Goal Setting and Planning the Year Ahead

December 20, 2019

If you want to achieve great things in 2020, you have to start planning the year ahead.

We all have so much you want to achieve but without setting solid goals or how we are going to make them happen; we rarely do!

That’s why I don’t believe in Resolutions as we give up by February as we weren’t specific enough on how we would achieve them. But set a SMART Goal and you’ll always achieve it.

So get a pen and paper or download the free workbook below and fill it out as you read.

Let’s plan your best year yet!


Reflect on the past year

I feel that it’s important to look back in order to move forward.

How often do we reflect on what we have achieved in the past year and what we didn’t quite manage? I hardly know anyone who does. I think as I am from a Sales background this is part and parcel of the job that I have integrated into my own life.

Take a few moments and really think about the past year and ask yourself the following questions:

  • What am I most proud of achieving in the past year?
  • What goals did I complete?
  • How have you grown? Did you decide to put yourself first? Say No more?
  • What areas of your life have you improved?
  • What didn’t you achieve and why?

These questions are a great prompt to start your reflection process. Make sure you really think about all the positives you have achieved.

plan the year ahead

Planning the Year Ahead for Success

Intention – What do you want?

Now comes the fun part, visualising and planning the year you WANT.

How do you know what you want if you don’t spend some time dreaming?

I advise taking an afternoon to think about it, take your time and dream BIG. Let your imagination run wild. Even when you’re self-limiting beliefs surface (and they will), keep visualising exactly who you will be, what you’ll be doing, how you will feel and how your achieving all these goals will impact those around you.

If you’re having a hard time, it may be worth thinking about how you wouldn’t want your year to go.

I know most people advise not to focus on this as it puts bad vibes out to the Universe but as it’s a great process to see what you don’t want which in turn will show you what you do want. I don’t see it as a problem as the rest of the exercise you’ll be focusing on what you want to achieve.

Now that you have a clear view of how you want your year to look. Let’s delve in a little deeper.

The 7 Pillars of Well-being is a great tool for measuring how you feel about each area of your life. It’s broken down into Physical, Emotional, Spiritual, Intellectual, Social, Environmental, Occupation.

Work your way through each area and choose 1-3 Goals you’d like to achieve in each and then you can move on to making your goals SMART.

Planning the Year Ahead – SMART Goals

I am a pro at making SMART goals due to my Sales Background. When Goals are SMART you are more likely to actually achieve them.

If you are new to SMART it’s not complicated and once you get the jist of it, you’ll be on a roll. To make it easier, I have broken down each part of SMART into bitesize chunks for you.

S is for Specific. What’s your WHY?

Broad Goals like I want to lose weight or get a new job, aren’t specific enough and you won’t achieve them. You need to get super specific on what you actually want down to the last detail. If you’re not 100% sure what you want how will you be able to work towards it?

Take a goal you’ve picked and ask yourself Why you want it? What will achieving that Goal bring to you? How will it make you Feel?

So let’s take I want a new job. To make it more specific how about ” I want to be a Self-Employed Mindset and Life Coach because I enjoy helping others grow and succeed in their lives and I want the freedom to work for myself on my own terms, anywhere in the world as this will bring me happiness”

Now that sounds much more powerful than I want a new job. You’ve identified exactly what job it is, why you want it and how it will make you feel.

goal review
Photo by Isaac Smith on Unsplash

M is for Measurable. How will you measure progress?

When planning the year and taking steps to reach your goals, you need to be able to measure how well your achieving it.

Putting certain targets in place will help you to see if you’re moving forward.

For example, if you want to eat healthier in 2020 you would state that everyday I will eat 5 portions of Fruit and Vegetables and drink 2 litres of water, every Sunday I will meal plan my week and order/go Food Shopping, I will make a healthy lunch for myself to take to work daily etc.

Have a progress diary and make sure you are ticking off every time to take an actionable step towards your goal. It’s so fulfilling to see how much work you’ve put in and as we all know “Consistency is key”.

Want to be more Productive in the New Year? Be sure to read my top 12 Productivity tips.

A is for Achievable. Can you actually achieve it?

It’s ok to have Big goals on your list like ” I want to be a successful Business owner of my Wedding Planning Service and turn over 1 Million Pound in Profit”. However, if you’re expecting to achieve this in 2020 but you haven’t even set up your business or website, or have any potential clients, this isn’t realistic and you aren’t likely to attain it.

Now you could put ” I have set up my Wedding Planning Business, I have organised 7 Weddings and by the end of 2020 I will leave my current full-time job and become Self-Employed”. This is much more attainable, it’s not overwhelming, you’re likely to achieve this in a year AND above all, you are working towards your BIG goal.

You don’t want to be disheartened and this where A LOT of goals fall by the wayside as they simply aren’t achievable in the first place.

R is for Realistic. Is it realistic in your current reality?

All the goals you have listed need to be possible in your reality. For example, if you want a promotion at work to Team Manager but your current role is two bands below that and you’ve not had any experience managing people yet, it’s not realistic YET.

Your goal is to be promoted to the band above and also seek additional courses that will provide the skills for being a manager or offer to take new colleagues under your wing to gain management experience.

Now that doesn’t mean to say that opportunities won’t present themself, the stars may align and you get two promotions in a year! It’s possible but on the whole not realistic. Keep that BIG goal and break it into more realistic steps.

Remember, these types of goals may be one of your colleague’s so you aren’t going to be automatically promoted. You may want to change it to “I have been considered for the promotion to Team Manager”

goal setting

T is for Timely. When will to achieve it?

Each goal will be achievable in different time frames. Some will be Short-Term, Mid-Term and Long-Term.

It’s important you decide where each of your goals fit. You need a deadline to focus on in order to achieve your goal.

You’ll have certain goals that can be done within the next week, next month or next 6 months. Be realistic with your time frames, especially if your goal relies on someone else to be supportive as it may not be a priority to them.

Visualise and Spend time with your goals daily

I know there is a lot of information on this post but your dreams and goals are a priority and the more time you spend on them, the more likely you will successfully achieve them.

Much like the Visualisation activity at the beginning of this process, sitting still for a few moments a day and visualising all your goals coming to you is super impactful. Really think about how you will feel when you achieve them, how will you do it, where will you be, with whom, what will you smell and hear? Bringing your senses in heightens the visualisation.

The brain cannot distinguish between a reality and a memory. The more you visualise, the more your subconscious will accept it has happened and will help you on your journey.

Write out your goals in a funky font or pretty graphic and create a Vision Board and place it where you will see it daily. Reading and reminding yourself of your goals every morning will keep you laser focused.

Take it one step further and set Life Goals

Now that you’ve got the hang of setting goals and planning the year, how about trying to set some LIFE Goals?

Make BIG Goals that are 5 – 10 Years away and then ONE Specific Goal each year that will lead you to that. You’ll also find that some of your Goals set for the year will automatically lead into your BIG goals.

Phew, we’ve reached the end! Hopefully, you are done with planning the year ahead and are feeling optimistic for all the achievements coming your way in 2020! Please let me know how you get on in the comments and if you have any questions or your own suggestions be sure to share with us all.

Related Reads

How to Create a Vision Board online or physically

12 Productive Skills to help you achieve more

7 Motivational Techniques to get you back on track


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