Now that it’s February and the New Year motivation is waining, let’s talk about goals! (If you don’t know, I love goals… check out my list of 27 goals to complete before I turn 27 in August HERE.)

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photo credit: Lomax Dashboard via photopin (license)

“I have a grand plan for life,” a date told me once.
“Oh?” I said. “And what is this grand plan?”
“To make millions and have a lake house,” he said simply.

“And…?” I asked, confused.
“And what?” he asked.
“And what is your plan to achieve that?” I asked.
“That’s the plan.”

The problem with his logic is the same problem many of us have that gets in ways of achieving what we want in life.

Our last business tips blog post dealt with 4 tips to creating effective goals as we begin a new year. This week, we have some tips for you to help you actually achieve those goals.

4 Tips for Achieving Your Goals This Year

1. Plans are different than goals. Goals are what you want to achieve, plans are how you get there. This man’s “grand plan” was actually a goal (and not a strong one that is probable to be achieved as he had no set parameters like when he wanted it accomplished by, where the lake house could be, etc.). First you need to define your goals, then the next step is to start figuring out your plan of action as to how you can achieve those goals.

2. Break your plan into parts. If your goal is to be able to do 3 pull-ups by your birthday (ridiculous, I know, but I’m seriously working on it), break it down. How will you achieve that goal? Probably not by focusing in hard on it the week before your birthday. In this instance your plan might include a several parts. It might involve choosing to buy one of those above the door apparatus’s that allows me to do pull-ups at home. It also probably involves joining a gym. And then, of course, it involves actually working on exercises that build the muscles needed for pull-ups.  And on and on. Your plan could be simple and be put into place right away, or it might involve several different aspects that will all work together to help you reach your end goal. But you won’t know which it is until you sit down and start to actually break out your parts of your plan.

3. Define the tasks that comprise your plan.  To keep on with the pull-up goal example, first you might look at your budget and schedule and think about workout options and gym locations. Next you might go with friends to several gyms to check out the facilities and see which ones have options that you like for working out the muscles needed for pull-ups. Next you’ll choose one and sign up for the gym. Then you have to work out consistently and measure your progress. You might even have to buy some strength bands to use for assistance in being able to do the full motion to help your body practice by actually doing (assisted) pull-ups. Every part of a plan is comprised of several tasks, and the most accomplishable plans are those with defined tasks.

Evaluate your status several times throughout the year. How many times have we set up goals for ourselves for a year, only to then in November revisit that list and see that we’ve completely forgotten to attend to some of them throughout the year? Many times. That’s how many. Keep your goals visible, go back to them often, and keep track of your progress evaluating whether you need to put other plans in place, change course, or change goals altogether. It’s ok if midyear you decide that a goal you’d made in January is not longer as important or viable in August and you want to change. But do it as a conscious decision, not just decided by the fates because you forgot about it in the midst of the everyday hustle.

What are some of your goals for the year?  Share with me in the comments!

This article was originally featured on Abram Interstate’s blog. If you are an insurance agent or a small business owner, check out the weekly business tips blog posted there every Thursday.

Jo O’Hanlon is an adventurer and storyteller. She tries to be honest about the ugly and hard parts of life, and the beautiful parts too. This blog is one of the places she shares her thoughts and stories.

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