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Introduction of Best Year Ever

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If you check through your experience, you will most likely have a year you feel is the best among the rest. Nonetheless, you can always have a year that can be better than the previous one. In fact, you can make this year the best ever! How? It all depends on your plans and how you execute them. Note that it’s not all about having a fantastic plan. Many people have great plans that peter out as the year goes on. So, executing the plan is the most important thing.

This guide will provide you with the information you need to map out the year to have awesome experiences. Your plan is like a strategy that guides the way you go through the year. If you are in the military, you don’t make plans when you get to the enemy’s zone. The plan to execute when the initial one isn’t working is plan B, which is still a plan. It’s only on rare occasions that a militant group has to come up with a strategy on the forefront.

In the same way, you shouldn’t make the mistake of getting into the year before you start orchestrating your strategies. You should have strategies that will see you through when the going gets tough all year long. A new year is like a blank slate. The onus is on you to write something admirable and splendid on it. This book will take you through every necessary step that will help you create effective strategies and actionable plans to have your best year ever. Are you ready? Let’s ride!

Goal Setting: What is it?

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Everyone has a view of what goal setting is all about. Unfortunately, many people have a limited perception of this concept. Meanwhile, when you don’t have a sound understanding of this idea, it will hamper your chances of setting goals and achieving them. Therefore, we will start this book by exploring what goal setting is and what it’s not. We will also highlight some common hindrances to achieving your targets. This knowledge will ensure that you start the year on the right note.

What is Goal Setting?

Scientists, especially psychologists, have always been interested in goal-setting and related topics. They believe that it is a powerful motivator whose relevance has been evident in various clinical and practical settings for decades. There is no goal setting without a goal. Therefore, it’s logical to understand the meaning of a goal before exploring goal setting. According to Latham and Locke, in 2002, a goal is an aim or objective of an action. For instance, it can be in the form of achieving a level of proficiency within a time frame. So, your goals are the levels of competence you want to achieve.

They also serve as a useful lens through which you evaluate your current performance. Meanwhile, goal setting is the process that empowers you to achieve your targets. According to Locke, you can only underestimate the importance of this process at your peril. Every person’s life depends on the goals they choose to pursue. In other words, the kind of objectives you have shows your personality. For example, a person is termed to be evil because he or she has plans to hurt others. In the same way, the people we see as good individuals are perceived that way because they have goals that benefit others.

Experts like Locke believe that it’s impossible to achieve anything tangible in life without setting goals. An individual who does not engage in this process is a passive person who merely exists. Latham and Locke developed the goal-setting theory in 1984 to explain this process. According to the theory, conscious goals determine action. They explain that human behaviors are products of their goals. In other words, you need to determine what is beneficial to you before you act. So, you should not take the process of goal setting for granted. You cannot achieve your desire to make this year the best ever without understanding how to set goals.

Your goals give direction to your actions. Two individuals can have similar talents and opportunities. However, one may succeed far more than the other by being more deliberate and focused. Goals give you the edge and motivation to recognize opportunities. If you don’t know what you want, you’ll not be able to leverage the chances that come your way. For many people, they end up realizing that they have messed up later on when they have a definite pursuit. It’s often too late to make amends most times.

Common Impediments to Goal Setting

There’s no doubt that setting goals is crucial to the success of an individual. Nonetheless, some people still fail even after making plans. Some of the reasons below are the causes of their downfall.

Setting Unrealistic Targets

Motivational speakers often inspire and encourage people to dream big to unleash their potential. Indeed, there is nothing wrong with being ambitious. However, some goals aren’t realistic because of the timeframe. For example, if your goal is to participate in a marathon, you’ll be making a mistake if you sign up for one next month.

You can participate in an event the month after. However, it’s going to take some superpowers to win one. You’ll have to train and build your fitness steadily. So, a month might not be enough to get you ready to compete with professionals.

Limited Focus

Another mistake goal-setters make that doesn’t make them goal-getters is focusing on a few areas. For example, you might have a target to increase your sales by 20% next year. This goal is admirable. Nonetheless, it’s limited. Why? You are only focusing on your career.

You cannot make this year your best ever if you only have improvements in your job. There should be targets you want to meet in other areas of your life. The issue with a limited goal is that it’s susceptible to being affected by other parts of your life. For example, if you don’t make some changes in the way you handle your marital relationship, it might affect your career.

So, when writing your list of goals for the next year, think about other aspects too. Don’t only commit to increasing your sales by 15 percent, applying for a promotion, and reading one leadership book each month.

Failure to Correctly Estimate Completion Time

Some people make the mistake of not getting the time frame for a project correctly. This failure is sometimes due to a lack of information. For example, you might want to start a business and set a target of expected yield within a time frame.

Indeed, you have done well by setting the expected completion time. However, you might be underestimating the time frame. You might just be expecting things to work out within that period because that is your desire. Nonetheless, you need to consult experts in that field to know the ideal completion time to avoid disappointments.

Not Learning from Your Mistakes

No one wants to fail. Nonetheless, you can become a better person when you learn from your experience. Psychologists believe that an intelligent person is that individual who can become wiser by picking lessons from the past.

When setting your goals, you should be able to use your experience to know what is not realistic. If you don’t use the mistakes from last year as a springboard for the new year, nothing will change.

