The month of December brings up a lot of talk about setting goals, and planning for the new year. People set “new years resolutions” that they tend to forget about towards the end of January (maybe February if you’re lucky). The “new year, new me” thing can get thrown out the window pretty quickly if you’re not focused on what you’re really trying to change or accomplish. Because think about it. When we go to sleep on December 31st, and wake up on January 1st nothing magical happens. We don’t wake up in a completely different world where you instantly become the best version of yourself (I wish that’s how it worked). If the measure of months and years didn’t exist, it would just be another day. So in reality, the new year is what you make of it. It definitely provides you with that “fresh start” feeling. That feeling like you can do anything you set you mind to…and you can! With focus, determination, and a plan. So how do you keep that fresh new years feeling going all year long and stay focused on your goals? Here’s 9 tips to help you stay focused and rock the new year.
How to Stay Focused on Your Goals
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1. Start Small + Have an Action Plan
This is a common tip that I think is often overlooked or misunderstood. When I say to make small goals, I’m not saying you shouldn’t have big goals too. You should totally have big goals, but create small goals that lead to the ultimate big goal. That’s your action plan. For example, if I said “I want to write a book in 2018,” that’s a huge goal, that might actually start to feel overwhelming. Break that goal down into little pieces to make it more manageable.
- In January I’ll come up with all of the chapters for my book
- Every month I’ll write two chapters
- By October I’ll have the whole book written
- I’ll edit the book in November
- I’ll publish it in December
Something like that. The small steps in the action plan help you to stay focused and ensure that you’re on track to reaching the big goal. That way, it makes it harder to fall off the wagon in the middle of January.
2. Get Excited About Your Goals
Don’t set goals that you’re not excited to achieve! Set goals that YOU are excited about, not goals that you think you should set because everyone else is. Spend time to think about why you’re setting each goal, and what you hope to get out of achieving it. You should be excited about the result of reaching your goal.
3. Celebrate ALL the things
Celebrate even the smallest accomplishments towards your goals. So that list of smaller goals I wrote under step 1? I would celebrate every single one of those as I reached them. You don’t need to wait until you reach the big goal to reward yourself. Adopt the “treat yo’self” mindset and celebrate however makes you happy. The reward system (along with self-discipline) will keep you motivated throughout the year!
4. Analyze Your Progress Regularly
Do weekly or monthly check ins with yourself regarding the progress you’ve made on your goals. Ask yourself questions such as:
What’s working? What isn’t?
What needs to change in order for you to make progress?
What changes can you make to your original goals if needed?
Are you feeling less motivated? Why?
What can you do to get motivated again?
What extra action step goals can you add to make your big goal more achievable?
Be consistent with these check ins in order to stay on task and motivated. If you’re regularly checking in on yourself there’s no way you should be forgetting about your goals by the end of January. If you notice one particular goal just isn’t working, that’s ok too. Just modify it.
5. Create a Vision Board
Yes, you all know I’m a fan of vision boards. I have good reason though. Vision boards serve as a visual representation of your goals, as well as a visual reminder. If you’re a visual person like me, having that visual reminder is critical to staying focused and motivated. The creative process of designing your vision board is also very inspiring and motivating, and helps start you on a positive note towards achieving your goals. Hang the vision board up in your room and it’ll be there all year staring you right in the face like “hey look at me! You can’t forget your goals girl!” If you want to learn more about how to create a vision board that really works you can read the post linked down below and download the free workbook 😉
6. Use a Planner
I’m all about planners. Always have been and always will. It’s the ultimate tool to get (and stay) organized, and if I don’t have one I feel totally lost. Girl, I do not enjoy feeling lost let me tell you. I’ve always used a traditional planner, but about halfway through the year I jumped on the bullet journal train. Sadly, I didn’t keep up with it for as long as I’d hoped I would. I got way too busy and wasn’t taking the time to design my spreads. I was also missing the ability to look forward in the year and write things in weeks/months ahead of time. Good news though, I found a planner that has the good old monthly/weekly spreads, along with pages that focus on monthly goals, vision, and personal development. Winning! It’s the Vision Planner by Bloom Daily Planners. There’s a goals page and a “vision board” page for every month and I think that’s a perfect way to keep focused throughout the year!
7. Don’t be so Hard on Yourself
Yes girl, take a chill pill sometimes, and know that it’s totally okay. If you’re not on track with your goals don’t beat yourself up over it. Take some time to reflect on what needs to change to help you stay focused on your goals and get motivated again. Enjoy the journey, and don’t get stuck sulking about the fact that you haven’t reached your destination yet. Accomplishing your goals takes planning, and putting those plans into action. Sometimes we just need to adjust those plans a little bit and try again.Enjoy the journey, and don't get stuck worrying about why you haven't reached your destination yet Click To Tweet
8. Practice Self Care
You can’t possibly feel as motivated and focused as you felt at the beginning of year, all year long, if you’re not taking any breaks to practice self care. Your crazy busy schedule is going to catch up with you sooner or later and you’ll burn out. Why does this matter? Because if you’re burnt out you can forget about achieving your goals. Burn out is the ultimate killer of motivation, determination, excitement, and happiness, so let’s avoid that shall we? Self care helps you feel refreshed and ready to conquer the day ahead of you which is important if you want to stay focused on your goals and aspirations! So schedule some self care time into your fabulous new planner, and set goals related to self care. Don’t know where to start? Read about the 6 Self Care Domains, and check out some of my other self care content below 😉
9. Treat Every Week and/or Month Like it’s January 1st
This is totally a mindset thing but it’s doable. Mindset is everything, and the way you think everyday is going to influence your focus and progress towards your goals.
How do you feel on January 1st?
Refreshed? Excited? Relaxed? Pumped? Motivated? Determined? Rejuvenated?
Why can’t we feel these emotions at the start of a new day, week, or month, as opposed to only the start of a new year? I’m saying you have to feel super hyped and excited every single day (although you could. That would be pretty amazing), but at the least, we can treat the start of a new month like we do the start of a new year. It’s a fresh start and another chance to create positive change in your life and in the world. That’s why I feel it’s important to set monthly goals and reflect on your progress each month. Think of them as mini new years resolutions….new month resolutions maybe?Mindset is everything. The way you think everyday influences how focused and motivated you are about your goals Click To Tweet
Accomplishing goals is never an easy task, especially when it comes to those really ambitious goals we tend to set for ourselves at the start of a new year. However, if you believe in yourself, create and follow through with action plans, and take care of yourself, anything is possible! I believe in you too girl if that helps anything 😉
Let me know what one of your major goals for the new year is in the comments! Happy new year!