Every new year, people make resolutions to... well, usually forget about a couple weeks. It’s always a good idea to think of ways to improve or advance yourself, and every new year is a time to think about that. But for it to come to anything, even the process of coming up with goals takes more thought and more structure. That’s the key to framing your plans in such a way that will motivate you to fulfill them.
Start by writing down everything you want to do this year. They could be important steps in your long-term career goals, recreational plans like visiting somewhere you’ve always wanted to see, or even something as simple as reading a particular book. The trick is to be specific and create a goal that you can look back on later and have no doubt whether or not you achieved it. Ideally, these goals don’t rely on too many outside influences or luck.
If you’re writing them out by hand, consider using different colors for each goal (or at least divide them into type like professional, family, or personal). It’s about improving your life; why not be colorful? This will help for the next part: think about how you’re going to do all this. You’ll find that most of these goals require specific steps to take that will get you closer to them- complete the proposal, research flights to your dream location, buy the book. Write these down in the same color. Do these have steps too? Continue going until you have a bunch of smaller, manageable tasks all building up to your big goals.
The next step is to set deadlines for all of these and add them to your calendar. If they aren’t time sensitive, spread them around the year so you’ll always have something to work on. If they involve a regular commitment, write it down whenever it’s needed. You’ll see your planner fill up with little goals, giving you something to work on every week, or perhaps even every day. Now you have a list of little things to do frequently that will lead to bigger and better achievements down the road.
The important thing to remember is to stay motivated to stick to your list. If you ever find yourself not wanting to do a task, imagine the big goal and decide if it’s worth the commitment. It’s okay to realize it isn’t and scratch something that may not be as important to you as you originally thought. It’s also okay to add more goals as you come up with them. Finally, feel free to make adjustments as alternate paths to your goal open up or setbacks require a new approach. Stay flexible, but stay committed until you hit the end!