Exciting Facts About Goal Setting

Experts have studied goal setting and have made some interesting discovering worth noting. Here are some of them:

#1 Setting Goals Enhances Academic Success

This fact will excite you if you are a student. According to a 2010 study, around 25% of undergraduates don’t complete their studies because they lack specific goals and motivation. However, goal-setting intervention programs have turned things around for many.

#2 Setting Goals Improves Motivation

Goals and motivation are two inseparable things. Most experts include goals whenever they define motivation. This constant incorporation is a sign that goal setting is essential to build momentum for achieving success in any endeavor in life. A 1981 review confirms that people who set goals are often motivated and have higher chances of succeeding in various tasks.

#3 Goal Setting is Linked to the Flow State

The flow state is a concept in positive psychology that refers to a mental state when a person is fully immersed and enjoying the process of an activity. Many people describe this feeling as “being in the zone.” Scientists believe that setting goals helps people have this experience.

#4 Optimism is Vital to the Goal Setting Process

Optimism is a positive expectation. Experts believe that it’s a crucial ingredient for successful goal setting and goal-achievement. According to a 2010 study, people who are optimistic in their approach to setting targets have a higher chance of achieving their objectives.

#5 Goal Setting Improves Performance

Definite and challenging targets improve performance, according to a 1996 study. The study compared the effect of non-specific goals such as “I will try my best” and specific targets. The result showed that people who don’t have definite objectives often do less than their capability.

#6 High Self-Efficacy Plays a Role in Goal Setting

Self-efficacy is the confidence you have in your ability to achieve a task before you do it. Experts believe that people with high self-efficacy are likely to set challenging targets and commit to achieving them. Such individuals put themselves under pressure and have the self-believe to sustain their focus and momentum.

#7 Social Influences Affect Goal Choice

The kind of people you have around you affects the kind of targets you have. There’s a high tendency of reducing or altering your goals due to the influence of the society or the people in your life. A 2008 study revealed that social influence is a strong determinant of target choice.

#8 Goal Setting is Superior to Monetary Incentives

Many people often assume that monetary incentives are good enough to make a person achieve a goal. However, research proves otherwise. An individual can still fail to accomplish a task despite the money involved. Nonetheless, an effective goal-setting process often provides the focus to achieve a task that money cannot offer, according to a 1979 study.

Benefits of Setting Goals

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According to Pablo Picasso, we can only reach our goals through a vehicle called a plan. We fervently believe in it, and it serves as the basis upon which we vigorously act. According to him, there is no other route to success. No book can successfully list out all the benefits of setting goals. Why? The advantages are inexhaustible.

Some benefits are direct, while some are indirect. Nonetheless, you need to have a clear idea of some of these perks to spur you to have a culture of setting targets. According to experts, some of the benefits of setting goals include:

Definite Direction

When there is no direction, it’s impossible to achieve success. It’s your direction that enables you to access the available resources to accomplish a task. Besides, it’s when you have a direction that you can identify distractions. For example, it’s because you want to pass your exam that makes you realize that clubbing during that period could hinder you from achieving the target.

In the same way, you need to set goals to give you direction for the year. Your goals will serve as a map that guides your step. Your goals should include milestones that enable you to track your progress. You should know where you are and where you need to be. Setting goals will ensure that you know what you are doing and keep at it while others are running from pillar to post during the year.


Focus is one of the most important ingredients of success in any sphere of life. However, many people lack this attribute. Besides, it’s challenging to maintain one’s focus in the modern world, thanks to the numerous exciting toys we have. Many people spend quality time on social media instead of productive activities. If you don’t have specific targets you intend to achieve, you might end up spending excessive time in the digital world.

Your goals remind you of what you need to do within a time limit. For example, if you have the target to complete a 20,000-word book in a month, you’ll limit the time you spend with your devices. You know that you cannot meet that target if you don’t contribute your daily quota of words to the project.

Relative Control of the Future

One of the sources of stress and anxiety is realizing that your future is bleak. Indeed, today is all we have. Tomorrow is a promise. However, when you don’t have a plan you need to execute, you’ll be anxious. You lack direction. Therefore, you’ll not be able to focus on anything. Moreover, you’ll feel bad about yourself when your friends are talking about their plans for the year.

You’ll feel like a rudderless individual who is worthless. However, when you have a plan, you feel like you have control over your future to a large extent. You know what you need to do, and you’ll go about it daily to achieve your targets. So, you need to set goals to avoid the fear and anxiety that comes with thinking about a future that promises nothing.


Research and experience have proven that motivation is an integral factor that determines success. Motivation is a fuel that drives you to achieve your dream. Once you aren’t motivated, you’ll lack the passion to go all the way to make the sacrifices that will guarantee your success. Remember that goal setting is a powerful motivator. It’s even a stronger motivator than money.

Therefore, you shouldn’t joke with setting goals if you have plans to make this year your best ever. You will have moments during the course of the year when you will face challenges, and things will not go your way. However, when you have a plan, you can always have a reference point to pick up yourself again. You will remember the excitement you had when setting your goals, and you will be motivated to start again.

Excellent Decision Making

Your ability to make quality decisions is essential to enjoying a fine year. You will have many choices all through the year, and you will have to decide what you want to do or otherwise. Setting goals enables you to know what you want and do not desire. So, when you need to choose among different options during the year, you will be able to make fantastic decisions.

