and when you reach your goal of 20 pounds lost, give yourself a bigger bonus. Oh–don’t forget about every pound in-between! I know people who when losing weight would buy themselves a single rose each time they lost one pound. That sounds like a pretty sweet motivational setup to me.
For More Successful Goal Setting Advice Read
- 7 Books That Will Help You Stay Focused On Reaching Your Goals
- How To Form Habits That Will Help You Reach Your Goals
- How To Stay On Target Toward Reaching Your Goals
My Goals For 2019
For My Marriage
Continue having one date day or date weekend with my husband each month.
You can see our date day and date weekend adventures over at our travel blog The Parents Flew The Nest.
For My Mind
Read 26 Books
For years my yearly reading goal has been to read 52 books, but I am lowering it to 26 for 2019 to make more time for my Skillshare goal and to read more magazines.
Why magazines? I subscribed to and read several magazines on various topics for free in 2018 after reading an article that said magazine reading could improve your blog writing. (here is how I get magazine subscriptions for free). I decided to try it out even though it meant I wouldn’t reach my reading goal of 52 books this year. I discovered it to be true, reading magazine articles is helping me to write better blog posts, so I want to continue reading more magazines even if it means reading fewer books.
For more blogging tips, join my Snail Pacing Bloggers–Building Blogs At A Realistic Pace Facebook group.
Take 55 Skillshare Classes
I discovered Skillshare while bingeing on YouTube videos about creating a minivan camper. After our minivan camper was complete my husband and I went on several hiking trips, and I decided I wanted to share our journeys with the world to encourage other couples to make time to explore together.
That desire lead to the creation of The Parents Flew The Nest. One skill I quickly realized I lacked for travel blogging was the ability to take amazing iPhone photos. So I signed up for a two-month trial of Skillshare, intending to binge on iPhone photography courses for two months and then end my subscription. But during my free trial, I fell in love with Skillshare and decided to dig in further to all it has to offer. Hence the crazy goal to complete a course a week.
Skillshare costs just $99 a year to join and contains roughly 25,000 online courses for entrepreneurs and creatives. Most courses can be completed in a few evenings. Use my referral link to try it for two months for free.
For My Soul
Meditate On A Different Bible Verse Each Week
I am using this 52 bible verses list as a guide. And yes, it is one for kids, but I figured short and sweet will stick.
For My Heart
30 Minutes or more six days a week of cardio–regardless of weather conditions.
I started 2018 out by running a full marathon with my friend and her cousin in Disney. After resting my body post-marathon I fell into the habit of if the weather is nice, I will exercise but if it is terrible, I won’t. I plan to remedy that in 2019. I have on my fridge a list of cardio classes I can take as a bad weather back-up cardio plan.
Every 90 days increase my running loop.
Right now on good weather days I run a 2.8-mile loop. I want to end 2019 running what I believe will be a 4-mile loop. I have four different start parking areas picked so that every 90 days I can increase my run.
Why take so long to do this? It is an easy win, habit stacking goal as I talked about above as step one and two for making great goals.
Wow Goal: I am shooting for a pretty impressive improvement in per-minute mile average.
For My Muscles
Regularly attend the morning yoga class at the gym.
An ongoing struggle with staying asleep all night this year kept me from my morning yoga classes too often. In 2019 I want to see if the theory of “getting up at the same time every day regardless of how bad you slept” helps me sleep better like experts say it will. Yoga gets me up and going at a reasonable hour three mornings a week, builds my body strength, and loosens up my tight back. Making it to yoga regularly is a win in many ways.
On mornings with no yoga class, get up and do a strength routine at home.
The routine I have chosen is short and sweet, but hits all major muscle groups.
Hold a plank for as long as possible before turning on the TV each night.
My arm strength is not what it should be and planks are supposed to be excellent for arm strength. A nightly plank is a small obtainable goal, and by doing it before I turn on the TV each night, it should become a habit in no time. This is another easy win goal to motivate me to not give up on bigger goals.
Wow Goal: By year’s end I want to hold my plank three times the length I can hold it at the beginning of the year.
For My Nourishment
Continue keeping my weight from creeping up
Wow Goal: I have a lower than now number I would like to see on the scale. It isn’t HUGE, but perimenopause seems to be making any downshift in weight very hard, so it is a Wow Goal to me.
Continue daily glass of water each morning habit
200 calories or lower of sweets per day five days a week
I have a horrible sweet tooth that runs rampant if I don’t give it boundaries. Allowing 200 calories for sweets daily might seem like a lot to you, but trust me–it is cutting back for me. Oh, and five days instead of seven allows me to enjoy a creme filled donut and a serving of ice cream now and again. I know! If I cut these out I might be able to reach my Wow Goal for weight much easier, but life without the occasional bowl of ice cream or a donut seems cruel to me.
For My Home
For My Career
Triple the traffic to The Parents Flew The Nest
Chart 20 hours of work each week
Hit my income target each month
Wow Goal: I am aiming for an increase in income that seems impossible considering how 2018 went for my earnings.
To stay motivated, I will be charting my progress daily, monthly, and seasonally in the binder I use every day to keep my life organized. I have also shared all my goals with my husband and best friend (and now all my blog readers) to help keep me accountable. I will probably share updates on social media from time to time as well.
What are your goals for 2019? Share them in the comments
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