Setting Goals 101: How to Find Growth in the New Year

Setting goals for the new year is a great way to focus your efforts and create a roadmap for more success in the coming year. Whether you want to advance your career, improve your health, or reach a personal milestone, setting clear and realistic goals can help you stay motivated and make the process toward your desired outcome easier.

In celebration of the new year, GrantNews is sharing eight steps you can make to ensure your organization exceeds its goals for 2023!

1. Start with the big picture

When setting your goals, make sure to consider what you are trying to achieve in the long term.

  • Are you trying to achieve a major accomplishment in your career?
  • Maybe you’re trying to switch careers altogether?
  • Are you trying to hit a financial goal?
  • Or are there personal things you’re trying to work on, like in terms of fitness or nutrition?

Have fun with this. Decide where you want to be in one year and be as clear as possible. A good way to start is by taking a notebook and writing: On December 31, 2023, I will have accomplished… and then write down everything you can think of that you want to achieve.

2. Break your goals down into short-term goals

The next step to setting goals is to break down your long-term goals into smaller, more manageable goals. For example, if your long-term goal is to run a marathon, you might set a goal to run every morning, with the ultimate goal of running a full marathon by the end of the year. Breaking down your goals into smaller, more achievable steps, can help you stay motivated and not get discouraged.

It will also allow you to recognize any problems with your goals upfront and make changes along the way that need to be made. Short-term goals also reward you every day you accomplish one of them, rather than having to wait until the end of the year to feel a sense of accomplishment.

You can also break down your goals into habits. One of the best books to help you figure this out, which is a personal favorite of mine, is called Atomic Habits. Best book ever, 10/10 would recommend it.

3. Make your goals specific and measurable

Instead of setting a goal like “lose weight,” set a specific goal like “lose 10 pounds in the next six months.” Having a specific and measurable goal will make it easier to track your progress and determine whether or not you are on track to achieve your goal.

4. Set a deadline for your goals

Having a deadline can help you stay focused and motivated to achieve your goals. It can also help you prioritize your efforts and teach you to allocate your time and resources more effectively. Also, keep in mind that deadlines don’t have to be single-use. Having weekly, monthly, and even annual deadlines for the things you are trying to get done can be helpful.

Timelines allow you to check your progress along the way. Don’t only set deadlines for big goals, but for the small steps along the way

5. Make your goals visible

Writing down your goals and placing them in a visible location, such as on a bulletin board or in a planner, can help you stay focused and remind you of what you are working toward. There are so many apps available for your phones and computers nowadays too that give you a platform to list out your goals. Some of the top apps include Strides, Goals on Track, and Way of Life. Putting your goals in a place where you have access to them will give you a reminder every day so that you do not forget where you want to be in the future.

If you want to make the process even better, try a whiteboard on wheels. You can even get markers in all different colors for each category, including health, career, fitness, personal finance, etc.

6. Find a support system

Once you have set your goals, it’s important to create a feasible plan to help you achieve them. This means finding a support system that can give you the accountability and resources needed to help meet them. Maybe you want to read a certain number of books in a year, so you decide to join a book club. Maybe you want to lose a certain number of pounds, so you join an exercise class. Being around people with similar goals and dreams can be a great way to make yourself accountable. It is also nice to meet people that have been through the same experiences and struggles.

7. Be flexible

If you are too ambitious, you may become discouraged and give up. On the other hand, if you set goals that are too easy, you may not push yourself to reach your full potential. It is important to be flexible and adjust your goals as needed. If you encounter unexpected setbacks or challenges, it may be necessary to alter your plan to achieve them. There is nothing wrong with that as long as you stay focused on some sort of goal.

8. Celebrate your progress

As you make progress toward your goals, take the time to celebrate your achievements. This can help you stay motivated and build momentum as you continue to work toward your goals. Remember, you do not have to celebrate your accomplishments alone. One way to make things even better is to celebrate with loved ones.

Maybe you have lost the 50 lbs you’ve been working hard on, so you decide to have a fun celebration with your friends. Got that promotion you’ve been hoping for? You could have a nice dinner with your loved ones as a reward. It is important to celebrate the little wins along the way.

Overall, remember to be kind and gracious to yourself as you grow. We hope these tips help you to have the best 2023 possible! We also want to know what some of your goals are for the New Year. Share in the comments below!

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