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I love New Years! It might be my favorite holiday. It’s up there, for sure. I love starting the year with a clean slate and setting goals for the year. It’s probably my personality type, but setting goals is right up my alley! I love it.

While writing and setting goals is fun and easy for me, actually finishing them is a whole other story. I’ve learned over the years, that for me to even come close to accomplishing my goals, I have to set them up a certain way.

Categorize and Simplify

To keep my goals balanced, I categorize them. For example, I will set spiritual, physical, business, family, personal, and mental goals this year. (Some of those may overlap.) But I also only set one goal per category.

If I set more than one, it’s way too easy to get overwhelmed and just quit. And if I quit at one goal, I’m more likely to just let the others slide, no matter what category. I have to keep it as simple as possible. As Michael Scott says, “K.I.S.S. Keep It Simple, Stupid!”

Get Detailed

After I’ve set my goals, I like “get down to the nitty gritty”. (Please tell me you know what that’s from?!) I pick apart each goal and figure out how I’m actually going to accomplish it. Writing down “lose 30 pounds” is useless, if I have no idea how I’m going to do that. But if I have a game plan, I’m more likely to succeed.

For instance, instead of writing lose 30 pounds, I could write: lose 30 pounds by doing two Whole 30s and walking on the treadmill every morning.

Or I could get even more specific and write down: lose 30 pounds by two Whole 30s (one starting January 15th and one starting March 1st) and by walking 1.5 miles on the treadmill 6 mornings of the week. That is a much more specific goal. It gives me a head start because I’ve already done the planning. I know where to start.

Know My Why

After getting as specific as I can (and this does and should take some time) and I have to know why I’m writing my goals. If I don’t know why I’m working hard at something or spending my precious time on something, I am absolutely not going to do it! This isn’t true of all people, but for me, it’s a must.

I usually write my why in the form of a prayer, because more often than not my ultimate goal is to glorify God with my life. But that is easy to forget if I don’t write it out.

For instance, in the case of losing 30 pounds, I want to steward my body well so that I can do more for God with my life. I want to be well enough to take care of my kids and keep up with them. And I want to lose the weight because I know certain aspects of my ongoing health issues depend on it!

Know your why. Write it down and hang it up where you’ll see it every day!

Make it Fun

This last part of goal setting is new to me. I am currently reading Jon Acuff’s new book Finishwhere he talks about how to finish what you’ve started. His book is backed by a lot of research and the research says, if you make it fun, you’re more likely to finish! (Sidenote: Acuff is hilarious. If you haven’t read any of his books, you should!)

So this year when I set my goals, I’m also going to figure out how to make it fun! For instance, back to my example, I really enjoy walking on the treadmill. I hate running! So I’m not going to run! Don’t ask me to. I’m just not going to do it. I also love hiking with my family, so if it so happens we can get out for a hike, I’m going to count it!

I’ll be honest, I’m going to have to figure out how to make Whole 30 fun. Cause it’s just not. Any suggestions?

Do you write goals? Are you good at finishing them? I’d love to know what you do to make it happen! Share in the comments below!

How to Set Goals You Can actually Meet