My 4-Step Goal Crushing Formula
How to achieve your new year’s resolutions and goals
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Everyone has their new year’s goals, resolutions & mantras. But What does it matter if you don’t put them into action?
I love setting new goals for a new year. There’s something ultra-energizing about the idea of a clean slate or fresh start.
New Year’s Eve is a celebration of endless possibilities, and since When Harry Met Sally is one of my all-time favorite movies, it’s really no wonder I romanticize the holiday.
“When you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible.” So, so good. Cue all my happy, messy tears.
When I was a kid I used to have a sleepover with a friend every New Year’s Eve. I’d work hard crafting my own multi-colored construction paper confetti to toss triumphantly into the air at midnight.
Then, because I am my mother’s child, I would immediately vacuum it up. Immediately. Like, the vacuum was plugged in waiting. I love a clean slate, ok?!
I often get a headstart on some of my new year goals and resolutions, because I’m so excited to get them going, using the time between Christmas with my family and New Year’s Eve to enact some changes and improvements to my home and work life.
This year, I cooked several healthy veggie and protein-packed meals a few times before December 31st, easing myself into what has proven to be my hardest goal to achieve in the last three years of New York living: cooking at least 2x a week.
I always set goals in categories – health, family & friends, giving, work, money and rest. (Yes, I have a special, separate category for rest. I have workaholic tendencies and it’s been helpful for me to set a minimum number of vacations or boundaries into my plan for the upcoming year.)
Every year, I’d say I make 80-90% of my goals. And the 10-20% I don’t meet? There’s only one reason I fall short – I didn’t take time to build a plan to achieve those ones.
I know that if I put four simple steps into place for each one of my goals, there’s very little chance I won’t succeed.
THERE’S ONLY ONE REASON I EVER FALL SHORT ON MY GOALS – I DIDN’T BUILD A PLAN TO ACHIEVE THEM.
Let’s use my goal of cooking TWICE A week TO ILLUSTRATE THE IMPORTANCE OF planNING.
Every year, this is the goal I de-prioritize or just plain resent writing down. I hate to cook. It requires patience and preparation and focus, and I don’t want to give those energies to this activity when I’m already expending them in my work. (I enjoy marketing a heck of a lot more than chopping, mixing and saute-ing!!)
But I know that I feel better and more energetic when I eat homecooked meals and control the ingredients within them. In 2018, I want to prioritize that feeling and finally, finally cook more often. This year, I have a plan to do it.
Put these 4 steps into action for every single goal & you’re destined to see results.
STEP 1: break it way down into teeny, tiny steps
Yes, there is a version of “break it down” in pretty much every blog post I write. Why? Because unless you do, every thing you aim for will feel impossible. Or you’ll skip important steps in your process. Or you’ll miscalculate the time it will take you to get it done.
For every New Year’s goal you make, really get granular about what it will take to achieve it. Write down and plan every little step you need to take to make it happen.
If we stick to my cooking example, there are likely four parts to every meal I make: researching and choosing a recipe, buying and preparing ingredients, cooking the meal, cleaning up and storing the leftovers.
STEP 2: SCHEDULE THE STEPS in your calendar
Now that you have all the nitty gritty steps written down, make sure they make their way into your busy schedule.
If you don’t know when you’ll turn ideas into action, they’ll remain ideas. You must calendar them out.
This is largely the reason I have failed every year to keep up with my cooking resolution. In 2018, I’m putting grocery shopping and meal planning into my calendar as recurring events. Whether it’s reminding me to defrost chicken overnight or run to the bodega for crushed tomatoes, having ingredients ready in advance of cooking will keep me tied to my plan, even when I want to bail. No one wants to waste food that’s ready and waiting.
STEP 3: REDUCE FRICTION EVERY CHANCE YOU CAN
If there is anything you can do to reduce the challenges you see in your new year plan, DO IT.
This might mean hiring an expert for a task you could DIY but would take you forever to figure out. It might mean quitting something that takes up time you need for working towards one of your goals. It might mean buying new software or participating in a program to learn more on a subject you are less sure of.
Whatever it is, do it.
I despise grocery shopping. And “I didn’t have time to go to the store” is often the excuse I turn to when I decide not to cook.
For years I had in my head that grocery delivery was out of my budget, or worse – it was lazy. Until one day I got fed up and started researching prices on FreshDirect and InstaCart. Now I don’t feel guilty ordering my groceries online, because it saves me time and keeps me focused (I only buy ingredients I need, not things I run across and crave in the moment), and I project I may even save money ordering groceries this year, because I’ll order less take-out in the long run!
STEP 4: SHARE YOUR GOAL WITH SOMEONE YOU TRUST AND RESPECT
Create accountability by sharing your plans with others. Go a step further and regularly check in with that person if you really need the outside push to reach that goal.
A recovering perfectionist, I find that I hold my most major ambitions as secrets, fearing that if I share them before they’re ready, they’ll be some version of “not enough.” But whenever I state aloud “This is what I’m setting out to achieve,” I’m much more likely to set the wheels in motion.
If you share your goals with someone you love and trust, surprise, they’ll probably say something supportive and encouraging. They might even give you a good idea of how to go after that goal. Or pledge to be your partner in achieving it.
I know my partner will be a huge help in my cooking endeavors – by grocery shopping, sharing in clean-up and choosing some of the meals.
Apply the above four-step formula to every goal you’ve set for the year. You can do this for everything as small as “flossing daily” to bigger goals like “earn $20,000 more in profit this year.”
Happy ACHIEVING THIS YEAR!
is becoming a better marketer one of your new year’s resolutions?
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I strategize, consult and manage digital marketing and communications for small businesses and creative entrepreneurs. I’m based in Brooklyn, because I have a thing for exposed brick, cozy, local coffee shops and the can’t stop, won’t stop energy of New York.
Because I work with small companies, I get the chance to really know my clients – what makes them tick and how and why they should stand out in a crowded marketplace. A lot of my clients have a smaller staff, a limited budget and are already stretched thin for time. This leads us to tailor marketing strategies and solutions to each company’s unique needs and actual capacity.