Let me guess – lose 10lbs, save more, spend less, enjoy life, go on more adventures, spend more time with friends and family. Does this sound familiar? Are you one of the 45% of Americans who is planning out your New Years Resolutions this year?

It’s hard to believe that just 8% of those people actually achieve their New Year’s Resolutions according to the University of Scranton.

How do people become a part of the elite 8% who actually achieves their goals?! What’s the best goal setting strategy you might ask?

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How to Achieve Your Goals:

Writing your goals down.

You read that right! It can be that simple. Essentially writing down your goals can transform them into your reality.

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Not quite convinced it’s that easy. Check out this book What They Don’t Teach You in the Harvard Business School, by Mark McCormack about a group of Harvard graduate students who were asked if they had clear written goals for their future and a plan to make those goals become their realities.

The Research:

3% of students had written goals and plans to accomplish those goals.

13% had goals in their minds but had never written them down.

84% had no goals.

The students were then interviewed 10 years later.  The results are impressive! The 13% who had goals, but who had never written them down, earned twice as much as those who were in the 84% group who had no goals. The 3% group who had clear written goals along with plans for their accomplishment made on average 10 times as much as the other 97% combined.




This year I’m recording my goals!

The Perfect Planner:

Now comes the fun part – finding the perfect planner! After searching for a new planner on Pinterest I came across the Erin Condren Life Planners. You are going to be in love when you see these planners! It will be hard to buy just one.

Believe m, I bought two myself. I got one for my everyday use and I also got one for my wedding planning coming this July, 2017.

life planner

The 4 Steps to Goal Planning:

Keep it simple.

Despite the fact that we live in an era of instant gratification big life changes sadly don’t happen overnight. Begin by picking your top 3 goals for the year and recording them in your planner or notebook.

Next, underneath each goal identify the top 3 actions you could take to achieve each of those goals.

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I will spend less money on food:

  • Eating out only 4 times a month.
  • Meal planning on Sunday to use all ingredients.
  • Preorder my groceries online from Fred Meyers. (Yes, I know this costs me $4.95 which is the opposite of what I’m trying to accomplish, but this saves me from having to go into the store and spend money on items that I don’t really need, but decide in the moment to throw into the cart. That bag of Barbecue Chips, those Oreo cookies, or that Dr. Pepper near the check out stand. It also, saves me the hour it would take me after work to go grocery shopping. To me an hour of my time is worth more than $4.95)




Be Specific:

Use specific language to achieve each goal. This will help guide your actions, which will put you well on your way to achieving your goals.

Note the difference:

  • I will lose 20lbs.
  • I will lift weights Monday, Wednesday, & Thursday for 30 minutes and run Tuesday and Thursday for 30 minutes.

Measurable:

Your goals should be measurable to keep you on track and going in the right direction.

I will spend more time with friends and family.

  • I will text 1 person on Monday and make a plan to meet up that week.
  • I will text 1 person on Saturday to check in and say hello.
  • I will call 1 person on Sunday and chat on the phone.

Share Your Goals:

Sharing your goals with 3 to 5 people in your life will help keep you accountable.

When you are around those people they will likely check in with you to see how your goals are going and the progress you’ve made towards making them your reality.

Let the Planning Begin:

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The most important part of setting goals isn’t just that you achieve your goal; it’s the person you will become in order to achieve your goals.

Writing down and tracking your progress will make you one giant step closer to actually achieving your goals.