I hope that looking back on 2015, you are skinnier, happier, and debt free, or whatever your New Year’s resolutions were last year. Or maybe you forgot about your resolutions about halfway through January. Yup. I’ve been there and done that. I’ve made plans to eat healthy and lose a few pounds. Then someone brings an amazing dessert in to work and it’s all over before it started! But I’ve made actually progress in a few areas of my life in the last few years and I want to tell you how. I also want to tell you my goals so that I might have some accountability to make even better progress this year.
Don’t make resolutions: Set Goals
It might seem like resolutions and goals are the same, but to me they are different in a very important way. People seem to make New Year’s resolutions like they’re a wish. Something they’re hoping will just happen. But when you set goals, you make a plan so that you know what work you need to do for that goal to actually happen.
Make your goals specific and realistic
This is important so that you can achieve your goals.
Specific: It is important that your goals are specific so that you know if you’ve achieved them or not. If you want to eat healthier, how will you know if you’ve done it? But if you want to eat at least four servings of fruits and vegetables and drink six glasses of water a day, then you can easily tell if you’ve done it or not.
Realistic: If you set unrealistic goals, you’re setting yourself up for failure. If you want to save $5000 for an emergency fund, but you usually only have $45 left at the end of every month for savings, you most likely will fail (unless you have a specific plan for making extra income). I want to set a goal that I can realistically achieve so that I can succeed!
Write it down
Yes, you’ve reading it a hundred times, but did you actually do it? Write down your goals! Place them someplace you’ll see them. I’ve put lists on the side of our refrigerator. I’ve posted savings charts in our office. I’ve heard of people putting a note inside their wallet so that they see their savings goal every time they spend money. This isn’t a resolution that we’re going to wish for and forget about. This is a goal that we are going to work towards.
My goals for 2016
- Continue exercising 5-6 days a week. I’ve been working hard on developing this habit over the last two months and I want to continue through the year. I want to create a healthy lifestyle with good habits that will last a lifetime.
- Start making an income from home. I’ll admit that this goal isn’t super specific yet. Once I actually achieve the basic goal of making some amount of an income from home, I’ll see what a realistic second goal would be as far as what amount I’d like to reach.
- Save $1000 for retirement. We are not currently enrolled in any 401(k) programs, so we are working on contributing to a Roth IRA. I think $1000 is doable. It equals out to less than $100 a month.
- Save $1000 for a trip to Europe. I’ve got big plans to make a trip to Europe, hopefully with my mom, in the next year or two. I know $1000 isn’t nearly enough, but it’s a start. This one will be a stretch for our finances, but I think we can do it.
- Stick to our monthly budget. This will make the previous two goals possible. Mostly, we need to rein in the eating out and treats.
Let’s make the most of this year and be able to look back a year from now and see all that we have accomplished!