Moreover, remember that setting goals helps you to identify distractions. So, you will be able to make the right choices all year long by avoiding unproductive activities and choosing productive ones. This approach does not mean that you will not have fun or spend time with your loved ones. Instead, it will help you to avoid having fun when you ought to be working or working when you should be enjoying yourself.

Personal Satisfaction

We all want to feel that we are doing something worthwhile. Nevertheless, you can never have this experience when you feel that you don’t have a plan. When you don’t have goals, you will be drifting from one thing to the other. Most times, you will quit one job and move to the other within a short period. Sometimes, you will leave a relationship and start another one again in no time.

You will feel that your life doesn’t have order in it, and it affects the way you feel about yourself. If care isn’t taken, you can slide into depression because you are all over the place. However, the goal-setting process makes you feel good about yourself. It helps you to generate positive energy because you feel that you have a focus.

A Sense of Purpose

When you feel that your life does not have a purpose, it can affect your mental health. Everything in life has its purpose. Your wristwatch helps you to know the time apart from the fact that it adds to your appearance. In the same way, your shoes protect your feet apart from improving your looks. It feels empty and worrisome when you wake up in the morning and don’t know what you need to do.

You can avoid such negative emotions by setting goals. Targets give your life a sense of purpose. Even when you have not achieved them, you feel that you are on your way to achieving something that will make you happy. After achieving one task, you have a clear idea of what you need to do next. It helps you be disciplined and create positive energy that enhances your mental health.

Reduced Anxiety

Setting goals reduces tension and anxiety. You will feel calm and in control when you know what you need to do. When you eventually achieve your aims, you will be proud of yourself. However, even before you achieve your objectives, you will have inner tranquility because you have things in view that you are pursuing.

Features of Achievable Targets

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Many people set targets at the end of the year. However, many don’t achieve those goals. There are many factors that are responsible for these failures. One of them is setting unachievable goals. Don’t let motivational speakers fool you. We will not all have stories as spectacular as some of the people that have attained seemingly impossible heights. When your expectations are rational, you will reduce the likelihood of wasting your effort. What makes a target achievable? Here they are:

Positively Stated

One of the mistakes people make when setting targets is setting negative goals. The way you frame a goal determines if it’s positively or negatively stated. For example, your goal might be to “lose weight.” On the surface level, this target looks positive. However, it’s not. It’s negative because you want to lose something – weight. It looks like a minimal shift, but it can affect your motivation to achieve the objective in the long run.

So, you should rather state your goals positively. How can you do that? It’s simple. State your goals in such a way that is adding something to your life rather than removing something from it. For example, instead of saying, “I want to lose weight,” say, “I want to be healthier.” Also, rather than say, “I want to stop going home late,” say, “I want to spend more time with my family.” Try this approach, and you will be surprised by the difference it can make.

Clearly Defined

You aren’t likely to achieve your goals for the year when they are vague or too many. It’s commendable to have goals in different areas of your life. Nonetheless, you need to realize that your energy levels and focus are limited. It’s not possible to put your energy and attention on many targets at the same time. Besides, this approach doesn’t bode well for your mental health.

So, instead of quantity, you should go for quality. In other words, take time to think about the most important things to you in the year and set goals for them. Set the goals in such a way that you will never have to try to achieve more than three objectives at a time. You can make things easier by setting goals for the first six months. Then have other targets for the remaining six months. You can even set goals on a quarterly basis.


An achievable goal must be self-inspired. Indeed, you will always have people around you who can inspire and motivate you. Nonetheless, you are gravitating towards having a miserable year when you set goals because of them. It’s tantamount to setting other people’s goals. In the long run, you will not be able to sustain the momentum to achieve them because they were never your targets.

Therefore, don’t set goals because your parents want you to make them proud. In the same way, don’t set targets because you want to make your friends happy. Remember that you will face challenges along the way regardless of the goals you set. If the targets were things you really desire, you will endure the difficulties and eventually scale through.


Your goals have to correlate to the context of the bigger picture. You should not set goals for the sake of it. Your targets should fit into your grand desires. For example, if you seek a harmonious and robust relationship with your family, your goal cannot be to be early for work. Being punctual to your workplace is a commendable goal, indeed. However, it will only boost your reputation in your workplace.

It does not fit into the context of earning the trust and affection of your loved ones. So, when setting targets, you have to ensure that the goals are contextual. For example, planning to come home earlier than before will fit more into the context of a happier family than going early. The only way punctuality can be applicable is if going to work early will ensure that you don’t stay late in your office.

Provides Alternative to Secondary Gain

An achievable goal should be able to provide an alternative to secondary gain. For instance, you might want to live a healthier lifestyle by quitting smoking and drinking. Remember that when setting the target, you should not state it as “I want to quit smoking and drinking.” This approach is negative. Rather, you should focus on how the new habit will improve your health.

When making this plan, you need to be able to provide other means of getting what you gain from drinking alcohol and smoking. For example, this habit might be a means of relaxing for you, especially when you are anxious and depressed. You cannot quit this habit if you don’t have other means of reducing your anxiety and improving your mood. For example, you can find a new hobby, such as playing a musical instrument.

Availability of Required Resources

Any king that goes to war without checking if he has the resources to win will fail miserably. In the same way, you should not set goals without thinking about what it takes to achieve it. For example, if you want to become a medical doctor, you need to ask yourself if you are willing to pay the price of relentless reading and attention to details.

