A new year brings on new (and big) ideas! Just because you have a big idea or dream does not mean that it can’t be an achievable goal. In fact, it was just a couple weeks ago that it was “National Give Up Your New Year’s Resolutions Day”. Yes, it’s a thing. But, it doesn’t have to be your thing.
I’ve always been the type that doesn’t reserve only January for big, new goals. Each month becomes an opportunity to reassess and dream up something greater than what I’ve achieved before. I’m the kind of person that if I meet one, it’s onto the next. If I could meet one mark, the next one is going to be even bigger. I’m not always successful (I wish!), but these are the methods I use to get closer and closer to those goals. I even use these methods when trying to just get through my daily to-do list.
Make Them SMART Goals
SMART goals are goals that are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound. In short, these are goals that are narrowed down in priorities and have a deadline. So, while your overarching new year goal might be “increase your savings”, it’s not going to get you very far. If you change the goal to “add $5,000 into my 401k by the end of December 2018”, then you have created a SMART goal.
You can do this with any of your goals. Your health goals, finance goals, career goals, academic goals, and any other goals can all be easily fit to this concept. SMART goals turn goals that seem too big to chew into something doable.
Pencil It In
The best way to stay on top of your goals is to make sure that you’re always working toward them. Schedule time to work on your goals every day, or minimally, several times during the week. Do this by actually allotting and sectioning off time in your schedule. If you keep a planner, write it in. If you make to-do lists, add it towards the top. If you prefer to keep things up-to-date via a system like Google calendars, then add it as an event. The best way forward is to plan to move in that direction.
Use The 10×10 Method
This method is amazing and I forget where I heard it, but I’ll give you the general idea. Take your main goal and sketch out the next 100 days. Next, break that 100 days into ten 10 day chunks. For each 10 day chunk, create a different goal so at the end of 100 days, you’ve met your overall goal.
Let’s keep going with the idea of savings for the sake of a simple example. For instance, if your goal is to save $2,500 in 100 days, then you would need to stash away $250 every 10 days. $250 at a time is much more doable and seems much more feasible than squirreling away $2,500 all in one go or trying to figure out how much of your paycheck each week to set aside. This also plays into the idea of SMART goals.
A Note on Success
Making goals can be a discouraging process, especially if you fell short of your previous goals. But, you have to keep in mind that a goal is a goal for a reason. It’s the endgame. Failure only means that you’re giving it a shot and that is worth more than meeting every goal on-time every time. Just because you didn’t meet your goal this time around does not mean that your goal is unachievable or that you’re never going to reach it. Take it as an indicator to reassess, discover what you could’ve done differently or better, and keep chugging away.