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how to set yearly goals from Southern Saves

“A goal without a plan is only a wish.”

A lot of us made resolutions January 1st and we may have gone into it a little blindly.  Let’s talk about making goals.  Goals have destinations — unlike many resolutions that are just a happy suggestion for what could happen to our year.

The first mistake a lot of us make is overwhelming ourselves with too many goal.

Set only 1-2 yearly goals.

When you’re choosing your goals, you’re most likely going to choose from one of these categories:


Try writing down a few goals, then thin them out to the ones that are most realistic and practical for this particular year.  Remember that good goals have a deadline.  If you don’t have a deadline to work toward — like the end of the year — then you’ll start procrastinating and be no closer to finishing your goal by the end of the year.

There’s a ways of setting goals called “S.M.A.R.T.” goals.  Keep these suggestions in mind when you’re setting your yearly goals:

Specific– Rather than “Read more books,” your goal will look something more like, “Read 250 books by December 31.”

Measurable– Set a goal for which you can measure your progress throughout the year.

Achievable– Is it actually achievable?

Realistic & Relevant– Goals must be challenging yet attainable given your time frame and resources.

Time-Specific– Without a time-frame, the goal is just a sloppy suggestion.

Set Monthly Goals.

Once you have your yearly goals set, think about smaller, practical goals to help you reach your big goal.  If your goal is to read 250 books, break it down to how many books you’ll read each month.  Example: “I’ll read 21 books each month.”

“You know what’s good about ‘soon’?  It never comes.”

Monthly goals help you keep on track.  It’s easy to think that you have a ton of time when it’s January 20th and you still have 220 books to read.  Soon, you’ll start pushing off your books further and further until the end of the year and it’s November and you’re 200 books behind.  Set the monthly goals to know that you’re staying on track to meet your goal at the end of the year.

Set Daily Goals.

Just like reaching your yearly goals doesn’t magically happen, neither do monthly goals.  You need a game plan.  Plan out what your strategy looks like each day.  Even if you’re laying in bed the night before and planning out how you’ll meet your daily goal the next day – that’s a strategy you can work with.  Keep up with your daily goals to keep you motivated and don’t forget to celebrate the little victories.

The biggest things to remember when you’re on the journey to reaching your goals is to set realistic goals, don’t overwhelm yourself with too many large goals, and celebrate the little milestones!