If you prefer a job that allows you to make mistakes without fatal consequences, you have no business in the medical field. Any mistake in the practice can cost people their lives. So, it’s too delicate for a person who likes to be creative and playful. In the same way, if you want your business to become a force of nature in the year, you need to ask if you have what it takes to achieve this aim.

Environmental Support

Environmental support in this context refers to both the people around you and the facilities in your location. You need determination and self-confidence to achieve your dreams. However, you cannot deny the place of environmental support. For example, if you plan to become a professional basketball player, you cannot be living in a place where you don’t have access to training. Besides, you need people that can spur you on.

If your environment does not support your goals, you will either have to relocate or change your association. Go to a place where your dream can be nurtured. Moreover, stay around people that will give you the morale and encouragement to achieve your goals. When these two factors are absent, it’s likely that your targets will only be goals but will never come to fruition.

How to set Targets

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It’s not good enough to know the benefits of setting goals and the features of achievable targets. You need to know how to go about setting goals. Many people think they know how to set targets until they fail miserably. This chapter provides you with the technical know-how and expertise involved in setting achievable goals.

Golden Rules of Goal Setting

You cannot accomplish your goals if you have no idea how to set them. According to goal-setting experts, the following regulations are the golden rules of setting goals.

Set Self-Motivating Goals

Remember that goal setting is an effective motivator. Nonetheless, you cannot enjoy this perk if you don’t set goals that motivate you. In other words, your targets should be things you feel are essential. Your goals should be aims that will give you a sense of achievement when you accomplish them. Once the outcome does not excite you, you will not be able to gather the momentum to attain your goals.

Set goals that relate to your high priorities in life. When you don’t know what matters to you the most, you will come up with many goals. At the end of the year, you will still end up in regret because you have wasted another year. You need to have a sense of urgency, and that is what you will get when you set goals whose achievement will make you happy with yourself.

Put Your Goals in Writing

Experts believe that one of the best ways you can make your goals real and tangible is by writing them down. Writing down your targets ensures that you will not forget them. When writing, ensure that you are concise to set your mind in the right direction. For example, you should not write, “I would like to reduce my operating expenses by 20% this year.”

Instead, you should write, “I will reduce my operating expenses by 20% this year.” Writing down your goals enables you to be able to check them again as the year runs out. They will help you to keep your focus and keep working hard to achieve them.

Set Specific Goals

The importance of setting specific goals cannot be overemphasized. Your goals should not be vague and general. I used choosing to live healthy as an example of a positively stated goal earlier. However, this goal is vague. Therefore, it’s not good enough that your goal is positive. It also has to be specific.

Living a healthy lifestyle is a general and big picture. To be specific, you will have to state definite goals, such as “I will visit the gym every weekend.” This objective is specific and defined. You know when you will do what you need to do to achieve a higher priority – healthy living.

Set Goals that can be Evaluated

Your goals for the year have to be measurable. Setting goals that you can evaluate will enable you to track your progress. For example, if you state your aim as “I want to reduce operating cost by 20%,” it’s specific. However, you need to be able to evaluate it.

If you want to achieve this target within a year, you should be having around a 1.7% reduction per month. When you don’t have a means of measuring your targets, you will not know when to celebrate your improvements and look forward to the eventual outcome. You need to be able to tell that you are on the right track for the motivation to do more.

Set Attainable Goals

You have begun the year on the wrong note when you set goals you have no hope of achieving. It’s very likely that you end the year in regret because you will not be able to point to any tangible thing you achieved. Don’t set goals out of excitement because others are setting them. Indeed, you should set goals that you will be proud you achieve at the end.

However, don’t erode your confidence and give up by setting targets that sets impossible demands on you. Some goals aren’t necessarily unattainable. Nonetheless, a target remains unachievable when you don’t have the resources to make them happen. For example, you cannot have the goal to become the governor of your state when you don’t have the finance to fund your campaigns or travel around to convince people to vote for you.

Set Essential Targets

Your targets should be relevant to the direction you want to go in life. For example, if you want to become a business owner, your goals have to align with that. You will set targets such as attending entrepreneur-oriented seminars and other lectures that will boost your chances of success.

In the same way, if you want to be a better husband this year, you should have targets that will make that happen. You should plan more personal times with your wife. For example, you can have a target to take her out for dinner every last Saturday of the month.

Set Goals with Deadlines

Any goal that does not have a time frame will most likely fail. You should have a deadline to achieve your targets. For example, you shouldn’t state your goal this way “I want to reduce my operating cost by 20%.” This objective is specific and relevant. However, it’s not time-bound. Therefore, it’s likely to fizzle out.

Instead, you should state it this way “I want to reduce my operating cost by 20% in the next twelve months.” Approaching goal-setting this way will ensure that you are looking at a deadline to accomplish your task. You will have a target for the month because you know that you have twelve months to attain your goal.

Create an Action Plan

Many people miss this vital step when setting their goals. Nonetheless, it’s integral to the success of your plan. The goal-setting process is not all about the targets and the outcome. There’s a gap between your objectives and your results – an action plan. Without an action plan, you will not be able to execute your goals.

Let’s use the same example of the aim to reduce your operation cost by 20% within a year. Your actionable plan will be those things you will cut out to achieve this target. For example, you may need a smaller office by making some of your employees work from home.

