Wait! Just because you didn’t achieve your goals in 2021 doesn’t mean you shouldn’t set them in 2022!! Let me help you…

I’m going to assume you know about “SMART goals,” so let’s keep moving …

First, let’s spend a few minutes thinking or journaling about 2021. It was a weird year, y’all. Don’t beat yourself up if things didn’t go according to plan. But, we can still learn from it.

  • What were the high points?
  • What were some wins?
  • What did you learn?
  • What do you wish you had done better?

If you’ve followed me for more than a hot minute, you know I organize my life in fives. Experts say between 3 and 7 things is all we can focus on at a time, so I choose 5. And, I color-code them. (This is how I do it, feel free to tweak it for your needs.)

  • ◼️ Faith
  • 🔷 Family/Home
  • 🟢 Finances/Professional
  • 🍎 Fitness/Health
  • 💜 Fun/Personal Fulfillment

Now, for each of these areas, dream big. One exercise I like is to finish this sentence twenty times for each category: “Wouldn’t it be cool if _____.” Then walk away.

When you come back, look through the list and see if there are some common ideas or dreams that you wrote a few times or more. Can you turn that idea into a goal? Is it SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic/Relevant, and Time-bound)?

Once you have 3 – 7 goals, and this is where most people stop thinking, it’s time to break them down. Most SMART goals are outcome goals (ex. I want to be a bestselling author) and are often beyond our control. So we need to create some system or process goals for each big goal:

  • I will be a bestselling author
    • I will write 1000 words every day
    • I will build my author platform
    • I will attend one author conference each quarter.
    • I will read one craft or business of writing book each month.

See how the system or process supports your big goal, but it’s something you have control over? Do that for each of the 3-7 goals you created.

Last step is most important, and what most of us neglect to do — schedule it. Open your calendar and turn those systems into action items, and assign a date and time for each item. If you don’t have time on your calendar to make the appointment, you will never get to the item if it’s just on a to-do list.

  • 9 – 10 am every morning I will write 1000 words (that adds up to over 300,000 words = a trilogy!!)
  • 3 – 5 pm every Tuesday and Thursday I will work on building my author platform
  • Sign up, pay for, and attend one conference every quarter (June is #InkersCon2022 Live and July is #InkersCon digital—pick one easy-peasy)
  • 9-10 pm every evening starting on the first Wednesday of the month I will read a recommended book on #WritingCraft or #BookMarketing or #NewsletterMarketing or #Solopreneur or #BusinessFinance or [whatever skill you need most].

Once these appointments are on your calendar, hold them sacred and find an accountability partner! What is your reward if you keep these appointments and complete your action items? What is the penalty if you don’t? (It helps to know if your personality is best motivated by fear of punishment or anticipation of reward — but that’s another post.)

Pro Tip: Schedule a quarterly check-in with your accountability partner to see where you are on your overall goals, and identify your current wins and lessons. What can you tweak or improve to set yourself up for more success next quarter?

Bonus step: come up with daily affirmations for each of your goals (Today I am making healthy choices!) so you have a fallback mantra in times of temptation.

I would love to know if you worked through these steps, and what you came up with for your SMART goals, process goals, and action items! Comment below, or send me an email at Kathryn@UnleashingTheNextChapter.com.

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Happy New Year!