Many people are setting goals for 2021 despite the disruptions of 2020. In fact, a recent survey by The Harris Poll revealed that more Americans planned to make New Year’s resolutions for 2021 than did those for last year by 23 percent. Some top resolutions included: exercising regularly, managing their weight with a primary focus on self-care, as well as making resolutions to improve their financial health by saving and budgeting.
It’s great to set New Year’s resolutions. But make sure that you also have clear plans for achieving them. Many times, planning is the part that gets overlooked. And lack of a clear plan is almost, always linked to negative outcomes for accomplishing your goals.
Having a clear plan of action provides direction for where to focus your attention and energy. When your mind is focused, then your intentions become more clear- and that’s the point at which you begin to develop more passion and excitement for what it is you aim to do.
To get started, here are some simple but effective ways to set clear plans for achieving your goals in 2021:
Set the goal. What goals do you want to achieve? Start with one top goal for each area of your life. For instance, determine your personal, professional, financial and spiritual related goals. This doesn’t mean you don’t have other goals that you want to achieve within these areas, but starting with four main goals assigned to each of these individual aspects of your life can help to prevent you from becoming overwhelmed and reduce conflicts between goals. I also believe the top four goals that you begin with in the new year will ultimately impact every other area of your life in a positive way, encouraging you to set and achieve more goals throughout the year.
Establish your intentions. Why do you want to achieve this goal? What will achieving this goal mean to you? Answering these questions will also help to clarify your values, which will help you to prioritize.
Devise the plan. Make sure your plan is simple, measurable and achievable. Ask yourself the following:
- How will you achieve the goal?
- By what time frame will you achieve the goal?
Knowing this will allow you to determine the actions you need to take daily, weekly or monthly that you can actually measure. Also, remember to be flexible and don’t be discouraged by any missteps. Re-commit to your plans and your purpose. Start again and change your actions when necessary to align with your goals.
Photographs by Jeffery Erhunse
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