As we enter the New Year, we all have big goals for what we want to achieve in 2016. But how do we make sure these goals actually happen?

How do we make sure we don’t hit December 2016 and feel like shit because we didn’t DO any of it?

In my experience there are a number of things you can do to increase the chance of you succeeding this year.

After being completely horrible at goal setting for a number of years, I’ve found a handful of strategies worked better than others when it came to implementing goals.

Check out five of my favourites below:

1. Tell one person you respect and trust, but NOT the world

Conventional wisdom suggests announcing your goals to the world so you are kept accountable. One study by Peter Gollwitzer has suggested this may actually make you less likely to get your goals. Do what works for you, but I have personally found that having one solid accountability partner you catch up with monthly is better than posting all over Facebook. Pick this person wisely – if they’re ambitious, reliable and tough, you’re on the right track.

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2. Put it in your calendar, NOW

One of my first mentors taught me, ‘first it happens in your head, then it happens on paper, then it happens in reality’. Take all that stuff in your head and get in onto paper (or into your Gmail Calendar etc). After resisting using my calendar properly for years, I finally bit the bullet a few years back and it blew me away how much more stuff I could get done. If you’re trying to accomplish anything worthwhile this year, you’d be foolish not to do this.

3. Use SMART goals, seriously

I cringed typing this because it’s such an old, classic technique – but man it works. Make your goals Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Time-based. The more clarity you have on your goal, the more likely you are to achieve it.

4. Keep your goals visible 24/7 

A big problem with setting goals is that people set and forget them. They just end up gathering dust. Take a photo of your main goals and save it as the background on your phone. Have them plastered on the wall in your bedroom and/or office (I really love the stylish full-year calendars from NeuYear). Keep reminding yourself that what you do today MUST contribute to the bigger goals otherwise you’re wasting your time.

5. Accept things will go wrong 

One of the biggest thing I see when coaching business owners is that they don’t start the year well and they end up feeling like the whole year has been blown (and they’re only one month in). That’s simply not true and you need to accept that some, if not all your goals will have speed bumps along the way. Be aware that things almost definitely won’t go to plan will help prepare you for the inevitable and adapt accordingly.


So that’s it.

Get a solid accountability partner, use your calendar, leverage SMART goals, keep them visible and accept it won’t happen perfectly and you’ll be well on your way to smashing the absolute crap out of your 2016 goals.

What has worked for you? Is there anything you’ve found that works great when it comes to getting important stuff done? Leave a comment below.