What are your New Year’s resolutions? Have you set your goals? What’s your “theme” for 2019?
How many times have you heard these questions (or something similar)? It’s pretty common to look ahead when you reach the end of the year, but what if you’re not a planner? Not everyone knows how to set goals (did you even know that there are good and bad ways to set goals?). Instead of setting goals today, let’s take a look at how you can set better goals for yourself this year.
Review your past goals. Before you set new goals, look back to see what goals you’ve set for yourself in the past. As you review them, ask yourself these questions?
a. What goals did you meet?
b. Which goals went unmet?
c. Did you reach all of your goals?
d. How many goals did you fail to achieve?
Use past goals to set new goals. After you’ve reviewed past goals, it’s time to start asking another question – why.
a. Why did you achieve certain goals?
b. Why did you fail to meet other goals?
c. Why were you able to meet all of your goals?
d. Why were you unable to meet all of your goals?
Once you’ve started asking why, it’s time to start applying that knowledge. Here’s what I mean. Suppose you set these goals last year:
- Finish a first draft.
- Edit first draft by October 1.
- Launch a website.
- Start blogging by July.
You finished your first draft in and got your website up, but you never quite finished editing your draft and you never started blogging. Maybe you don’t do well with hard deadlines. If that’s the case, give yourself more flexibility next year and avoid those specific deadlines. Maybe you reached all of your goals because you underestimated yourself (or you didn’t reach them because you used someone else’s goals without considering what you could actually accomplish).
By now, it doesn’t really matter that you failed or succeeded. The important thing is taking the time to figure out why you succeeded and failed. Once you know that, you can set better goals for yourself.
What other goal-setting tips do you use?
My debut novel—Summer Plans and Other Disasters—is now available on Amazon! Sign up for my monthly newsletter and you’ll receive the unpublished prologue: find out what inspired Calista Stephens to make those summer plans. Follow me on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter for writing tips, updates on Guiding Light, and more!