A Writer's Ramblings
Writing | Books | General Shenanigans
Monthly Emails Full of Writerly Fun
2016 is gone (like a freight train, gone like yesterday). Kiss it goodbye. It’s never coming back. We’re left with only memories and accomplishments. Hopefully the regrets are few, and there are more checks in the plus column than the minus.
Whether this year was the time of your life or a horror movie that seemed like it would never end, it’s over. And now it’s time to turn our attention to the future. Once your hangover wears off—just have some water and Tylenol—it’s time to sit down and decide what kind of year 2017 is going to be.
Yeah, you know where I’m going with this… Goals!
Did you shudder a little bit? For most of us, the idea of goal-setting has been pounded into our heads so many times, we start tuning out anything remotely related to the concept. Remember those obligatory goal sheets in middle school? I’m twelve years old! My biggest goal is to make it to lunchtime.
And then there’s the instructions—in a nicely packaged acronym. SMART goals are specific, measurable, agreed upon, realistic, and time-based. Create big goals each year and smaller goals each month. Plus more goals each week and each day, and stand on your head while you recite them at 5:27 a.m. each morning.
Okay, most people aren’t that eccentric, but I do think goal-setting becomes too complicated—especially when, at its core, it’s very simple.
I ask myself two questions. My answers define my goals and drive my daily activities.
1. What do you want?
To complete a novel? To expand your business? To become closer to your family? To be healthier? If you don’t know what you want, you’ll never achieve anything. What drives you forward? Why do you get up in the morning? Most of us know what are passions are and what our ultimate goals are, but we also forget. Day-to-day life takes its toll, and we wind up getting up and going back to bed without thinking of anything except buying groceries and making sure our world remains intact. Decide what you want, and write it down. Pin it to your bulletin board. Make it your desktop background. Remind yourself each day why you do what you do, not just January 1.
2. What are you going to do to get it?
I’m not asking what your daily schedule is going to look like from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. each day in 2017. You don’t need all the answers. But if you say, I want to make more money, and then proceed to do the exact same thing you’ve been doing for five years, it’s not going to happen. I promise. While ask and you shall receive sounds great, life doesn’t exactly work like that. You want to make more money? Commit to working an extra five hours a week. Start a side hustle. You want to lose weight? Carve out gym time in your daily routine. Clean the junk food out of your cabinets. Begin planning meals for the week. Lay out concrete actions you can do each day to drive you toward your goal.
Simple, right? When you break it down, that’s all there is to it. Know what you want. Know what you’re going to do to get it. [Click to Tweet]
In the spirit of keeping goal-setting simple, I’ve created a printable you can use to get ready for 2017.
Click here to download your Printable Goal Sheet.
The most important thing to remember is that these goals don’t expire January 2. Yes, setting goals is great. But for them to mean anything, you have to follow through 365 days of the year. Focus on your passion, and allow it to drive you through the difficult times. Even though it’s a clean slate now, 2017 won’t be perfect. There will be ups and downs, trials and disappointments. Keep your dreams in the forefront, and make each day’s actions reflect those dreams. You’ll be just fine. We all will.
May this year be better than the last!