Stick with the Plan

Many people make plans but don’t stick with them eventually. Don’t only write down your goals. You should also write down your actionable plan. You can make them two opposite ends of the paper. Let your goals be on the left-hand side while the actionable plans are on the right. Tick every plan after executing them as you get closer to making your target a reality.

You need to keep your focus until the end to ensure that you accomplish your goals. Think about your targets and the pros and cons before stating them. People will try to make you feel you are foolish when they evaluate your plans. However, learn to stick with them. Those same people will end up celebrating you and praising you when you succeed eventually. So, stick with the plan!

How to Achieve Short-Term Goals

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Short-term targets are easier to achieve, unlike long-term objectives. Nonetheless, they are never a walk in the park. They have potential pitfalls that can make you lose focus and fail. Indeed, the year is twelve months long. Nonetheless, your success at the end of the year is the sum total of your performance in various moments during the year.

So, if you succeed in many of your short-term goals, you will have a memorable year. This chapter offers you hints that will increase your chances of recording success in your short-term goals during the year.

Leverage Your Peak Energy Period

Unlike long-term goals, short-term targets require a lot of energy and attention. They often demand that you put in a lot within a short period. So, it’s better that you plan to achieve them during your peak energy periods. For example, if you are preparing to have distinctions in an exam you are writing in a month, you need to work hard. However, you have to be smart in your preparations.

Don’t read at night because you have friends who read during that period. You need to understand yourself. Take time to think about the period of the day when you are often at the optimum energy level. This part of the day is also likely to get you in the “zone.” As an undergraduate, I discovered that my peak energy period was early in the morning. Even right now, as a writer, I am at my best when I work in the morning.

One Target at a Time

Many people make the mistake of trying to multitask when working towards short-term targets. This method is likely to backfire in the long run. Doing many things at the same time can clog your thinking and affect your productivity. If you need to do a lot within a limited period, delegating is your best bet if you have such a luxury. However, if you cannot afford to do that, plan in such a way that you will focus your energy on a task per time.

For example, if you are a writer, you cannot afford to write two articles or books at a time. You will end up coming up with two shallow projects. You need to focus on one at a time. Don’t work on two books at a time because you plan to complete two books in a month. Rather, plan the first half of the month for a project and the other half for the other.

Remove Distractions

Setting goals enables you to identify distractions. However, it doesn’t automatically eliminate them. You will have to ensure that you avoid whatever can distract you. For example, you can limit or totally forgo your social media app until you achieve your aim. It’s a problem when you think that you cannot do without visiting your favorite social media site. It’s a symptom of fear of missing out (FOMO).

FOMO is an anxiety that comes with thinking that others are having some novel experiences that you aren’t enjoying. It’s the reason you will often be online and check your social media app intermittently when you ought to be working. Remember that short-term goals have a very limited timeframe. Failure to maintain your focus on the task will make you miss the deadline. If you are an employee, it can earn you a sanction or make you lose a business opportunity as an entrepreneur.

Find Sources of Motivation

Goal setting motivates you. However, you need other sources of motivation apart from your goals. There will be days when you are discouraged and feel that you cannot achieve your target again. You need motivation during such days. One of the best ways you can get a source of motivation is by hanging around people of like minds. Find other individuals who have similar objectives. If you want to attain distinctions as a student, find fellow colleagues who want to attain the same target.

They will inspire and encourage you during the days when you feel like reducing your intensity. As an undergraduate, I had a reading partner. She was a gorgeous lady. We planned to read for four hours every day before the exam. There were days I felt like sleeping off. However, when I remember that I will get to sit close to a pretty lady again, I will pack my books and go again. Just find what works for you to achieve your targets this year.

Create a Budget

Some short-term goals may require that you spend on some necessary things that will aid your success. Don’t be stingy to yourself, especially when the reward is monetary. You will need to spend money to earn more. For example, if you need to write two books in a month as a writer, you need to be sure that you have everything that will keep you focused during the period.

You might need to invest in a new mouse if your mouse pad or the current one is malfunctioning. The investment is small, but it can increase your speed and engagement tremendously. In the same way, you might need to stock your home with enough food items that can be sufficient for that month if you work from home. The time you will have to spend on going to the store to get food items during the month could have been used to make progress in the work.

Have a Structure

You need a working structure to achieve your short-term targets. A structure ensures that you will be able to maintain consistency and disciple. For example, if your goal is to learn to become a professional guitarist within six months, you should have a structure for your training. You can choose to devote three hours of your day to practice. Don’t just plan to train for three hours daily.

You should think about different situations during that period. If you have a job, the three hours might be in the evening after work. If you don’t work during the weekend, you can make the training period in the morning or evening. You should also think about the holidays. You should have a structure that will ensure that you don’t have impediments and distractions.

Keep Track of Your Progress

You need to be able to keep track of your progress. Many people make this mistake when setting targets. Never forget that it takes time to achieve objectives. Sometimes, it can feel as if you aren’t doing much, which can be frustrating and demoralizing. Therefore, it’s vital that you take stock of everything that you’ve accomplished. A daily review is the best approach for a short-term goal.

Sub-goals are very critical to both short-term and long-term targets. For example, if you want to complete a 40,000-word book as an author within a month, you should have a daily quota. For example, you can plan to write at least 1500 words per day. You would have been through with the project before the month runs out.

