The New Year is coming. 2016 is right around the corner. So what is one of the most popular things to happen during this time of year? People start talking about resolutions, New Year’s resolutions- things they’re going to change and do differently. But people also talk about setting goals for 2016. Have you ever thought about the difference? What’s the difference between a resolution and a goal? The definition of a resolution is: A decision or a determination to do something. Essentially, you’re deciding that you want to do something. Now… the definition of a goal is: The result toward which effort is directed. What does that mean? It really means that because of something you want to achieve, you’re going to put steps into motion in order to achieve that goal. To me, a goal is more powerful than a resolution. A goal is taking action and making things happen. A resolution is just something you say and a decision that you make, but it’s not necessarily taking that extra step.

Today I’ve got 7 tips to help you achieve your goals in 2016.

  1. Make your goals S.M.A.R.T. Let’s dissect the word smart, letter by letter. In hopes of helping you when you sit down to make your list of goals. The first letter is S- be Specific. Don’t just say, “I want to lose weight in 2016.” Instead, say something like, “I want to lost 15 pounds by June 1st of 2016,” or “I want to run a marathon in 2016,” or “I want to meal plan every single week in 2016.” These goals are very specific with what they want to achieve. Next letter- M for Measurable. Make your goals measurable. It’s so important to see where your starting, where you end up and measure your progress. If your goal was to lose 15 pounds by June 1st, look where you are on March 1st. Are you halfway there? Are you doing better than you thought? Or do you need to step it up a little bit? Next letter- A for Achievable. It doesn’t mean that your goals shouldn’t scare you, because quite frankly, I think they should. I think that if your goals aren’t scary, then they’re not big enough. However, you also need to make sure that you’re being realistic in making sure that you can achieve them in the time you’re giving yourself. Keep that in mind. The R stands for Relevant. The goals that you set have to be relevant to YOU. Your life, your desire, your passion, the path that you want to take. It has to fit in to where you are and what you want to achieve. If it’s not relevant, you’re not going to make it happen, because it’s just not going to be that important. The T- Time bound. You heard me say earlier, “by June 1st,” or “by the end of the year.” Put a timestamp on your goals and when you want to achieve them. A lot of times, I’ll look at it in 90 day blocks. The first 90 days of the year, I want to achieve x, the second 90 days of the year, I want to achieve y. By doing that, you can really check in to see where you are and how you’re doing.
  2. Create a vision board. And I mean this literally- go back to school. Get a big poster board, cut out pictures or words, sayings, things that motivate and inspire you and represent the things that you want to achieve. I’ll give you a couple of examples. My vision board has a picture of me and my husband on it because I want to remind myself to have a date night with him once a week. Another photo is of an audio book because I want to listen to 3-5 audio books each month. Another thing on my vision board is I want to grow my team by 3 to 5 coaches each month. I have a brand new Yukon XL on my vision board because I want to be able to pay cash for that by the end of 2016. Make it pretty, make sure it inspires you, hang it up somewhere where you’ll see it every single day.
  3. Throw self-doubt and disbelief out the window. You’ve got no time for that. You are capable, you are strong and you are a person full of purpose and passion. Don’t doubt yourself. Own who you are, believe in who you are and just GO FOR IT. Don’t let all that other junk in.
  4. Don’t wish for it, work for it. Achieving goals takes work. It takes blood, sweat and tears. It’s not easy, sometimes you may feel like you’re climbing a mountain… you’ll wonder if you’re going to ever get to the top. But you can’t sit around and just wish it into reality. You have to be willing to put forth the effort. The work. If the goal matters enough to you, you will do what it takes.
  5. Review your progress. Weekly. Monthly. Yearly. Know where you are and how you’re doing all the time.
  6. Team up with an accountability partner. Share your goals with that person. Why is this important? Because if you have one person that you’re accountable to that you talk to every single week on the phone, and you share your goals, struggles, etc. it is so powerful to have that person in your corner. It’s also incredible to be that person for someone else. It’s great to have someone there in your corner cheering you on, picking you up when you need it, calling you out when you’re not doing what you need to be doing, and generally making you a better person.
  7. Celebrate the small victories. Every victory matters. Every little thing is a stepping stone to get you to that ultimate goal. So celebrate the things every day, every week, every month that you’re doing well. The successes that you achieve. Truly own and celebrate that success, no matter how small it seems.

