top of page

How to Set Goals You Will Actually Achieve

managing time

I’m continuing my productivity series this week with some tips for setting goals in 2018. January is a natural time to check in with yourself and decide where you want to be a year from now. Thinking about what you want to achieve and spending some time making a plan will ensure you keep moving in the right direction! One of the reasons why New Year’s resolutions go unfulfilled is because they are often too vague. “Get healthy” or “Spend less money” are great intentions, but how do they translate into real action? One method for thinking through your goals is to make them SMART:

smart goals

Using the example of getting healthy, a SMART goal might look like this: SPECIFIC – I want to improve my diet and focus on clean eating MEASUREABLE – I will limit fast food/restaurant meals to 2 per week and eat less convenience foods at home; I will cook more healthy meals from scratch ATTAINABLE – I will research recipes, plan meals each week, make a list, and grocery shop for all ingredients once a week RELEVANT – This will improve my health and it supports my priority of self-care TIME-BOUND – I will implement these changes over the next 3 months Here’s a worksheet (not my own) to help you craft your own SMART goals. Another tip I have is to keep your goals constantly visible. All this planning will be a waste of time if it gets forgotten in a notebook somewhere. I’ve used a really simple method for the last few years to display my goals and major projects: a sheet of graph paper split up into boxes for each month:

year plan

I use sticky notes to map out major projects, courses, and events that support my yearly goals. Inevitably, plans change throughout the year, so sticky notes allow me to rearrange easily. I keep this sheet on a clipboard that hangs in my office to remind me of the big picture every day. This year, I decided to create a printed version of this tool. I've included the download here: Download my Monthly Goal Setting worksheet

If you found these tips helpful be sure to subscribe to the Pretty Neat weekly email! You'll get a short and sweet message each week with my best advice for a more beautiful and functional home. Click here to sign up, and you'll also receive my FREE guide: How to Get Rid of Stuff!

Make it fab!


bottom of page