How to Plan and Make Goals for 2020

I was taken by surprise recently when I mentioned SMART goals in a meeting at work and several people didn’t know what I was talking about.

And then it occurred to me why new year’s resolutions are so often abandoned by February 1st (in fact, research shows that 80% of new year’s resolutions are forgotten by February 15th). If you google: top five new year’s resolutions, you will find:

  • Diet or eat healthier

  • Exercise more

  • Lose weight

  • Save more money

  • Learn a new skill

The problem with these goals is that not one of them is specific, which leaves you a lot of gray areas to play around in (“I’ll splurge tonight on this ice cream sundae and start fresh tomorrow”, “I’ll just buy this one new electronic”).

They’re not measurable (Exercise how much more? One day per week? Twice a month?).

They’re not actionable (What steps will you take to lose weight? Are you going to sign up for a class to learn your new skill?).

They’re not realistic, simply because they’re so vague.

And finally, they’re not timely because there is no deadline for any of them.

So, you’ve lost 2kg by January 20th. Does that mean you met your goal? You had salads for a week. Was that the end of your diet? You went to gym for a week. So does that mean you achieved your final result?

If you’re going to set goals in the new year, it is very important to make them SMART goals in order to see the results that you’re looking for.

Alternatively, having a poorly constructed goal can put an end to your motivation and make you feel defeated that you’re not getting anywhere. When you set an unreasonable goal, it's easy to throw in the towel when you don’t see results. The key to success is to make a plan and stick to it by creating SMART goals.

Here in this blog, I will talk a little about the goal-setting process, then I will uncover the 6 key areas of your life where you can set goals. Finally, I will give you 20 examples of effective goals that can help boost your personal development and improve your life.

Let’s start by reviewing how to set SMART goals.

  1. The first thing you need to do is to identify your goal, believe you can achieve it, and write it down. Writing down your goal will keep you accountable and studies in neuroscience have found you will be up to 1.4 times more likely to achieve your goal if you write it down.

  2. When writing your goal down, use a SMART goal worksheet to help guide you through the process of ensuring that your goal will work by using language that is specific and achievable.

  3. Start with an action verb to describe what you plan to do. Then specifically state what actions you will take. For example, Participate in two networking events per month–but then you have to add in your why:

  • Participate in two networking events per month to make six new contacts in my industry by April 1st, 2020.

  1. This goal leaves no questions about what you’re going to do to achieve your goal, how often you’re going to do it, and when you will know if you have been successful.

  2. Once you meet your goal date, whether you achieved your goal or not, you will want to assess the goal itself. Was it too far fetched?

6 Areas of Your Life for Setting Important Goals:

Career Goals

Your career is one of the major components of your life that will determine whether or not you feel fulfilled at the end of the day. Because of this, it is critical to make career goals that will allow you to feel successful and spend your days doing something that you’re passionate about.

Start by determining your long-term career aspirations and the short-term tasks you need to do in order to achieve them. This will make up your career plan, but because your career will be a life-long journey, you will need to reevaluate your goals as necessary as time goes by.

Finance Goals

You need to set financial goals in order to become financially secure. Without having these goals, you are putting yourself at risk of spending frivolously and wasting money, which can lead to hardships if you face unexpected expenses or are ready to retire.

Being financially secure will require you to set financial goals. Reevaluating and updating these goals will allow you to track your progress and stay financially secure.

Reevaluating your financial goals every year and updating them as needed will allow you to track your progress and stay financially secure, which can reduce the stress that comes along with life’s unavoidable expenses.

Health Goals

Having health goals will help you live a long, enjoyable life. Evaluate your current state of health in all areas, including your diet, fitness, life balance, family health history, etc. and identify the areas that could u