By Debra Eckerling, Author of Your Goal Guide: A Roadmap for Setting, Planning and Achieving Your Goals
5 Habits for the Best Year Yet
Everyone starts out the year thinking, “This is going to be the best year ever.”
You have big goals, plans, and dreams. Then, life happens, and things fall by the wayside.
If you want to achieve your goals this year, all you really need to do is change some of your habits. They don’t have to be big changes.
Here are five simple things you can do to keep you – and your goals and projects – moving forward in 2020.
1. Set Realistic Goals
Before setting goals – and giving yourself a timeline for when you want to achieve them – take a look at your schedule. Also think about the things going on in your life that may impact big projects or changes. Once you take an inventory of responsibilities, you can get a clearer picture of what goals and deadlines make sense.
For example, if you have a big project due for work on June 30, don’t give yourself a deadline to launch your side hustle website before September 1. Or if your family is traveling in December for the holidays, don’t leave the manuscript you are planning to write this year for the last minute. Do as much as you can leading up to and during the summer, and wrap up the project in the fall.
2. Make Appointments with Yourself
Little bits of time make a huge difference. Set weekly recurring appointments with yourself to work toward your goals. Put them in your calendar and set a reminder.
Aim for 30 minutes or an hour a week. If you can do more, great. If not, that’s fine too. Little bits of committed time add up. And it’s much better than setting long appointments that are unrealistic to keep.
3. Track Everything
After each goal appointment, make a note of what you accomplished during that time. Write up a brief progress report either in the calendar entry, a dedicated journal, or both. That way, at the end of each month you can see the progression.
When you are building a project using small bits of time, it’s especially important – and very motivating – to see how the project is coming along. More often than not, you are doing way better than you thought you were.
4. Include Networking Goals
Building your community should be on everyone’s list of goals each year. The larger your tribe, the better your resources and reach. Most of the time the people you know – and the new people you meet at events – aren’t your clients or customers. However, everyone has a network. And the best way to tap into other networks is to meet more people.
Make it a goal to attend an event each week or month. Again, do whatever is realistic. It can be a combination of lunches, mixers, or continuing education. You never know who you will meet and who, in turn, they know.
5. Choose You
Saying “Yes” to yourself sometimes means saying “No” to other people and obligations. Emergencies happen and family things come up. However, you can’t possibly do everything, so stop trying.
Treat your goal appointments with the same respect you have for the appointments you set with prospects, clients, and coworkers. You wouldn’t bail on a meeting with your boss at the last minute? Don’t cancel on yourself unless it’s absolutely necessary. And, if you do, be sure to reschedule as soon as possible.
If you want to reach your goals, you must set yourself up for success. Prioritize. Put in the time and energy. And say “Yes” to you. It’s that simple.
I want you to have the best year yet. And I know you can do it!
Good luck and Happy New Year!
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Debra Eckerling, the author of Your Goal Guide: A Roadmap for Setting, Planning, and Achieving Your Goals, is a goal coach and project catalyst, who works with individuals and businesses to set goals and manage their projects. She is the founder of the D*E*B METHOD® - DEB stands for Determine Your Mission, Explore Your Options, Brainstorm Your Path - and Write On Online, a website and community for writers, creatives, and entrepreneurs, and host of the #GoalChat Twitter chat.