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The 4-Step Strategy to Make 2018 Your Breakthrough Year

With the ending of 2017, many of us felt relieved that the calendar year was finally over, myself included.

Like many people, I had given thought and put effort into creating goals for 2017, only to see them fall apart soon after. It seems that as the year rolls on, our goals can fall by the wayside.

So, how can we create an effective goal-based strategy for 2018 in order to fully use the time we have and make a real personal breakthrough?

The difficult thing about resolutions

The difficult thing about resolutions is that they take more patience to fulfill than most of us can spare. Keeping tabs on your goals for 365 days can be an excruciating effort which leads to many people simply giving up and improvising as they go along. Improvisation does work sometimes and, in my case, it somewhat did.

As a professional writer, some of my goals were centered around my work. I managed to fulfill my quota of projects and learn more about writing and marketing software not only because of my goals, but out of necessity.

Now that we got the “but” out of the way, what is the optimal strategy to creating a yearly goals plan that anyone can stick to?

Making things easy

The most important question to ask yourself is if you are serious about your new year’s goals. Most people see resolutions as a trend, as something that their friends do online. These half-baked “resolutions” are nothing more than affirmations that you do need to make a change but won’t amount to much more than that, unless you take the steps to make them come to life.

There are several ways in which you can make things easy for yourself when goal-setting is concerned, the first of which relates to setting objective goals instead of subjective ones. For example, you if you want to learn German as a second language, how should your goal look like on paper?

  •  “I want to learn German in the upcoming year.”
  • “I want to be able to hold a conversation with a German native-speaker and be able to order food by phone in German.”

Can you spot the difference between these phrases? Creating goals that are more akin to the second type is far better in the long run, meaning that you will have achievable goals to chase after instead of abstract ideas.

Maintain the list

The list you create will reflect the way you live and act in the upcoming year. While you can write it yourself, you can always take a look at some of the online writing websites if you need help along the way. That being said, your list should always be on you wherever you go.

It may be on sticky notes around the house or on a vision board, as well as on your electronic devices. This will ensure that you are always aware of the goal-chasing that you are doing. Most people forget about their resolutions after the first few weeks of January, if they make it that far. If you want to keep going and are serious about doing something about the problems you are facing, you need to be patient and disciplined.

Read through your list before going to sleep every night and think about where you are now in relation to where you were when you started. This will give you the necessary motivation to keep working on your goals even if people around you tell you to “stop bothering.”

Creating a check system

A check system will allow you to mark off any goals that you might have achieved prematurely. Just because the goals are “yearly,” doesn’t mean that they can’t be achieved in less time. The check system will allow you to get a better perspective on your progress, giving you enough motivation to keep going with other not-yet-finished goals when it becomes difficult to stay on track.

Simply checking-off a completed goal will make your visual perception of the list more positive than before. Seeing that you actually made progress on your goals will allow you to focus even more than before and check off the rest of the items on your list.

Adjusting your course

While the opinion may not be popular, I have found course adjustment to be a very helpful tool. Your goals might not be very clear or realistic at the outset. Adjusting your goals into more achievable forms is a good way to get some work done.

This doesn’t mean you should lower the bar for success, however. Talk to a friend or relative and see what they think about the goals you set in relation to you as a person. If they think you can do it, maybe you shouldn’t course-correct. If, however, more than one person tells you that the goals are too high to achieve (for now), consider changing things up a bit.

Take things easy

For a personal perspective, I can attest that creating, maintaining and achieving yearly goals can be very difficult. But, this doesn’t mean that all is lost. You always have time to prepare and achieve even greater goals in the years to come.

The secret to getting ahead is getting started and this couldn’t be truer when resolutions are in question. Start small and build your way up towards the type of person you want to become for yourself and the people around you.

Thinking of hiring a career coach to help you set and achieve your professional goals? Browse our directory of career coaches and get a FREE consultation or request a personalized coach recommendation!

About the Author Luisa Brenton

Having graduated from Chicago's Public Research University, Luisa Brenton started career in advertising and brand developing where worked for over 4 years. As a freelance writer, she sees her mission in helping students to find their own way to balanced lifestyle and cope with everyday assignments with success. You can find more of her articles on Facebook, Twitter and Google+.

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