goals, goal getter, goal setting, resolutions, new year's resolutions,

Goal Setting for 2019: Tips for Success

The New Year is officially upon us, an exciting time complete with the ever so popular ‘New Year’s Resolution’. Boost your chances of success with deliberate goal setting and a plan to win using these tips!

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This is a topic that seems to divide many people, with some jumping in with both feet, revealing elaborate goals and dreams while others write the whole tradition off as a waste of time. Why are so many people resistant to the concept of New Year’s resolutions? Walk into a gym the first week of January, and what will you find? New people everywhere, each determined that this is the year they are going to get in shape, lose weight, etc. However, fast forward a few weeks and these numbers will drastically drop off. Most people who set resolutions won’t even make it to the end of February…

I’m not sharing this to discourage you in any way, in fact, quite the opposite. Most people fail for no other reason than the fact that no one taught them how to effectively set and plan for their goals. It’s a process, one that requires being realistic and honest with ourselves. However, with a little hard work and careful planning, you can set yourself up for success.

This is the point where many people will start bragging about all the reasons why they are the perfect example of effective goal setting, right? I’m definitely not going to be making any such claims… Sometimes I apply the tips that I’m about to share really well and I rock it, other times I fall flat on my face. Truth is, I’m human like the rest of you and learning with every experience!

However, in admitting that I am a human who has fallen short, I’ve also discovered tips and tricks to help pull myself out of that rut. I’ve learned how to stand up, brush myself off and keep moving forward. It is from these experiences that I draw the following advice. Here are my tips for how to set yourself up for success in 2019:

Trust the Process

One of the biggest mistakes I make after setting a goal is to start over-thinking everything. I have a clear path in my mind, and when life takes me for a short detour, I immediately start second guessing, reassessing and trying to control everything to fit my personal narrative. However, I have learned that the best thing I can do at that moment is to step back and trust the process. Stay focused, keep trying, but trust that my plans can more or less work out.

Write it Down

Saying that you have a goal is one thing, but actually writing it down somewhere makes it more ‘real’. Furthermore, don’t just write it down and tuck it away in a drawer somewhere never to be seen again, write it down and put it somewhere that you’ll see every day. Hang it on the bathroom mirror, a closet door you look at daily or, my favourite, in your office. Read it out loud to remind yourself what you’re working toward.

green mug containing coffee sitting on a napkin that states 'a goal without a plan is just a wish' with the title 'goal setting for 2019: tips for success' along the bottom on a green backgroundMake Your Goals Specific, Measurable and Realistic

One of the biggest mistakes that many of us make is to set ‘pie in the sky’ goals that we’d love to reach ‘someday’. The problem with this line of thinking is that it’s so far off it may not be realistic to think about reaching it at all. Even if it is within our reach realistically, a super distant goal is nearly impossible to measure, making it difficult to determine if you’re even moving forward.

Instead, break it down. Sure, you can set a larger goal but then break it down into smaller easier to manage pieces. For example, if your goal is to lose 30 lbs, try setting the goal for that first 5 lbs – how are you going to reach that? Once you’ve accomplished that, focus on the next 5. In doing so, you are always working towards something attainable and measurable.

Hold Yourself Accountable

There are many ways to hold yourself accountable. One great way is to reach out to someone else, either a close friend or family member or even to declare your goal publicly in an on-line setting. When you hit that moment that you’re ready to give up, you’ll have to face the idea of admitting to someone else that you gave up. This will encourage you to keep going unless there is an honest, logical reason to step back.

Reward Yourself

Track your efforts so that you can see what you are accomplishing, even if they are only baby steps. This will also allow you to see if you are hitting a plateau or sliding backward in any way. Take the time to celebrate your accomplishments. Personally, I find setting a reward system helps to keep me motivated. Going back to the weight loss goal, maybe you’ll allow yourself to buy a new workout outfit after you lose the first 10 lbs or something similar. Be careful to ensure that your rewards won’t set you back – junk food isn’t a good weight loss reward.

Believe in Yourself

The most important thing, above all else, you need to believe in your ability to reach your goals and dreams. You are stronger and more capable than you realize.

Have you set any goals or resolutions for 2019? If so, what are you working towards this year? What do you have planned to start working towards your goals?

16 thoughts on “Goal Setting for 2019: Tips for Success”

  1. I have a book list that is related to my career goals and influencing others. I love to read fiction and I’m making a concentrated effort to read material that will help my self development. Thanks for the good tips for being successful!

  2. I definitely overthink everything and second guess myself, so I feel like I set myself up for failure. But writing things down is definitely something I need to do- and then remembering to go back to it and like you said, hold myself accountable! Good tips lady! This gives me a kick in the butt to get things moving. <3

    1. Exactly, it’s great to set goals, but do you want them badly enough to work for them? That’s where the real question lies!

    1. Exactly – goal setting is great, but you can’t stop there… The real question comes in whether you’re willing to work for it

  3. I feel like writing them down and checking in on them makes the biggest difference when it comes to goal setting for me. Making them realistic is such a big one too. I think a lot of people fail because they expect things like never working out before to suddenly going to the gym 2 hours a day, 7 days a week. Great post x


    1. Exactly! If you are setting completely unreasonable goals, you are essentially setting yourself up to fail. Why not, instead, give yourself the best chances of success?

  4. This was very thought provoking. You’re right that a lot of us fail because we weren’t taught how to effectively plan and achieve our goals. Take diet plans for example, if you stick to the guidelines you will lose weight but so many are dishonest with themselves and don’t track their foods correctly. Why? I’ve made a promise to myself to be more active this year and so far I’ve managed to get back into long walks and hiking. Slow and steady wins the race. ?

  5. This is such a good post!! I have always had trouble sticking to goals but this year I have made smaller goals that I can break down into smaller goals again that are easily attainable. I’m doing well so far, I think, but we are only the first month.

    Vikki | http://planetvikkiblog.wordpress.com

    1. That way you’ll enjoy the feeling of accomplishment when you complete the smaller goals, motivating you to then go after the bigger ones!

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