Do you make new year goals every year but struggle to stick to them? You’re definitely not alone. I have often made goals but I have struggled to stick to them or have forgotten about them as the year progresses. They seem to end up as some dreams floating around in my head that I can never catch. I decided to read as much as I could about how to set goals and achieve them and I soon realised that I had been doing it all wrong. From my research I found a lot of useful, practical and actionable info and methods to help achieve those goals and I’m sharing my best tips below which will help you have a much greater chance of achieving your goals too. I’ve also got some FREE printables to inspire you and remind you of your goals so make sure to download these.
The best thing I found in my research was The 90 Day Year method by Todd Herman. It makes so much sense and I wonder why no one has talked about it before. I’ve briefly explained it below and I’ve also linked to places at the end of the post, where you can find out much more.
Here are some tips on how to set goals and achieve them:
Write them down.
This sounds like the most obvious one and we all know we should do it, but do we? I recently read that you are 42% more likely to achieve your goals if you write them down. Yes, a whopping 42% more likely just by writing them down.
Keep them visible.
I have written my goals down in the past but I haven’t kept them visible which is what I am changing this year. Keep them somewhere you can see them every, single day. I’ve got my DIY marble notebook where I have written my goals with plans and deadlines, but I’ve also created these FREE printable bookmarks (for you and me) where you’ve got some inspiring words on the front and space to write your goals on the back. Keep them in your book and read them every night when you take your book to bed. Or keep them in your day notebook and look at them each morning. Or better still, do both. You could even stick these bookmarks up on your fridge, your mirror or anywhere but make sure you look at your goals every day.
Use the 90 Day Year method.
I recently came across the idea of the 90 day year and it made so much more sense to me. The whole idea as shared by Todd Herman, is that you only ever plan for the next 90 days. You may have a longer term vision but you create goals for the next 90 days only. Using this method, I’ve created 3 very specific business goals that I will achieve by 31st March 2017. They are not mammoth goals, they are challenging but doable.
What I especially love about this method is that it gives you so much focus for 90 days. Every morning when I get to my desk I know exactly what I need to focus on and everything else can wait. And also, I can picture 90 days in my mind – I can see the horizon in the distance and can imagine remaining focused for this period but not so for 365 days. Todd also suggests reviewing your goals every 2 weeks and if things are working, you’ll have amazing motivation to continue. If they’re not, then you’ll know to make some adjustments. Either way, you’ll see progress quickly.
While I’m focusing on blog and business goals here, this method will work for any area of your life – health, relationships, parenting etc. I won’t say too much more about this method but if you want to find out more (and I really recommend that you do), listen to all the extra resources I’ve linked to at the bottom of this post where Todd explains his method in more detail. I should add here that I have absolutely no connection with Todd – he doesn’t even know I exist. I simply love his goal setting plan and so I thought you might like it too.
Lastly, it’s so important to remember that the 90 year day method isn’t just meant to be started in a new year unlike traditional goal setting. You can start whenever so if you’re reading this in April, start today by planning your next 90 days.
We’ve all heard the saying ‘a goal without a deadline is just a dream’. So the answer, always make deadlines for your goals. If you follow the 90 Day Year method then you have a deadline already which is key. If you read more about it, Todd suggests mini deadlines within the 90 days – which makes it even easier to keep track of whether you are achieving your goal or not.
Use numbers for your goals because numbers can be measured. If you want to grow your email subscribers, be specific as to exactly how many subscribers you want by when. Or if you want to lose weight, write down exactly how much weight and by when. Instead of saying ‘I want to grow my email list in the next 90 days’ try ‘I will grow my email list to 4000 subscribers by the 31st of March 2017’.
Aim high but be realistic
Always challenge yourself with your goals to aim higher than you think is possible but remember to be realistic too – if your current email list is 0, then getting to 4000 subscribers in 90 days isn’t likely to happen. On the flip side, if your email list is at 3500, then getting to 4000 in 90 days isn’t too much of a challenge. Also goals that were unattainable in the first place will end up demotivating you when you don’t achieve them. So be ambitious yes, but not delusional!
It’s no secret that action is the secret to success. You can write elaborate, detailed goals with equally specific plans and deadlines but unless you act, nothing will happen. Little action steps every day will make sure you achieve your goals. For e.g. if your goal is to grow your SEO traffic by 30% over the 90 day period, don’t allow yourself to be overwhelmed by the end number. Instead list down all the little steps to help you get there. Growing my SEO traffic is one of my 90 day goals and the first step I’ve taken is researched and bought a book on SEO (thanks to my friend Honestmum for the recommendation – link to the book at the end of the post in case you’re interested). So your first step could simply be a phone call or scheduling time in your diary or joining a gym. Small steps everyday is the key to achieving those goals.
So now that I’ve shared my tips on how to set goals and achieve them, here’s the freebie to help you even more. I’ve created 3 different bookmarks with inspiring words on the front and at the back, there’s space for you to write down your specific goals. I’ve got a free template to download – simply print the fronts on textured card stock and cut them out. And then print out the backs, cut and glue them together. You’ll need to print front and back on separate sheets of card as that’s how they’ve been designed to make the bookmarks stronger. You can use one bookmark per goal as I’m doing or use your favourite one for all your goals.
I wanted to leave you with something inspiring to end the year here at your DIY family. So I hope these tips on how to set goals and achieve them and these freebie bookmarks have inspired you to chase your dreams and make them a reality. Your DIY family has only been around for 3 months and we’ve already been featured in House Beautiful, She Knows, Country Living, the Bloglovin’ edit and so many more places. So I know if you set goals, work hard with the right methods and strategies, amazing things will happen. Now go write down those goals, act on them and make 2017 your best year yet. Happy Christmas and I’ll see you back here in 2017!
Further listening and watching:
Goal setting vs. Goal Achievement with Todd Herman
The 90 day year with Todd Herman
The top 10 mistakes derailing your goals by Michael Hyatt
5 steps to change your life and make it stick by Marie Forleo with Todd Herman
Don’t forget to grab your free printable bookmarks below.