Goals Not Resolutions: How I am Planning to Win in the New Year

How to make new years goals you will actually keep

I am a mega-planner, some say to a fault. Textbook Over-Thinker.

Thinking back to September & October — once I feel the slightest Fall chill in the air, I skip right through Winter and already start my planning sesh to make the next year my b*tch.

I’m constantly reminding myself to live in the moment. To enjoy TODAY and what I’m currently achieving. It’s hard. I’m so much more big-picture than that.

With that said, I could have written this post months ago. But with some self-restraint, I saved it for a time when everyone else would be most receptive.

Let’s talk goals.

I think it’s important to distinguish between goals and resolutions.

Goals are things you achieve. Resolutions are intentions to do or not do something.

Now, YES, I am talking semantics here. But to me, that matters.

When I set a goal for myself, that’s important. It holds weight to me & I don’t want to let myself down.

On the contrary, a resolution is a hope & a dream for a better year to come. I would be taboo if I even talked about my New Years Resolution past March or April.

To me, words matter and when I set goals for life & business, I achieve them. Here’s how I make sure I’m always moving forward:

How to Set Goals in the New Year

Four Words:

Reflect, Realize, Prioritize, Plan


The first step is to Reflect back on the past year’s set of goals. Here were mine:

  • Professional Goal: Double my Real Estate Transactions per Month (I Exceeded this by 4 Transactions!)
  • Personal Goal: Attend or Host 1 Social/Networking event per Month (Far exceeded that goal, thanks to joining some social communities in Chicago & re-doing our dining room for hosting parties!)
  • Side Hustle Goal: Add 100 new people to my blog email list per month (Did not achieve, I still need to work on this!)

The most important part of the process is in Green. Asking myself: How did I do?

The first step is Reflecting on my past goals helps me determine how to set myself up for the new year in a quantitative way.

Reflect, Realize, Prioritize, Plan


The next step for me is to set realistic expectations for next year.

I crushed my professional goal last year, but when I made the goal last January, I honestly thought it would be a stretch for me!

So when setting my next goal, I need to take into consideration my realistic natural growth AND I need to come up with a reach-for-the-stars dream to challenge me.

Somewhere in the middle of growth & daydreaming will be my Goal for this new year.

And this way, it’s not just a pipe dream.

Reflect, Realize, Prioritize, Plan


The reality is that whether you reach goals all comes down to Priorities. If you are setting goals that you constantly fail at, it’s because something in your life always out-prioritizes it.

I’m actually not necessarily saying you should re-prioritize your life. I’m saying you should acknowledge your current priorities and what you choose to put meaning into.

For instance, a super common goal (that I need to take into consideration for myself as well) has to do with health, exercise, and dieting.

But here I am, acknowledging my priorities. For me, I know for a fact that I could have a yoga class planned & in my calendar all week, and if a client calls, I will 100% cancel my workout. Every. Single. Time.

So if my goal is some physical triumph like running a marathon, my daily patterns would never allow me to meet that goal. My priorities just aren’t there. Something I find more meaningful will always get in the way on the day-to-day.

I’m better off being realistic & making more manageable goals that fit in with my priorities.

UNLESS, you’re willing to man up and change your priorities.

Reflect, Realize, Prioritize, Plan


It’s easy to plan in January, but staying motivated in April, May, June… now that is the real challenge.

I always plan HOW I am going to keep track of my successes so that I can keep myself accountable the entire year.

First off, all my goals are quantitative.

Bad: “Try to eat healthy,” or “Work out more.”

Good: “Read one book per Month.”

Also — if you haven’t caught on, I try to make all my goals into monthly increments. It’s so much more manageable to achieve & I can check in on myself frequently. For my professional goals, I work backwards and determine what I want to do FOR THE YEAR and then divide by 12. But for personal goals, I just come up with a number that feels achievable per month.

Lastly, I make a diagram that helps me keep track of things through the entire year.

For instance, this is what I am putting on my fridge to remind me to read One Book per Month in 2018:

How to reach your new years goals


Can I help you keep track of your Goals in 2018?

Fill out this form below and I will send you your very own custom worksheet similar to the one above!

I need to know:

  1. What is Your Quantitative Goal?
  2. How many Total Monthly Activities do you need per month?

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