As 2018 comes to a close, there may be a few goals you know just aren’t going to get done. And this is okay! In this post, I will explain what to do with your unmet goals from 2018. Goals are set as motivation. You write them down and decide on them to make them real versus floating around in your head as ideas.

Goals are great motivating factors for some. But they are not meant to be a source of anger when you can’t meet them. They should be used as progress updates. Don’t look at it like “Man, I can’t believe I didn’t meet those. I’m awful”, look at it as “I may not have hit it exactly but I have made these steps to become closer to it.”

This post will outline a few key practices with goal setting to make it so you actually can achieve the goals you want with a healthy mindset.


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Find yourself the perfect planner or journal

I emphasize perfect because this aspect is a key component to whether or not you achieve your goals. Write. Your. Goals. Down. Writing them down makes them concrete and real. And write them down in a place you are excited to write the next set down in.

I personally use a journal for yearly and monthly goals and a planner for my weekly and daily tasks. (I go into the difference of these later on) However you want to do it, just get excited about it and love what you are writing it in. It could be as elaborate as you want or just make a new note in your phone. It’s all up to you.

Honestly, I get excited to sit down and plan out my life. There’s something special about it…

Here are a few planners and journals of various types:

Use the SMART Goals formula to create your goals

Create goals that are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Timely. Instead of “become stronger”, make a goal that says “Do resistance training 4 days a week for 6 weeks”. It tells you exactly when, what, how often, and for how long you are trying to achieve this goal. This allows you to keep direct track of your goal. Instead of you being able to make the excuse of going to the gym once a week because that is technically still making you stronger.

Set different goals for different time periods

I set goals annually, monthly, and daily. My annual goals are set on January 1st. I sit down, think about what I want to work on and write them out to reference when needed. These goals are a little more broad and overarching for what I want to accomplish. These are not always SMART goals but things that I want to start doing or implement into my life.

I set my monthly goals on the last day of the previous month. These are much more specific for the time period of the month. They are attainable because they last for 4 weeks and hopefully they become a habit. SMART goals are very important for monthly goals.

Lastly, I set my daily goals on Sunday nights for my entire week and before I go to bed each night. My Sunday night goal setting is more of a checklist for the things I need to get done this week. I utilize my monthly goals as my personal development goals and my daily goals and more task completion. Every night before bed, I look at what I was supposed to accomplish today. Move any tasks around and be done for the night.

By making your goals more incremental, you can set various types of goals. Yearly are big picture things you want to change, monthly are attainable and shorter term, and daily are task-based to achieve the rest of your goals. With this, you are able to see the small, medium, and big changes being made. Boom!

Write down tasks you accomplish even if they weren’t on your list

Okay. Who else does this? Oh, I know I do. With the amount that I value writing down my goals to make them concrete. I think I more just enjoy the physical crossing off of my goals than anything. It’s like getting the best gold star ever. The task is done. Complete. And time to move on. That’s why I write down big things on my list that I completed that I didn’t think to be a task I needed to do.

Call me ridiculous but humans are competitive beings. Be competitive with yourself. It’ll get ya places!

Progress not perfection

As I talked about above, we are not setting these goals because they are something that can be perfected quickly. You are setting these goals because it is something you need to work towards to perfect. Look at goals, assess your progress on them, and revel in your progress, not if you lacked in completing them.

Maybe, a goal of yours was to read every night before bed. You may not have read every night, but the nights you read, you benefitted from it and there is still room for improvement. It’s a great start and that’s awesome. Rework your goal to maybe start with 3 days a week- something a little more attainable- and improve from there.

If your goal period is coming to an end and your goals aren’t met, pick 1 or 2 to finish and move the rest on

Do not (and I repeat, do not) wallow in the fact of how many goals you wanted to meet and you only have 2 days to do it. Pick 1 or 2 goals that are attainable in the time you have left, and focus on those! The other goals can wait. Move them to the next day, month, year.

Now, I understand some goals have a deadline- a work task, a birthday, and vacation etc- but make that goal the goal you focus on and move the more long-term goals to the next period. Don’t wallow in the past, look toward the future and how you can develop further.

Celebrate life’s achievements

Is this cheesy? Probably. BUT! It’s important. You work your butt off to accomplish those goals. They are done and you should get out there and reward yourself. Life isn’t about working working working. It is about reveling in the little things and making big moves to who you want to be. You may not be exactly there yet but you are on your darn way and that is something to be excited about.

I hope you find these seven tips beneficial in your personal development, new years resolutions, or everyday life! Please reach out with questions about finally achieving the goals you want to achieve.


Check out other posts on productivity:

How to Declutter Your Life In a Month

15 Unique New Years Resolutions

How to Practice Gratitude & the Benefits Of It


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