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  • Christine Bernard

The Right Way To Set Goals

Don’t just set goals. Achieve them

January starts the same for most. There’s a feeling that ‘this year things are going to be different’. You jot down some goals, maybe even write your ‘word of the year’ somewhere you can see it. You’re ready.

Suddenly, it’s halfway through January and you’ve done nothing different. You remind yourself that you still have time.

Then January comes to an end, and you wonder how a full month just went by where you didn’t achieve any of your goals.

That’s okay. You still have 11 more, right?

Here’s the hard truth — a year goes by faster than you think. The days might be slow, but the years are fast. You cannot just have an idea of your goal and hope it will happen. You need attainable and actionable goals.

What are attainable goals?

Big dreams are great. They’re important, too. But it’s important to be realistic. Someone told me that their goal for the year was to buy a house. I was impressed. I assumed they’d been saving. When I asked them which month they hoped to find a house by, they laughed. “On the month I win the lottery. I have zero savings.”

Nothing wrong with wanting a house. But instead of hoping for a miracle, that dream should be broken down. She might not be able to buy a house this year, but by creating the right goals, she could at least get closer to that dream. Attainable goals are realistic ones. Some might be easy to achieve. Others a little more difficult. But they’re still goals that can be ticked off with the right amount of work, and a good attitude.

What are actionable goals?

I’m an author and freelance writer. I also help other writers achieve their goal of finally finishing their book. Unfortunately, I see the same thing all the time. People want to write a book, but they make no actionable goals to achieve it. If you want to make something happen, you can’t just say what you want to do. Instead you have to write down how you’re going to achieve it.

For example, I’m helping someone write their first book this year. We’ve broken down her planning and writing goals into monthly, weekly, and daily goals. We’re giving her goals actions. It might not feel like she’s writing a lot of words each day, but the stackable affect means that by the end, she’ll reach her goal.

Whatever your goal might be, simply break it down into bite-sized chunks that are manageable on a daily or weekly basis. Have a spreadsheet, have a to-do list — and experience the oh-so-wonderful feeling of ticking things off.

Are you a writer or reader, looking for some goal planners? Visit my Etsy store for some affordable worksheets and courses to download. Achieve your goals this year.

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