Lots of people will have already made New Year’s resolutions and a good proportion of these people will promptly drop them before the end of January. But, if you learn how to choose goals that you really stand a chance of achieving, and provided that you understand that goals need actual action steps behind them to be achieved, you’ll learn that achieving your goals is well within reach.

This six-step process will help you choose goals for the New Year that really do have a chance to become true.

What Did You Accomplish This Past Year?

Starting your planning phase by reviewing the positives from the past year, this will help get you into a better frame of mind. If you can see that you’ve accomplished a lot of what you set out to accomplish previously, it will give you the driving force required to keep going with some of those goals that may still lie just out of reach.

What Did Not Go Well Last Year?

More than likely you set some goals last year that you didn’t achieve. It’s good to look at those goals and try to determine why you didn’t reach them. Were they realistic goals? Did you make a good enough plan to ensure you achieved each goal? Did you make too many other goals so that you simply did not have enough time?

Make a Short List of Goals You’d Like to Accomplish in the Coming Year

Next make a short list of no more than five things you’d really like to accomplish this coming year. You might pick something you’ve already been succeeding at that you want to continue for the New Year, or you might choose some things from a previous list of goals that did not achieve. You may also choose to add completely new goals to the list.

Make a List of Things You’re Going to Stop Doing

One reason some New Year’s goals aren’t accomplished is lack of time. Therefore, you need to make room for the new goals, this requires that you make a list of things you’re not going to do anymore that will give you more time to work on the new goals. For example, let’s say one of your new goals is to exercise 30 minutes a day, and last year you read 30 minutes a day. You might choose to end reading for the year in favor of exercising.

Refine Your To-Do List with Real Plans of Action

Now take your list of five goals and cut it down to one or two things you really and truly want to and need to accomplish for the New Year. The way you’ll do that is to actually plan each goal out into action steps. You obviously want to accomplish these items by the end of the year, so start at that date. Then, moving backwards, make a plan of actions you need to take each day to actually achieve your goals.

Put Everything in Your Calendar

No plans will happen if they’re not down on paper or entered into a digital calendar. Each step you need to take should be in the calendar. That way, any given day when you wake up in the morning, you simply look at the calendar and find out what you need to do. You don’t need to even focus on the end result, only what you are doing today or this hour.

These six steps will help you reach any goals that you want to for the New Year. Remember, it’s all about narrowing down what really matters, making realistic goals that you have time to work into your already busy day, and then scheduling everything for success.

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