As the year comes to a close we are all too excited to welcome a new year. The changing seasons remind us that we have another opportunity to make the upcoming year better than the one before and start those habits we said we would at the beginning of 2017 that somehow fell to the waist side a few weeks into the year.
Let’s review the statistics shall we; according to statisticbrain.com less than half of us kept up with our goals beyond six months into 2017.
|Resolutions maintained through first week||72.6 %|
|Past two weeks||68.4 %|
|Past one month||58.4 %|
|Past six months||44.8 %|
I can’t imagine what the numbers look like if we consider what they look like in November, eleven months into the year. But before we get ahead of ourselves and dismiss 2017 as a flop, let’s see how far we have come this year and more importantly design a plan to crush those 2017 goals so we walk into 2018 feeling like we rocked the year before and can only get better. Here are five steps to take to help you get laser-focused on achieving those 2017 goals before the New Year arrives.
STEP 1: Assess where you are on the continuum.
I just reviewed my five-year plan and searched my blog for a post outlining what I set out to do in 2017 and couldn’t find it. I never told you what I wanted to accomplish by the end of 2017…Crazy girl! I had so many different goals, I think I was all over the place and I never narrowed my focus which made it hard to make significant gains in any one area. But fortunately for you and me, 2017 is not over, there is still time. The key is going to be your level of focus and ability to attack one goal with all of your might. So dust off that notebook where you wrote those 2017 goals and review whether or not you are on track.
STEP 2: Which Goal Can You realistically make the most progress on in the next few weeks?
Take care of the low hanging fruit. What is one goal you set that you can actually attain in a few weeks?
While I may not be able to find a quality partner and move through all the relationship steps outlined in my post, “Have a Big Vision, Take Little Steps”, I can tackle my debt goals which I have more control over. Remember let’s be realistic (a word I despise) because we have less than two months.
So remember to be realistic when deciding on which goal. You may have to adjust your expectations from what they were at the beginning of the year when you had twelve months to work with. You got less than two, make the best of it. I’m focusing on paying off my car loan which at over $6,000 is a bit of a stretch for someone that can’t count on a steady income stream. So what, I think big * kicks the word realistic into oblivion.*
So before this year is over I vow to pay off my car. Yup, my unemployed butt…oh excuse me the term is self-employed, will get her car paid off. All my extra money will go towards this so that it can be wiped off the budgeting sheet for good.
For you, it may be weight loss goals. Now weight loss is going to be difficult with Thanksgiving and Christmas around the corner, so beware if you choose to tackle this. Should you decide on weight loss goals, may the force be with you, because I plan on pigging out. If you are just a little behind schedule on the weight loss plan and you want to go for it, then go for it and know you may have to lock yourself up in a closet during the holidays to ensure you don’t mess up. I’m praying for you.
Maybe it’s your career goals that need to be put front and center or your self-care plan that got pushed to side once work started getting hectic. Whatever it may be, make sure it is a goal that is realistically attainable in only two months.
STEP 3: Decide on a plan of action.
What will you commit to doing in order to make this goal a realization? Remember you only have about two months so what’s the one thing that will have the biggest impact? What will you have to do?
Do you have to spend a certain amount of hours searching for a new job, rewrite that resume, design a meal and workout plan, or invest in a trainer? What’s going to give you the biggest bang for your TIME? Remember time is running out to crush those 2017 goals and once the year is gone it is gone for good.
STEP 4: Determine how you will track your progress
How will you determine if you are making progress towards achieving this goal?
I am conducting weekly account check-ins to see my progress. Wait this means I should be paying about $1000 a week to meet the goal. GEEZE! I guess it’s time to start stripping. JK y’all, but seriously it is a lot, but I am going to make it happen.
The final and last resort, I have resolved to use my savings if I do not produce enough income to pay off the car by December 31st. I refuse to walk into 2018 without having that great win under my belt for this year. This is going to be a huge motivator to produce enough income since I realize that touching the 6 months savings while self-employed is such a bad idea.
How badly do you want to feel like a winner in 2017? What are you willing to give for this?
Step 5: Decide on a great reward.
Because what fun is it if you don’t have an excuse to reward yourself at the end.
I will reward myself by getting the car detailed so it feels like a new car LOL. A much-needed cleaning and air freshener will do the trick… I feel like I am being super cheap and should do something bigger. I mean, I just paid off $6,000! Can you tell I struggle with reasonable rewards?…Oh I know, I will allow myself to start preparations for my trip to Thailand. YES!!! Now that’s a reward!
Regardless of what you choose to reward yourself with, be sure it is a compelling reward worth working towards for the next few weeks. Because it will be an intense sprint to the finish line. However, I’m certain if you want that 2017 win badly enough you can still make it.
Moving Forward: Try to review where you are along the path of goal attainment for 2017. Remember the year isn’t over yet so allow yourself to get reenergized about one and only one realistic goal that you will CRUSH in the next two months. Lastly get excited because you are crossing it off the resolutions list and walking into 2018 lighter- whether less stressed financially, physically with less weight, or mentally because you designed a self-care plan and stuck to it. Please leave a comment on which goal you are going to focus on. Happy goal crushing!