How to Accomplish Long-term Goals

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Many people struggle to achieve long-term goals because they lack the grit and focus to end the race. Besides, we live in a world where we want everything to happen quickly. We love fast food, high-speed cars, and so on. So, many people also want to become successful overnight.

Besides, social media pressure makes some people make social comparisons that are unhealthy. They want to become celebrities in a short period. However, life is a process. So, you need to learn to make long-term plans and follow-through on them. The following tips will help you in this regard.

Connect the Targets to Your Core Principles

If you don’t believe in a goal, your motivation will soon wane, and you will discard it eventually. It sounds obvious, but it’s not. If you think about it, you will realize that you have some long targets you abandoned over time. You might blame it on indiscipline, but it’s not that simple. It shows that those targets were not part of your core principles. When you have targets that you truly believe in, you will never give up on them. Even if you fail to achieve them in the previous year, you will pursue them all over again.

Therefore, when setting a long-term goal, you need to think twice. Why are you pursuing this goal? Don’t be too focused on the outcome. It’s not every pleasant result that will make you feel happy in the long run. The easiest way to set targets that aligns with your core principles is to do a self-analysis of your personality. What kind of person are you? Do you value stability or quick fixes? Do you prefer structure to creativity? The answers to these questions will help you set the right long-term goals.

Reduce Decision Friction

It sounds fantastic to work towards a target daily. This approach is commendable for short-term targets. However, they are often not plausible for long-term projects. You need to reduce the number of choices you make in a day to avoid experiencing an issue psychologists call decision fatigue.

This problem inhibits your decision-making and makes you make mistakes. Meanwhile, you need to make informed and educated choices to make this year your best ever. Note that you will be making a lot of decisions regarding your short-term plans daily. So, it’s better to make long-term plans intermittently rather than daily.

Decision fatigue is the reason you pick up fast food on your way home even though you have a target of losing weight. You need to reduce how many choices you need to make in a day to avoid battling this issue. You can help yourself by changing your morning routine. Most people are at their productive best in the first few hours of the day.

Nonetheless, many people spend that energy on social media or reading news. You can take advantage of that period to plan your day. Decide what you need to do to move closer to both your short-term and long-term targets before stepping into the day.

Leverage Chunking

Chunking is a technique that you need to accomplish long-term targets. This method involves breaking a main target into several smaller ones. It’s more like making many short-term targets out of the long-term target. For example, you can chunk a building project by breaking it into various sections.

Of course, you have to start with the foundation before you progress to the next phase. Chunking involves acting like the long-term target does not exist when dealing with a smaller bit of it. When you think about the bigger picture, you might be discouraged and overwhelmed.

However, when you break the bigger picture into smaller pieces, you will have a sense of achievement after completing a part. Chunking requires that you have several milestones. If you want to learn to play the guitar, learning the basics can be a milestone. The secret to successful chunking is to concentrate all your energy, resources, and focus on the current task. You will not think about how you will achieve the next milestone while still working on the current target. Once you are done with the current objective, you will concentrate on the next one as though it’s the main target.

Take Advantage of if/then Statements

If/then statements help you to ensure that you remain productive regardless of the situation. It’s excellent to have a structure that enables you to have the self-discipline required to achieve your targets. However, life can be unpredictable.

You might face situations during the year that may require you to slow down for a while. Life can be so unpredictable that a pandemic like COVID-19 can disrupt your plans. However, it’s not always that dramatic. For example, you might need to see a doctor on a day you have planned to write a certain quota of a book.

Using if/then statements in that situation will mean that you will plan to increase your quota from that day onward. For example, you can state that you will start writing two thousand words a day from the next day of inhibition to make up for the day you could not work. In the same, way you can plan to practice four hours on your guitar the following day if you were not able to meet your target the previous day. Being able to anticipate potential inhibitions and planning for them is the attribute of successful people.

Use Reverse Engineering

Leveraging reverse engineering in goal setting involves skipping the messy middle and starting at the finished line. It seems evident that your journey to a long-term target begins with a step. However, researchers have found out that this approach could be counterproductive. According to scientists from the University of Iowa and the Korean University Business School, reverse engineering is a more effective technique.

They discovered that people who define their path from the end backward are more likely to accomplish their targets. Besides, such people are more confident about their choices, especially when it comes to complex goals.

Indeed, these researchers could not explain why reverse engineering is more effective than taking things one step forward at a time. Nonetheless, it’s a logical assertion. Why? It’s often easy to lose sight of the pleasant outcome because of the challenges you are facing while working towards the goal. So, you might end up abandoning the target because of your current struggles. However, when you don’t lose sight of the pleasure you will derive after achieving the objective, you will remain committed and motivated to keep going.

Let’s use a product launch as an example. Work backward instead of starting where you are now and planning towards your launch day. How? Define the scope and deadline first. Then start to reverse engineer until you get to the starting point. If you master this strategy, you will find it easy to come up with a master to-do list that can guide you and help you keep your focus until you achieve your goal. It’s a proven method that has helped many people to accomplish long-term-targets.

Key Ingredients for Achieving Goals

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Success is not an accidental event. It’s only available to those who are willing to pay the price. If you want to make this year your best ever, you need to cultivate the right habits. According to Steven Covey, the author of “Seven Habits of Highly Effective People”, you have the right to make your decisions, but you don’t have the right to choose the consequences of your actions. This chapter reviews some of the unmistakable ingredients that can make your year successful.


