Does this ever happen to you? Christmas is over and you start thinking about the new year and wonder what new things you’ll do or plan for? Maybe 2018 was a great year full of many happy and exciting things. Or, perhaps you are eager for a fresh new start in the new year? Either way, it’s good to begin the new year with a plan that has purpose and meaning to you, making goals and coming up with ideas that are meaningful, accomplishable, and get you excited.

Tip 1: Start by thinking and brainstorming about what you really want for yourself, your family, your spiritual life, your business, your finances and any other areas of your life that are important to you. Sometimes this can be hard because you think of the ideas and goals your friends and family have and think you should do those things. But, if they aren’t the true desires of your heart, following through and making them happen for you will be challenging. It can be helpful to get into a quite place to brainstorm. If you are a mom like me, sometimes this means the floor of your bedroom closet! But wherever it is, make it happen. This is the best first step.

Tip 2: Make a list of the ideas you come up with during your brainstorming time. You might find yourself writing out things like: “pay off debt”, “exercise more”, “lose weight”, “eat better”. Don’t overthink it. If it feels like a good goal to you that you really want to make happy then write it down.

Tip 3: Make your goals positive. It’s important to feel excited and energized by your goals. If you write them in a positive way, they will make you happy and you will want to review them often. For example: “get out of debt” would be “have a zero balance on my credit card” and “lose weight” could be “feel healthy and energized in my own skin”

Tip 4: Get very specific on how you will do it. It’s easy to write down a bunch of ideas and goals you want to achieve and it’s another to really make them happen. This is where the “how” is really important. How are you going to exercise more? How are you going to eat better? How are you going to feel more joy and happiness in your life? This may mean you will carve out an hour in the morning before everyone is up to get to the gym. Maybe this means being more intentional with your shopping list and finding new meals ideas to prepare. Or, more time with family means putting your phone away for 2 solid hours a day while you have dinner and enjoy the evening with your family. Whatever it may be, you have to plan to succeed. Flying by the seat of your pants each day isn’t going to make you feel good or keep you on track.

Tip 5: Create a vision board. This can be as simple or as fancy as you’d like, but I have found that having one helps me visualize and create my life in such an amazing way. There is just something about taking the time to put your visions on a board that gets your mind and heart ready. My personal vision planning is with half a poster board and lots of magazines. I love flipping through and finding pictures and words that inspire me. My board has five sections. I put a representation of my family and God in the middle as the center focus of my life. In the four corners I put my personal life visions, my business goals, my spiritual desires and my dreams for our family. It’s so fun to watch all of these come to fruition!

Tip 6: Get an accountability partner. Yep, that’s right, someone who you can be accountable to for your biggest and hardest goals. I have a business accountability partner. She helps me stay on track with my goals. We check in every weekday morning and I tell her at least one thing I plan to do for the day. This keeps me focused and helps me plan the small tasks that help me reach my big goals. You can do this in any area of your life. When you choose an accountability partner, make sure it’s someone you really trust to keep you accountable and someone who also has his or her own goals and dreams and understands what it takes to reach them. You want someone who won’t let you make excuses and keeps you moving forward.

Tip 7: Be easy on yourself and reevaluate often. If you are like me, you have the tendency to start out with big and exciting goals. Sometimes they are accomplishable and things fall into place easily. But other times I have found that I need to alter a few things to be more realistic. I love creating my life and trusting and believing that miracles will happen and that God knows the desires of my heart. However, sometimes the timing may be off or something else isn’t falling into place or unexpected events happen to throw you off track for a bit.  Commit to the process. If you are committed, have faith and keep going, you are still winning.

May your 2019 goals be so special and bless you and the lives of many. Keep trusting. Keep praying. Keep believing. Keep going. You’ve got this!