2020 goals and how to reach them

2020 goals. Do you have them? Are you planning on setting some? What do you want from the year ahead?

The new year seems like a natural time to review your life and set goals. And, if you don’t manage it every year, what better time than the start of a new decade?

This article looks at the benefits of setting goals, whether the new year is a good time for goal planning, and the steps that I take to plan my 2020 goals.

If you’re new to using goals, or are looking for a framework to help organise your ideas, check out the GoalGetting workbook. This 60-page workbook makes it easy, walking you through the process step by step from goal-setting to success.

This article contains affiliate links, which means that I receive a small commission for any purchase made via these links.

Why set goals?

Setting goals helps you to live life with intention. Put simply, it helps you to live the way that you want to. Taking the time to think about what you want from life makes it easy to focus on the things that will help you to get there.

According to research, you are 42% more likely to achieve your goal just by writing it down. And if you follow the whole GoalGetting process, that increases to 77% (or even 95% according to another study).

Image courtesy of BigStock

For me, using goals to help live the life that I want to has been incredibly powerful. Before I discovered goals, I was a busy working mum of two, struggling to fit in all the things that I thought I *should* do. It had been so long since I did anything for myself, that I wasn’t even sure what I wanted to do.

So I did some reflecting, thought about the things that made me happy, and focussed on ways to incorporate them into my life. It was amazing! I quit smoking, stopped drinking, went from non-runner to half marathon, created GoalGetters, and have taken lots of other steps to align my life to my values.

Is the end of the year a good time to set goals?

The end of the year seems like a natural time to review your life and set goals. With brand new planners starting on 1 January, it’s easy to see why so many people set goals at this time of year.

However, it is also a busy time of the year. Christmas often brings planning, making, buying, socialising – it can be hard to find time to review your goals. And here in New Zealand, we’re in summer holidays. I usually plan my annual goals to start in February, after the holidays are over and we’re settling into a routine.

The best time to review and plan your goals is at a natural start/stop time. For example, I start a new job in February, so I am planning to set my 2020 goals once I’ve started and have a feel for what my new routine will be like. It may be that you have achieved a significant goal, and now want to take the time to see what to focus on next.

But there is the risk that it will never be the right time. It’s worthwhile taking some time, no matter how small, to take stock and think about what you want from the year ahead. Last year, I spent about an hour brainstorming three or four key things that I wanted within each area of wellbeing. This was enough for me to refer to when setting my monthly goals, to make sure that they were aligned.

For more info on the different dimensions of wellbeing, see the Finding Balance article.

So how to you do an annual goals review? Where do you start? Below are the steps that I take to set my 2020 goals.

How to set goals

1. Set long-term goals

Take a look at each dimension of wellbeing, and think about your lifetime goals for each area. Break it down into what you think you can achieve within five years, and then one.

2. Review 2019

Look back over your goals for 2019. Celebrate the ones that you have achieved. Learn from the ones that you didn’t. What got in the way? What would you do differently next time? If they are still relevant, include them in your 2020 plan, using the lessons learnt to boost your chance of success.

Check over your monthly goals as well as your annual ones.

For more information on reviewing your goals, and the importance of celebrating, see 40 by 40: Goal Review.

3. Look at your time available

Scheduling comes later in the GoalGetting process, once you’ve set clear goals and broken them down into actionable steps. However, I find it useful to have a quick look at my regular commitments to see how much time I have available. This helps me to determine how much I can work on at any one time.

Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay

If you only have an hour a week to spare, you’ll need to choose just one goal to focus on. But if you have a few days spare, you may be able to manage three or four goals at any one time (and maybe more through the year).

Once you have this information, you can prioritise which goal(s) you will work towards over the year. If you have any that tick lots of boxes (fulfill multiple dimensions of wellbeing), they’ll often be higher priority goals. For me, this is running. It meets my physical, spiritual, emotional and environmental needs, and so is always a high priority for me.

4. Work through the GoalGetters process

Now you have the groundwork complete, you can set your goals through the GoalGetters process. Use the articles below to guide you through each step:

Finding balance
Setting goals
What’s your why?
Small steps
Make it Happen
Best laid plans

The GoalGetting workbook brings together each of these steps with useful templates (including 3 months of planning space). Get yours today for just $10 NZD (approx $7 USD / £5 GBP at the time of writing): GoalGetting workbook.

These steps are based on the research above to make your more likely to reach your goals. Each step is proven to increase your chance of success.

So if you have any big and scary goals that you have been putting off, or if you’ve tried and failed a few times, try this method to get you through. Feel free to drop me a message if you need any support, or comment on the Facebook page to let us know how you are going.

Header image by mohamed Hassan from Pixabay

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