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I am always inspired by other blogger when they share their goals each year and I truly hope that I can help light the fire within you to strive to be your very best self. This can apply to many aspects of life including my health, my duties as a wife and mother, my own spiritual growth, and my career goals. When we are feeling weak, we just need to begin by dreaming, believing, then achieving those goals.
EmilyEmily is a wife, mother, entrepreneur and writer and the Director of Education & Editorial Content for Snap. Tauni is a former public relations executive who spent 12+ years handling communications and events for an array of clients, from the NBA and Olympics to numerous high ranking politicians. The first step towards achieving your goals is to believe in yourself.  Taking a positive attitude to reaching your personal targets will bring them a step closer. Fill out the form below to begin receiving my Business and Communication tips delivered right to your inbox.
I wanted to write this post as a timely reminder that all you need to do is to implement a few specific strategies that will help you stick to your goals, remain motivated and ensure you achieve them. At the start of the New Year most people take the opportunity to set themselves a New Year’s resolution or set some goals for the next 12 months. Most people start out with good intent to achieve their goals for the year, but we have all felt what I like to call the ‘third-week dip’ where the motivation starts to drift, other priorities start creeping in and the accountability for your goal gets lost. The good thing is, there are some key principles that, based on scientific research have proven to help individuals in actually attaining their goals. A study conducted in 2008 at Dominican University concluded that those who wrote down their goals accomplished significantly more than those who did not write their goals.
Take Action Now: If you haven’t yet physically written your goals down, spend 10 minutes now writing your goals onto something that you can refer to regularly (I write my goals in a word or excel file). When you set New Year’s resolutions or goals for the year, do you think about what the higher purpose is of why you want to achieve it? Understanding the ‘why’ you aim to achieve something is the driving force behind actually going ahead and doing it.
Take Action Now: Looking over your goals for the year, use the ‘5 Whys’ technique to truly understand what is driving you move towards that goal. Your strategy is all about setting yourself up for success by creating the right environment. For example, I have a goal of turning The Start of Happiness into an income-producing website.
I have a strategy in place for when and how I write my posts to make it relevant for you as a reader (eg types of posts planned for the year and when.
I also have a strategy of building a support network and utilizing this (one of which I’m a paid member to an online entrepreneurs network). I also have a strategy for maintaining my motivation when I start to feel it drift (I read more broadly on success stories in online business). Take Action Now: Spend 10 minutes developing your strategies to create the right environment for your to achieve your goals. Goals are fantastic but without a clear, actionable plan for making them come alive they are simply a dream. Creating a specific action plan to help progress you towards your goals is like having a map to be able to find the treasure. A common mistake that many people make is to not break down their goals into smaller, ‘bite-sized actions’ that can help you stay focused and motivated.
Over time, these bite-sized actions lead to huge amounts of change dramatically improving your chances of reaching your goal.
For example your goal may be “I will lose 20kg of weight by the 31st December” or “I have lost 20kg of weight by the 31st December”. Take Action Now: Read over your goals and ensure they are framed in a way in which you have achieved them. The Change Your Life program provides guides, templates and tools for helping you create your life plan and set goals that you will actually stay motivated to achieve. Ensure they are written down, that they are linked to a higher purpose, you have a strategy in place with clear action plans and that they are framed positively. Free Access to Your ToolkitEnter your name and email to access a suite of tools, templates, exercises and guides to help you get clear, get motivated and get started with your better life today.
About Brendan BakerBrendan Baker is Australia's leading personal development blogger and and helps people build and grow online businesses based on their passions. The goals I always end up achieving are those that come from the heart instead of the head.

