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Setting and achieving New Year's Goals

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Starting a new year is a great time to consider goals that you would like to achieve. It's a new beginning, a fresh start, and it's a kick-off day to the things you have wanted to do, but kept putting off. Every year, I set goals for the New Year. I write the list of goals I want to achieve in the coming year and I keep that list on my desk, so that I can refer back to it as the months go by. At the end of the year I can take my list and evaluate to see what I accomplished and which goals I fell short on. 

This year, I accomplished most of the goals I had set for myself. Among them being completed writing my novel, ran over 365 miles, read over 52 books, and ditched plastic straws in restaurants. There were a couple of things I fell short on or came very close to completing. Today, I will make a new list of goals I want to accomplish in the coming year.

Research shows that only 8% of those who set New Year's goals actually achieve them. Yet those who set goals are 10 times more likely to achieve them, so it makes a good case for setting yearly goals. Here are a few tips for achieving your goals for the new year:

  • Keep them realistic. If you make outlandish goals or those that will be too difficult to accomplish, you will give up by February. By setting realistic goals that give you a challenge and something to strive for that you can actually achieve you will be more likely to stick with them.
  • Write your goals down. Without writing them down there is a good chance you will forget about them weeks after the new calendar begins. With them written down and put in a place where you will be able to refer back to them throughout the year you can read them over periodically and evaluate your progress.
  • Have a plan. Having a goal isn't enough to get you there. You need to know how you will achieve that goal. When you write the goal down, consider the path you will take to make it work. What do you need to do in order to make the change, stick to it, and make it a reality? With the path to get there, the steps to lead you along the way, you may give up.
  • Stick with it. The most important aspect to achieving goals is to continue holding yourself accountable. If the goal matters to you then you will find a way, if it doesn't you will find an excuse.

Over the course of the year you may find that your interest in achieving a particular goal changes. There's nothing wrong with that, just make new goals as you go along. If at the end of the year you haven't achieved all of them, but you feel good about the ones you did achieve then that's okay, too. I didn't achieve every goal on my list, but I feel great about where I'm at, because I did achieve most of them and especially the ones that are the most important to me. 

Good luck with your goals in 2018...and Happy New Year!

- Jacqueline

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