Dreamy young woman writing down future plans and goals in own diary resting in cozy cafeteriaDo you have areas in your life that could use some attention? What about poor habits you would like to break or healthy habits you would like to begin? With a new year comes a fresh start and an opportunity to set intentional goals. While this New Year trend can feel a bit overwhelming and sometimes feels like a practice that glows brightly at the beginning of the year and then dims as time goes on, taking stock of where you are now and where you would like to go moving forward is a great tradition to revisit each year.

Tony Robbins, a well-known motivational speaker, once said, “Setting goals is the first step in turning the invisible into the visible.” This is absolutely true! Without a vision of where we are headed, we certainly can't create a reality based on our dreams. Here are 5 simple goal-setting steps to help you get started!

1. Write it down.

It's been said that dreams that are not written down are just wishes. This is quite true! When we form an intentional goal and write it down, we are taking an extra step to legitimize the goal. It's critical to the success of the goal to plan and write the details such as steps to accomplishing the goal and deadlines. It's also important to have a visual reminder to help keep you motived and on track, which a written plan can provide.

2. Be specific.

In order to achieve each step, the plan needs to be written out with specific facts and steps that need to be taken to achieve the result. It's much easier to follow a clear plan.

3. Include metrics.

As you work toward a goal, it is so important to include measurable steps so you can see if you are moving toward the mark. When dealing with concrete criteria such as, “I will do 20 push-ups a day,” it becomes so much easier to know if you reached the goal.

4. Create accountability.

Despite our best intentions, we often find ways to avoid growth because change can be hard! During these moments when it feels difficult to move forward, it can be very helpful to have an accountability partner to help check on your progress and to cheer you on when things feel tough. Share the specific steps and measures with your partner so they can best help you reach your potential.

5. Ask for help.

There is no shame when it comes to asking for help! It can be particularly helpful to find an expert to help support you through change, but that can even include someone who has simply done what you are currently trying to achieve. Select someone positive, energetic and willing to be a listening ear. He or she can be the key to your success!

Goals are important to helping you move forward in a motivated and driven manner. The first step to accomplishing any great feat is to start with a great plan. You've got this!

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