by Mira Reverente
It’s not quite the New Year yet, but I am already thinking about my goals for 2017. Note that I said goals, not resolutions.
For me, goals are more specific and measurable. Resolutions sound temporary, trendy and whimsical, something that’s bound to become forgotten come Valentine’s Day or Easter.
Some of the goals I’ve set for myself in 2016 include: a specific savings goal (almost there), walking a total of 5,000,000 steps based on my fitness tracker (getting there), at least two new clients (check), launching my blog (check), visting two new National Parks with my daughter (check) and hiking a section of the Pacific Crest Trail (check).
I like to have both personal and professional goals. For 2017, I’m going to be even more detailed especially with my professional goals like increasing my social media following (at least 12,000 for Facebook), sending out a newsletter consistently (monthly) and launching a couple of new projects (to be announced).
Some people I know also set short and long-term goals–one-year, three-year and five-year goals. Some find long-term goals overwhelming and can only focus a week or a month at a time. I have set some long-term goals for myself (backpacking through Europe, launching a new business), but I have smaller goals I need to hurdle (savings, building a social media presence) to get to them. So it’s totally up to you.
Here are my five tried and tested ways to set those goals and smash them:
Be specific. We all know a few (okay, several) people who say they want to lose weight in January. How? By when? How many pounds? You need a gameplan or those goals will just roll over to the next, and the year after that, again and again, without being met. If that person were my friend, I would prod him/her for specifics.
Write it down. A former boss told me this, “Goals not written down are just wishes.” Since then, I have been a big fan of writing things–goals, to-do lists, grocery lists,movies I want to watch, books I want to read. I have a list for everything, and I get through my lists pretty much 90 to 100 percent of the time. I’ve graduated from paper and notebooks to my iPhone; no specific apps. I just use “notes” and “reminders” and check it constantly to keep myself on track.
Tell someone. Better yet, broadcast it. If you’re on social media anyway, announce that you want to lose weight and are training for your first half-marathon. At the very least, you’ll discover a cheering section. At best, you’ll find training buddies who can help you crush this fitness goal.
Do a periodic check. Say you set a one-year savings goal of $5,000. By March, check to see if you have $1,250 in the bank. By June, are you at the halfway mark? If not, there’s still time to re-strategize. Don’t wait till December to assess.
Celebrate wins – big or small. A win is still a win, big or small. Don’t be too hard on yourself. Don’t wait with bated breath and only celebrate once you’ve completed your high-profile project. How did you get there? Surely, there were many little triumphs worth celebrating along the way.
In the meantime, continue to dream big!
Mira Reverente is associate editor of CVH and a longtime journalist whose work has appeared in many local publications. Her first book on money came out last fall. Follow her on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, for more money savviness tips or check out her new blog.