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Goal-Setting in 2016: How to Make Plans That Stick

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Every new year brings a fresh start and a completely new list of resolutions. If you’re anything like me, you probably start off with resolutions that are stunningly similar from the year before… because I didn’t finish them during the last year.

Usually resolutions fail because they haven’t be created so that you can achieve them. Don’t fall into that trap this year. Here’s how to make them achievable this year:

Make it Specific

It’s easy to say that this year, you’ll lose weight. Or cook more often. Or hit the weight room. But every one of those goals is so innocuous and vague, they don’t really mean much. Think about your goals in quantifiable terms. How much weight do you want to lose? How many times a week will you make a home-cooked meal? How many minutes will you commit to spending in the weight room?

Make it Reasonable

It’s really tempting at the beginning of the year to look at it as a completely blank slate and make wildly ambitious goals. Maybe it’s to save 50% of your paycheck or go from couch potato to Ironman. Knowing what is reasonable for you and your situation is paramount to being to attain your goals. Maybe your financial commitments will only allow you to save 5% of your paycheck this year. Or maybe running a 5K by May will keep you motivated on your road to being an Ironman.

Make it into a Plan

Once you’ve figured out your specific, reasonable goal, spend a few minutes to plan out your entire year. Yes, your entire year. In order to meet your goal of cooking 4 times a week, you’ll need to make a meal plan every week. Will you do that on Sunday night? When will you go grocery shopping? Which days will you cook on?

When you have a plan already written down, it’s a lot easier to follow it than wiggle out of it. For other goals, you’ll want to create benchmarks so that you stay on track throughout the entire year. Depending on the kind of goal, you may want to look at a goal-setting and –tracking app. There are many for your phone—from ones to track your water intake to ones that track your fitness goals to ones that create daily to-do lists based on your goals.

Make it Memorable

It is frighteningly easy to forget about your goals once March (or February) hits. Creating your own system to remind you and keep you on track is one of the easiest (and most forgotten) ways to make sure you follow through. For everyone and every goal, this might be something different—Post-It reminders, alarms on your phone, a social media check-in. No matter how you remind yourself, just make sure that you do.

Have a happy and productive 2016! May all of your goals come true and may all of your hard work pay off!

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Jo My Gosh writer and military spouseJo is the author of Jo, My Gosh! a blog about her journey as a newlywed military wife. When she’s not working from home, she’s writing, reading, trying new recipes, watching sports or cross stitching. Catch her on Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and Facebook and say hi!

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