January is always the time of year when people start thinking about their goals and New Years resolutions. I’m personally not a fan of New Years resolutions because I find they are forgotten about quickly, but I do like to set out yearly goals and follow up with them throughout the year.
Read on to find out how I like to set my yearly goals and follow up with them throughout the year. At the end I’ll also provide a link for a free downloadable Word file where you can fill out your goals using the same template that I used!
#1 SPLIT YOUR GOALS INTO CATEGORIES
I like to set goals for all the different categories of my life. That way I can have a more well rounded focus on my overall improvement over the next year, rather than focussing on only a couple specific areas. Make your categories work for the goals you already have in mind, and then think about other areas of importance in your life. For myself I think it is important to continually progress in my career without letting my health or relationships come at a cost. With that in mind I created 4 of my categories.
These are all of my categories:
For my blogger friends Designer Blogs has a great free downloadable blogger planner that splits the goal categories into Main Goals I want to Accomplish, Improvements I want to Make, and Traffic & Income Goals. I really like this format for bloggers, because it gives a well rounded template for planning your blogging goals over the next year.
Now that you have categories, It’s time to set your goals! After I figured out my categories I set roughly 2 – 3 goals under each of them. As I write my goals I make sure they are in SMART goal format: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely.
I also write my goals in an active style, stating “I will make more of an effort to meet with friends at least once a month”, rather than “Meet with friends once a month”. When you write this way you are more active and positive by taking ownership of what you will be doing, and providing a specific, measurable way to achieve your goal.
When they are specific and measurable it sets you up for success to achieve your goal. Using the same example above that states that I will meet with friends at least once a month provides a specific course of action and a way to measure and stay on top of my goal, rather than saying “Make more of an effort to meet with friends”. If I went with the latter example it would be easier to forget about, or not think of how I would achieve that goal.
Here are examples of one of my goals under each category:
I will be a part of 2 blogger networks by October 2016
I will complete my Digital Marketing Certificate (June) and Business Admin Diploma (December) programs by the end of the year
I will train 2 – 4 times a week to get ready for Tough Mudder (June) and get into the routine of a regular workout schedule over the course of the year
I will go on a trip to Mexico with Matt and friends
I will make more of an effort to meet with friends at least once a month
I will save $40 a cheque to my RRSP account = $1040 by the end of the year
Don’t forget about your goals! We all know how easy it is to slowly forget and lose track of them throughout the year. Don’t let that happen to you! I have 4 tips to help you stay on track.
- Display your goals in an area of your house where you will see them often
– Mine are posted in my office
- Write your goals in your planner or calendar
– I printed out small versions of my goal sheets and have them in an insert in my planner that I can move from week to week
– I also follow up and plan what I’ll do to achieve my goals throughout the year in my planner
- Schedule monthly reviews of your goals
– Again I do this with my planner, but you can also set a reminder on your phone
– For my blogger friends Designer Blogs Blogger Planner has monthly goal pages for you to stay on track and measure your success
- Tell a friend
– It is easier to succeed when you talk about your goals with your friends and support each other
#4 FREE DOWNLOADABLE TEMPLATE
You can download my Word template for free by clicking the image above!
Bloggers, if you’re interested in the Blogger Planner I’ve mentioned check out Designer Blogs to sign up to receive it for free.
I’d love to hear about your goals for 2016, and what you might do differently when you set your goals. Please leave a comment below!