I’ve learned some life lessons from pursuing my goals in the past- passion and purpose have to align. We all have a purpose… and then we all have passions. When you marry those two things together, oh my goodness, you’re unstoppable. Your passion fuels your purpose and you can make amazing things happen. I am now living a life where my passion and my purpose align. I haven’t always done that. I was in real estate before and I wasn’t married to it. My passion and purpose did not match. Being a coach… paying it forward and helping others live healthier, more fulfilled lives, that is my purpose and my passion aligned. Married. And I am full of JOY because I’ve finally been able to find that.

Another thing I’ve learned along the way- comparison will stop you in your tracks. It is so easy for me. I sit around sometimes when I’m idle (which isn’t very often) and I’ll scroll through Facebook and look at other coaches and other things that they’re doing and I’ll look at their success. It’s really easy to compare where they are and where I am and think, “How come I’m not as far as she is?” But you know what? Comparison just steals your joy. We are all running our own race. It’s individualized to us specifically. It just doesn’t matter what anyone else is doing. It doesn’t matter how fast or slow their business is growing, or how fast or slow they’re losing weight. YOU are the only one that matters. When you look in the mirror, THAT is your competition. No one else. Do not fall in the comparison trap.

There’s no time for self-doubt. We are capable. We are given gifts from God- to be the people that we are. There is no reason to doubt our abilities. He’s given us all we need. We just have to spread our wings and fly and let the gifts that we possess, put our purpose and our passion into place. Don’t doubt yourself.

The fear of failure is no longer a practice I partake in. I’m not afraid to fail. Yes, I was in the past. But what I’ve learned is that sometimes failure is where you learn the most, and as long as I continue to fail forward, then I’m moving in the right direction. And I’m getting back up and trying to do it better the next time. I’ll get back up and tweak it and do it a little differently. Failure is ok. Failure means you’re trying. It means you’re not just sitting back on the couch with your feet up thinking, “I’m too afraid to fail, so I’m just not going to do anything.” Guess what? If you don’t do anything, nothing is going to happen. But if you try and you fail, you look at what you could have done better and give it another shot. Get up and do it again. There’s no time for fear of failure.

Another thing I’ve learned is to eat that frog. There’s a book by Brian Tracy called “Eat That Frog.” Amazing book. The basic premise is: When you wake up every day, there are things on your to-do list that you really don’t want to do. It’s really easy to make those things the last thing we do. But if you can put that thing first, then the rest of your day is a piece of cake. Whatever it is that you’re afraid of and you don’t want to do, if you take care of it first- bam! It’s over and done and the rest of your day is stuff you enjoy. So just eat that frog. Do the thing that you hate first thing in the morning and get it over with.

Working to achieve our goals is not easy. But you know what? It’s not supposed to be. When we achieve our goals, we are going to be that much more fulfilled, and excited and empowered because we worked hard for something we wanted so badly. We made it a reality in our world. Think about it. When you’ve been working toward something and you finally achieve it in the end, you want to just scream it from the rooftops. It feels so good to say, “I did it.”
The most important thing is trying. It’s about succeeding, sometimes failing. And sometimes it’s about failing, learning from it, and trying again. Achieving your goals is exhilarating. It makes you feel amazing and strong and capable. That is what I want for everyone. So whether it’s a physical goal, a personal goal, or a business goal… whatever it is, I DECIDE what I want to achieve, I BELIEVE it will happen, and I make the EFFORT necessary to get there. You are capable of exactly the same thing. No fear. No excuses. Just believe and take action. Let’s greet 2016 with open arms!