New Year's Eve Fireworks

Goal Setting: If You Fail to Plan, You Plan to Fail

By Renata Gillispie

2016 is days away and now is the time when we start thinking of New Year’s resolutions and goals we want to accomplish in the new year.

Whether you have a goal to lose weight, exercise more, eat healthier, travel more, save money or write your first book, you can reach your dreams if you have a plan. I’ve certainly heard the saying, “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” And I know from my own past failed attempts at goals that this is definitely a true statement. Having a set plan in place will help you to focus on what you are trying to accomplish. Go ahead and let 2016 be the year you achieve the goals you’ve put off for so long!

Here are some steps that will put you on the path toward success in attaining your goals.

  1. What are your goals? Start off small. Be realistic. Is your goal reachable? When at the starting point of a larger goal that may take longer to achieve, you may become overwhelmed with how far you have to go. Instead, focus on the baby steps that can lead you to the larger goal. For example, if your goal is to write a book, this is a realistic somewhat larger goal. To set smaller goals within this larger goal, brainstorm ideas for your book. What will it be about? Who will be the audience? What do you hope to accomplish or what is your reasoning for writing the book?
  1. Plan and work on it. Write it out so you can see the goal every day. Tape it to your bathroom mirror and/or refrigerator. Will you write once a week? Will you self-publish? Associate a start and end date with the goal. Perhaps you want to finish the book by the end of 2016. When you have free time, work towards your goal. If you have a busy schedule, add time to your schedule to work on your goal. If you don’t work on it, how will you accomplish it?
  1. There will be days when you feel like giving up on your goal. Maybe some unforeseen circumstance came up that has blurred you from being able to see yourself accomplish it. This is when having an accountability partner can be beneficial. Your accountability partner should be someone who is a supporter and encourages you to keep going. They can give you that extra push when you feel like giving up. A good accountability partner will not tell you what you want to hear, but will tell you what you need to hear.
  1. Rewarding yourself gives you extra motivation to reach your goal. You can set the reward no matter how big or small. If your goal will take longer to accomplish, you may decide to give yourself small rewards along the way to keep up your morale. Be sure to have a big reward for when you ultimately accomplish your goal. Do not give yourself the big reward until the goal is reached. Be sure it is something you can look forward to.

Renata GillispieRenata Gillispie Contact
UT Health Science Center

Renata is a coordinator in the College of Graduate Health Sciences at the UT Health Science Center. She enjoys attending church, family, traveling, reading and writing. She earned both her bachelor’s degree in English and creative writing and her master’s degree in leadership from the University of Memphis.

Posts represent the views, expertise and recommendations of their authors and do not necessarily reflect an endorsement by the University of Tennessee. Furthermore, the content of the blog is for informational purposes only. The content of the blog is not, and is not intended to be used as, a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.