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How to Set Goals in 5 Simple Steps

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The start of a new year always makes me excited to create what lies ahead and seize this opportunity for reflection and self-improvement. So much has changed about my life over the last few months that it’s especially important for me to start 2015 with a clear head and a clear vision for what the year ahead of me holds. There are lots of great goal-setting resources online, and over the years I’ve learned from them and translated them into a basic template for a Five-Step Plan to use this year. Follow along below to make YOUR year the clearest and best one yet!!

Step 1: What are your 3 MAJOR GOALS for the year?

Just think of three big tasks you’d like to achieve in 201. Anything more can get overwhelming and make it easier for you to lose focus. For the last few years, I’ve chosen three strong ones, and because of the simplicity of this plan, I have been able to accomplish them every year.

Step 2: What does succeeding at these three goals LOOK LIKE?

In order to accomplish big tasks, you have to have a clear vision and then break down how you will achieve them into smaller chunks. This is the section where you do that. First write out exactly what achieving these goals will look and feel like, and then write out the steps about WHEN these smaller chunks will be tackled over the course of the year. For example, if one of your main goals is GET FIT, then the hows of it could be “Go to the gym twice a week” and “eat a salad once a day.” Then you have specific actions that you can refer to in order to stay on track and actually reach your big 3 this year.

Step 3: What are 10 SMALLER GOALS for the year?

This can be things like “I will read a book a month” or “I will visit my grandmother every other week” and simply serve as guidelines and suggestions to help keep you on the path toward success.

Step 4: Where are 3 PLACES I would like to visit?

I’m a firm believer that travel, even just to an unfamiliar town a couple hours away, expands your mind, refreshes your mental palette, and cultivates empathy and intelligence. Make sure to get out of your comfort zone this year! Even if you can’t afford a big trip, you CAN drive a couple hours out of town on a Saturday and simply experience a new restaurant, new hiking trails, or an unfamiliar beach. Push yourself, do some research, make a plan, and get out there on an adventure.

Step 5: What are 3 QUOTES to support me on my journey?

These can be famous quotes, things your mom says, or phrases you make up. The goal of these quotes is to encourage you on the path you’ve set for yourself this year and give you something to call up when you need a little reminder of why you’re pushing yourself down an unfamiliar path.

Here are mine:

1. Joy.
2. I believe in my instinct.
3. “Trust firmly in your luck, cling to your happiness, and dare to take risks.” – Rene Char

May you also find joy, clarity, and strength in the new year. If you use this goal-setting plan, or any other, I would LOVE to hear about your guiding words for 2015!

This article was originally published on Move LifeStyle.

Photo: Thinkstock

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