I do believe in the fact that if you shoot for the moon, you’ll most likely still reach the top of the flag pole which is an awesome result!
On the other hand, as James says, in my opinion you still need to believe that you can actually achieve that goal. Whether you’re trying to advance your career or achieve something significant in your personal life, at some stage you will need to set yourself some goals and work towards achieving them.
Most of us tend to have many goals at any one time, we want to be happy and rich, we want to lose weight, we want to drink less and quit smoking.
While those are all great things to work towards, they are not really very well defined, they are more of an ambition, a statement of intent rather than a concrete objective.
Goals need focus and context, and this is where many people struggle and so their ambitions remain forever out of reach.
SMART is an acronym that stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time-Boxed. You jeopardize your chances of success from the very start when you make a goal too general. One of the best things about having a measurable objective is having the ability to set yourself milestones. It is one of the most frustrating things in the world when something you’re really passionate about is simply beyond your power or control.
If you don’t believe in something, when you’re not passionate about what you’re doing, it is not only extremely difficult to keep doing it, but you also get very little personal satisfaction from achieving milestones or even attaining the final objective itself. What really got my attention was the fact that Andy mentions that using SMART objectives is “an old favorite from the consultant’s bag of tricks”. If you are new here, you might want to subscribe to the RSS feed for updates on this topic.Happy New Year!
I am really good at dreaming of all of the things I want to do with my life, but as far as execution goes, I am no good! Visit McKenzie’s blog for easy to implement beauty tips, tutorials and loads of fun DIY projects! Today, she handles social media for a local agency and hosts SNAP!, an annual social media conference for bloggers focused on entertaining, craft and home DIY. By refusing to let apparent obstacles or barriers stop you from starting on a journey towards happiness and fulfillment you are already half way there.  Once you have decided that you can achieve something there are a few steps you can take to make the journey easier and increase your chances of succeeding.
At this point in time you’re probably starting to forget what your new years resolutions were, what your goals were for the year or you might be starting to lose your motivation for achieving them.
When we have our goal only in our thoughts, we are not setting ourselves to be accountable for what we want to achieve. The ‘why’ creates the determination, motivation and the persistence to actually make it a reality. You need to ask yourself the question ‘why?’ The answer may be that it will enable you to place your son or daughter into a higher-status school. It already is but I’d like to scale this further so I can continue to make it a bigger part of my life. A good example is this post now, 4 weeks into the new year when you might be starting to feel a lack of motivation in achieving your goals).
They can be as simple as ‘join the XX community forum’, ‘have a coffee once a month with an inspiring person’ or ‘rewrite my goals daily’. It provides you clear direction as to where you need to go as well as how you are going to get there. As the bite-sized actions are smaller in size and closer in time, it can help keep your motivation and energy levels high as it is more realistic that you can actually achieve these goals. If your goal is something that is attainable in 12 months time (eg lose 20kg of weight), what is something you can do today to progress you towards that goal? Studies have shown that stretching goals lead to higher performance, however overstretching goals can lead to demotivation and a lack of progress. A good thing to note when setting goals is to frame them in a way that you already have achieved them or that you will achieve them without a doubt. When looking at your bite-sized actions, these should seem very achievable with the commitment and discipline given they are smaller in size and time.
If you following these simple rules you will be setting yourself up for much greater success than if you were to miss any of these components. It’s really important to follow these tips to achieve your goals, at least some of them! But then again, this probably works only for 92% of folks, while Trevor’s method works for 8%.

You can set it very very stretching, but making sure you believe it is still a possibility is key for maintaining motivation. Belief is one of the big ones, I am so close to the initial goal I have set and work every day on letting go of what is stopping me from believing I can achieve it and finding ways to move forward consistently!
It crystallized something in my mind, something I believe I always knew, but could never put my finger on.
You apply the SMART criteria to any goal you wish to achieve and if it does not meet any of the five characteristics you clarify and adjust it until it does. It is much easier to achieve a tough objective when you can break the journey up into smaller increments.
Don’t get me wrong, it is fine to have ‘stretch goals’ (forgive the management terminology), but when it is physically impossible for you to stretch that far, you need to set your sights a little lower.
If we know that we need to achieve our objectives by a certain date we tend to have more focus and prioritize.
I had never heard of it in almost 4 years of doing software consulting, so my curiosity was piqued. They have written for the LA Times, The Washington Post, President Bill Clinton's White House, Forbes, and more.
It’s me, McKenzie from Girl Loves Glam here and I am really happy to share my word for 2015! It wasn’t until a little more recently that I realized the power in the saying of that shirt. We may not necessarily be setting ourselves a specific timeframe and we can lose track of what the original goal actually was as our thoughts change over time. This provides the driving force behind actually making you take action to see your goal come alive. Direction and purpose provides us the energy, motivation and determination to do the things we love. Personally, I think it should work though it probably takes a lot of motivation to push through when even at the start you already know you can’t achieve it.
Promising yourself that you’ll do something is easy, actually doing it can be a lot harder. Having learned about it I was almost immediately able to pinpoint where I went wrong (or right) with some of my recent personal successes and failures.
The more specific your objective is the easier it becomes to measure it and gauge your progress. It’s a psychological thing, by giving yourself a series of successes along the way, through meeting a set of milestones, you give yourself positive reinforcement and working towards your goal becomes a much more pleasurable experience.
You may really want to make 1 billion dollars by tomorrow or solve world hunger by the end of the month, but realistically you have no chance of achieving either of those. This one is perhaps the most difficult of the five as it can require a bit of soul searching to figure out what is really important to you. Without a concrete deadline our goals are at best fuzzy and will tend to always be superseded by ‘more pressing’ concerns. You may want to backpack around Europe for 6 months, but if you have a wife and 3 young children, is that goal really achievable or even relevant in the grand scheme of things?
Since learning about SMART I have tried to apply it not only in my personal life but also in my work and it has made a noticeable difference. And even if you did push on with achieving this goal would you be prepared to pay the price (alienating or losing your family)? Not only am I more productive, but I am also happier since I am a lot better able to achieve the objectives I set for myself (primarily because I set my goals in such a way as to meet all the SMART characteristics). I had some other ulterior extrinsic motivation in place and it created a conflict internally.
The funny thing is, with each outrageous goal I strive towards, the closer I actually get to accomplishing it. It just feels like I am getting a lot more done these days possibly because I tend to focus on bite-sized goals that are most important and relevant to me (which is what SMART is all about). By asking yourself why over and over again you can drill down to what is the higher purpose or real meaning for you wanting to achieve something.

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