As hard as it is for me to believe, another year is almost over. Last year was by far the best year in my life, my business, and my relationship. Not only did I work very hard, but I had planned my goals in October of the year prior - 2 months before the year started! I truly believe that planning that far in advance made a true impact in how my year went and how much progress I made with my goals. Now, I'm excited to plan next year's goals earlier!
While there is over a month and a half left of this year, right now is the time to start planning your next year goals. I’m going to walk you through a few reasons why you should plan your next year’s goals a couple months early, as well as the strategy I use to plan my next year goals.
Before we dive in, I want to share how important setting goals is. Whether you are setting goals for your finances, health, career, business, or any other reason, doing so is critical to your personal and professional development.
The ability to set goals, then work to achieve them, is what life is all about. Striving to obtain things you never had, being disciplined with your actions to get to a new level, and seeing success from your efforts is an amazing feeling. 🙂
I’ve been setting goals and resolutions for myself and my business for as long as I can remember. I’ve always been a motivated person, and setting goals is right up my alley.
Even if you aren’t as disciplined, setting goals can be powerful to help you work hard towards something. You should never be 100% content with where you currently are, but should always reach for more.
Past City Girl Savings’ Goals
If you are curious about some of the goals I set for City Girl Savings, check out the articles below. Every year I set goals for the following year, and recap my goal progress in the current year. Not only does this help me and my business stay accountable, but it makes the aspirations real.
As I’ve had more experience with setting goals, I can more easily pinpoint when a goal was too unrealistic. If you follow the S.M.A.R.T criteria when setting goals, you will know that unrealistic goals are not a good thing. It’s always great to dream big, but not to the point where you can’t achieve the goal you set.
If you’re anything like me, you have a lot of things you want to accomplish. There’s nothing wrong with this, but when you have too many things taking your time and focus, it’s easy for other things to fall by the way side. This means you set too many goals for yourself than you have time or energy to work for.
So, what’s the magic number of goals you should have in each category? I would keep it to one or two, and make sure they are realistic. This is in addition to any business or company goals you may have. The business is a body of its own, so it needs it’s one goals and respective goal categories.
3 reasons why you should plan next year's goals now
#1 Planning your next year goals a month or two in advance gives you time to think through your action items and to-do tasks BEFORE the new year starts.
#2 The earlier you think about what you want to achieve in the next year, the more time you have to prioritize your goals and focus on the things that are most important.
#3 Poor planning usually leads to poor performance. Giving yourself ample time to plan, write, and execute before it’s time to start working on your goals is a recipe for success.
Make goal-setting a fun part of your year’s fourth quarter by getting a cute planner or calendar, writing out your dream life, and creating a vision board. All of these things will help you keep working towards your goals during the year.
You don’t want to forget about what you’re working towards! You also need that constant reminder to keep fighting through. For my personal goals, I have a daily planner. For my business goals, I use Asana. I love both resources!
My goal setting strategy
Prior to the start of the year, I did a lot of research on goal-setting. In my research, I found a strategy that had seemed to work for most.
The strategy is:
- Think about what you want to achieve in the next year (so, what you want to achieve for 2019). Focusing on 2-4 main goals for your personal development, and 2-4 main goals for your business.
- Break those 2-4 main goals down into 90-day milestones. So, one major milestone per quarter to help you achieve that main goal.
- Break the 90-day milestones into daily/weekly tasks.
- Track the daily/weekly tasks to ensure completion.
This strategy can work for any goal. Here's an example:
- Primary goal for 2018: Save $5,000 extra.
- To save $5,000 for the entire year, that means $1,250 per quarter.
- $1,250 per quarter means saving about $417 a month. This can be done through a lot of different ways each day/week/month:
- Avoid excess going out to eat for a quarter
- Pick up a small part-time job to earn extra money
- Create/adjust your budget to account for this extra savings
I also found that getting S.M.A.R.T with your goals is the best way to go. (Specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-specific). I also share a few tips on effectively setting your new year intentions in an article and Facebook live video!
It doesn’t matter which area you want to focus on the most when it comes to your goals, but it does matter how well you plan for those goals. Don’t be the person that doesn’t hold themselves accountable.
When you make the decision to focus on a particular goal or milestone, keep working until you achieve it. Maybe the timing isn’t 100% right, but that doesn’t mean you should give up. Just be smarter when setting goals for the next year!
Are you the type of person who sets goals at the start of a new year? Do you have any tips on planning or timing out your goals? Share some of your goals and experiences with goal setting by posting a comment in the box below.
The CGS Team