We’re calling it. 2017 is going to be the year that we make things happen. It’s the year that we set personal goals & actually stick to them. It’s going to be a year of intention.

We’ve learned when you are intentional in all that you do, you set yourself up for personal successes, create a vision for your future, and keep your goals in sight along the way.

In order to live with intention, you need to decide what goals you are striving for and how best to propel yourself forward to accomplish them.

So many of us set goals and resolutions at the beginning of a new year and then quickly fall into old habits and the traps that have kept us static, unmotivated, and stuck in our old ways. Bleh.

As the old saying goes, when you continue to do the same thing over and over, you are going to get the same result over and over. In order to form new habits, you have to set out with intention to try new methods, change your mindset, and stay motivated to continue on your new path.

Be a goal-digger

As we grow into adulthood and step out into the real world, it’s easy to fall into patterns and habits that do nothing to improve our lives or the world around us. We get stuck in the day-to-day of trying to navigate work, friendships, family, and relationships, and forget to look at the bigger picture of our future. Setting goals for ourselves reminds us to look inside and remember why we’re here and what we hope to accomplish over the next month, year, and even longer.

When you have an end goal to strive for, it works as a constant reminder to stay focused.

Gettin’ Real About Setting Personal Goals

Stepping into a new year, especially as a girl attempting to find her place in the world, can feel daunting. While knowing you hope to make a difference and carve a new path for yourself, setting lofty goals without a plan can be a recipe for disaster. It can easily become overwhelming and the weight of it all can feel like inevitable failure.

With a little introspection—and by being honest with yourself—you can set goals that are attainable but will still stretch you beyond your comfort zone and change your life for the better.

One way to better set yourself up for success is to have a year-long, big picture goal, and set smaller, more attainable goals for the journey. This helps you stay intentional, keeps your eye on the prize and motivates you to continue on.

We all love the feeling of accomplishment and crossing an item off of our list, and setting smaller goals allows you that feeling while propelling you on your way to the big prize.

Making a List and Checking it Twice

Once you have decided on your goals, you need an action plan to accomplish them.

Your plan should include at least two daily tasks that get you closer to the goal, and it should outline every step that will lead you to the finish line. Be intentional in your daily tasks, taking time every day to look over your goals, assess your progress, and adjust for the next day.

Maybe you stumbled one day and didn’t complete your two tasks… it happens! Give yourself some grace, and then continue on. It’s not realistic to expect perfection in your journey. Living with intention means that you forgive yourself for any missteps and then do yourself the favor of getting back on track the next day.

Discipline, Discipline, Discipline

Schedule out time each day and keep the appointment like it’s an extremely important meeting with a seriously important person (‘cause it is, after-all). Stick to it each day, and soon enough, you won’t want to miss out on that time. Working towards something meaningful feels good, and that time will soon become an important part of your day.

Patience is a Virtue

Big changes take time. There is no reason to rush the process! Life changes need time to take effect, make a difference, and for you to start seeing the benefits of your new habits. Hurrying through the process often causes them to not stick.

Tools of the Trade

There’s lots of ways to make sure you’re living with intention toward accomplishing your goals.

     1.   Create a Vision Board

A vision board is a great way to make sure you are seeing your goals every day. Put it by your bed or bathroom sink so you see it first thing in the morning and right before you fall asleep. Vision boards are generally heavily focused on images, so they are a great option for more visual people.

     2.   Set Daily Reminders

Use your phone to set ongoing reminders for your daily tasks.

     3.   Doodle it

Did you know doodling can help the brain process information? Take some time to doodle your daily tasks and snap a picture of it to set as your phone’s lock screen so you see it every time you look at your phone. If you’re not into doodling, create a digital graphic!

     4.   Get Appy with it

There are also apps that will send reminders and lay out your goals in order to better prepare your plan. AwesomeNote, Trello, and Coach.me are all perfect for goal tracking and habit building.

Accountability is Key

All of the above methods will set you well on your way to accomplishing everything you set out to do in 2017, but nothing compares to the power of having an accountability partner in the process. This could be someone close to you, like a best friend or parent, or maybe it’s just someone who knows you well and will be honest and firm with you (that’s the key).

Whether it’s daily or weekly, check in with them and update them on your journey, how your daily tasks have been going, and how you are feeling with your progress. Ask them to do random check-ins and keep you accountable throughout the week.

Having a real-life person there to talk to and bounce ideas off of is seriously invaluable. They’ll be there to celebrate the wins and help you find your way through the losses.

So there you have it, lady. If you decide to get intentional in 2017, you will be so happy with yourself at the end of each week, month, and the year as a whole. We’ve found that living with intention gives us the greatest sense of pride and accomplishment and we want that for you too.

You deserve to have success and to live the life you dream of, but you’ve gotta work smart to get there.

Need some more help? No problem. We know sitting down to set personal goals can be a bit overwhelming. We’ve put together a worksheet with guided questions for you to answer so you can get more clarity in choosing what goals are right for you this year.