A plan cannot work itself out unless you do something about it. So, after setting your goals, you should set out to achieve them. You aren’t different from a person that does not have targets to meet when you don’t act on your plan. Therefore, don’t get worked up in a phenomenon known as analysis-paralysis. This is a situation in which an individual does so much analysis of a task but ends up doing nothing.

It’s recommended that you have a to-do list for every goal. For example, you should have a list of things you need to do daily to get good grades in an upcoming exam. Ensure that your to-do list contains things you can do immediately. The more you have things that will take time to act, the more likely it’s that you will do nothing eventually. So, start now!


You need patience to achieve both long-term and short-term plans. However, you need to be more patient when working towards long-term goals. Note that patience does not mean that you will do nothing. Rather, it involves believing and sticking to the process. When you aren’t patient, you will become desperate. Meanwhile, desperation will increase your frustration. When you are frustrated, you will not have the clear head needed to make quality decisions.

Life is a process, and you will need to be patient to achieve your targets. Nothing good comes easy. Besides, whatever will be sustainable and worthwhile needs to go through the due process. For example, you cannot become a professional guitarist in one month. So, you will have to be patient while learning. The basics may feel boring, but when you learn patiently, you will eventually become one of the best musicians.


You cannot achieve anything substantial without discipline. No matter how well you create your plans, it will all end up in futility when you don’t have self-control. It’s discipline that will make you stick to your plan on days when things aren’t going your way. Indeed, discipline is not exciting. It’s more fun to spend time playing games rather than working on your project.

However, no game can offer you the satisfaction and sense of achievement you will get by achieving your goals. Note that your scores and success in video games are nothing but virtual achievements. In the same way, your social media likes and comments don’t necessarily translate to monetary rewards. So, ensure that you are disciplined enough to keep working hard on your targets until you achieve them.


You need to be inspired to remain consistent and focused on your goal. The best form of inspiration is self-inspiration. When you are self-inspired, there’s little the people around you can do to discourage you. However, when you depend on other people to inspire and motivate, it’s not likely to last. Note that you also need the encouragement of the people around you to achieve your goals. Nonetheless, you shouldn’t count on it.

Avoid using hurts and anger as inspiration. In other words, don’t try to lose weight because you were a victim of cyberbullying because of your weight. In the same way, don’t try to get good grades to prove a point to a lecturer or your classmates. Such negative inspirations sound logical, but they often lead to desperation and frustration. You will struggle to improve yourself when you are trying to prove a point. You will be seeking quick fixes and shortcuts so that you can take revenge as soon as possible.


Consistency is a vital ingredient to success. You can achieve any short-term or long-term target when you keep pushing. Every effort is like a strike with an ax on a tree. After striking the wood the first time, it will feel like forever before you end up bringing it down. Note that the first strike is as important as the last. However, if you don’t keep pushing, there will never be a last hit that achieves the target.

Set your goals. Then have your actionable plan. However, all will be futile when you don’t take action. Taking action and stopping will still not lead to anything substantial. You need to maintain your consistency. If you want to produce that best-seller book, you need to keep adding the daily quota. If you want to become that famous guitarist, you need to keep practicing. Consistency will help you get the best out of your potential.


There’s no doubt that self-discipline is critical to success. Nevertheless, it might not be enough in some circumstances. As a human being, you have the tendency to relent and stop pushing to achieve your dream. However, you can “set up” yourself to feel stuck in the process. One of the ways you can achieve this is by being accountable to your loved ones. For example, you can inform your spouse about your plan to write 1500 words daily in the next two weeks.

This approach will help you to be more consistent and focused. You know that he or she will ask you if you were able to meet your target for the day. So, to avoid looking like an unserious person, you will ensure that you didn’t miss a day. Indeed, this approach doesn’t guarantee that you will not have an off day. However, it ensures that such days are exceptions rather than norms.

Little or no Procrastination

Procrastination is a form of laziness. It often starts harmlessly but ends up coming back to bite you hard. Sometimes, you are likely to procrastinate after achieving a significant milestone. For example, when you are ahead of schedule for a target, it’s likely that you feel you can relax before you continue with the next goal.

Nonetheless, you might regret it eventually. You might decide to relax by spending an hour on your social media app. Before you know it, you have spent three hours on it and might end up not able to meet your target again. So, don’t rest until you have achieved the goal. Don’t be like the proverbial rat who slept off while relaxing because of overconfidence to win the race.

The Attributes of Ruthless Achievers

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If you want to be successful, you have to possess the qualities of successful people. Note that champions are products of their actions and decisions. Sustainable success does not come the way of speculators or gamblers. You need to take deliberate steps that will increase your chances of achieving your objectives. From experience and research, here are the attributes of ruthless winners you need to make this year your best ever.


You cannot achieve anything significant without self-confidence. You cannot separate self-confidence from self-efficacy. You need to believe in yourself to achieve your goal. Overconfidence can be counterproductive. However, it’s better to be overconfident than have low self-esteem. When you aren’t confident in your ability, a person who is not as talented or proficient as you will be given an opportunity ahead of you.

Ruthless achievers often sound arrogant. In the football world, Cristiano Ronaldo, Jose Mourinho, and Zlatan Ibrahimovic are some of the most confident individuals. They are all great achievers in their own right. Mourinho declared himself as “The Special One” in the early stages of his coaching career, and he has gone ahead to prove that he is truly special with his trophy haul in different countries. So, you cannot afford to have low confidence because you are trying to be realistic or humble.

Commitment to Learning

Great achievers are avid learners. Celebrities such as Mayim Bialik, Emma Roberts, Lena Dunham, and Sarah Jessica Parker are famous for their reading culture. They also often recommend books for others. This list also includes Michelle Obama, Dolly Parton, and Olivia Munn. So, you should cultivate the culture of reading insightful books that can help you achieve your targets. Note that you should try to get materials that can contribute meaningfully to your area of interest.

For example, if you plan to get a smaller office to reduce your operating cost, get books on how to lead a virtual team. Don’t have a trial and error approach to anything unless you have no choice. It’s better to learn from the experience and understanding of selfless people who are willing to share their secrets with others. You’ll never make the mistakes they made when you read their books.

Ability to Sacrifice Desirability for Feasibility

As stated earlier, it’s not every splendid outcome that is achievable. The fact that you crave a result does not mean that it’s possible. For example, you might wish to become a fantastic keyboardist in one week. However, it’s impossible to gain mastery over the instrument within that time frame. You will only end up in frustration and disappointment if you try to achieve the goal.

Rather you should go for what is feasible. The best way to know what is plausible is by asking experts in that field. Speak to a keyboard teacher and find the average period it takes to become a fantastic keyboardist. To avoid getting a bias response, ask like three experts, and compare their answers. You will be able to have a good grasp of what is feasible so that you can work towards it.

Ability to Identify Potential Pitfalls

Ruthless achievers are risk-takers. Nonetheless, they are known for their ability to recognize potential pitfalls. Therefore, they often take calculated and educated risks. Note that you cannot know potential troubles when you aren’t familiar with that field. For example, if you plan to start a business this year, you need to find out about the market. Know the best companies in that sector and find out why they are so successful.

Besides, it is not out of place to ask the right questions from the right people. Ask experienced people in that market about common mistakes beginners make. This approach will ensure that you will not fall into that trap. A simple internet search can also help you have a clue about the pros and cons of investing in a business. However, speaking to a person who is currently doing the business is your best bet.

Internal Locus of Control

Locus of control is your attribution. In other words, it’s what you blame or recognize for your success or failure. There are two forms – internal and external. An internal locus of control is if you attribute your success and failure to internal factors. In other words, you will not see any other person as responsible for whatever you make out of your life. On the other hand, an external locus of control involves attributing your success or failure to external factors.

For example, a student who has an external locus of control will blame the lecturer for his failure instead of his ineptitude. Ruthless achievers have an internal locus of control. They believe that they have their destiny in their hands. So, they are often deliberate when making decisions. You need an internal locus of control to take the right steps and make this year your best ever.

Faith in the Process

When you have self-confidence and an internal locus of control, you will believe in the process. You will take your time to set goals that are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time bound. You will not just set goals, but you will set targets based on research and experience. So, when you eventually come up with a plan, you will not care about criticisms or mockery.

Everyone gets criticized for their choices. In the football world, top coaches often face backlash and criticism on social media whenever they release their team sheet. Many fans and pundits often believe that the manager has dropped some players that should not be dropped. In some cases, they will claim that the manager has picked the wrong tactics. Guess what? When the team wins the game, these same people will call the manager a genius for making bold decisions.

So, you need to trust yourself and believe in your progress and the process. It’s better to fail after making a decision by yourself than to fail after listening to the advice of other people. Besides, always depending on other people to help you make quality choices will leave you vulnerable when they aren’t there to help you.

Anticipated Regret

Anticipated regret is the likelihood of disappointment and failure when making a decision. Ultimately, every choice is a risk. However, some decisions have a high tendency to fail. So, you need to be able to weigh the pros and cons of your actions. The fact that the potential benefits outweigh the negatives is not good enough to make a choice. Rather, you should ask yourself whether you’ll be able to survive in case things go wrong.

For example, when you invest in a high-risk business, the reward is often appealing. Nonetheless, you should ask yourself if you’ll still have enough money to invest again in case the investment goes awry. Indeed, many people will salute your courage if you get the desired result. However, many will call you a fool if something goes wrong.

Conclusion of Best Year Ever

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A plan is just a script that will direct your path. It cannot by itself guarantee a successful year. Nonetheless, you have an edge over an individual without a plan when you have one. A person without a plan is like a ship without direction. It flows in whatever direction the wind moves it. Life is full of open-ended opportunities to excel and prosper. However, only those with a plan can navigate it successfully. Entering a year without a plan is equivalent to going to the market without a budget.

Such an individual will only go back home buying things that aren’t useful in the long run. He or she will buy a fancy hat when lacking a bathing soap. Such a lack of direction will make you susceptible to different suggestions. You’ll not be able to discover a distraction because you don’t have a focus. Thankfully, this book has offered you the information you need to give the year a direction by creating a plan.

You now understand the benefits of making a plan and how to create one. Ensure that you leverage the information to make the year your best ever. Also, imbibe the culture and attributes of ruthless achievers in your life. Such attitudes will give you an edge in an insanely competitive world. Live your dream, go for your goals, and have the best year ever!