The New Year can bring two pretty powerful feelings.
One is the sense of hopefulness, the excitement and anticipation that the upcoming year will be bigger and brighter than the last. The other feeling is kind of a bummer, the debbie-downer feeling you get as you look back on the past twelve months and realize that you didn’t reach the goals you set at the end of last year.
But if you set New Year resolutions and fail to keep them, don’t beat yourself up. Most people fail to reach their resolution, so you certainly aren’t alone.
Researchers cite multiple reasons for why people fail to reach goals — from procrastination and lack of motivation to poorly set goals and unrealistic expectations. Most of us need a little guidance for setting goals that we will actually achieve.
To reach our goals we need accountability, commitment, and well documented goals — or in other words, plans on paper that help us set and measure our progress.
People are more likely to accomplish their goals when they write done SMART goals. That is, goals that are:
- Specific — includes the who, what, where, and why of the goal.
- Measurable — includes how you can measure the status of the goal.
- Attainable — is something that is achievable.
- Relevant — aligns with other larger plans.
- Timely — includes a timeline.
So thankfully, a new fad of beautifully-designed, goal-focused planners are here to help us set and document SMART goals and find more success in 2016. Here are a few of my favorite planners.
Fight overwhelm with this simple, but sleek and sophisticated planner by Day Designer. Made for busy “girls-on-the-go,” this hardbound planner helps you create a clear and prioritized daily to-do list so you can sort through the clutter and get what you really need done. It also has a robust scheduler and section for recording daily gratitude which helps you plan your days while keeping your mind in the right place.
The Spark Notebook
If you have a creative mind that regularly requires you to find scraps of paper to jot down your ideas and thoughts, the Spark Notebook is for you. This book combines the best of a perfectly bound journal with a detailed planner. But it’s even more than that. The Spark Planner also has sections for setting a yearly theme, monthly 30-day challenge, weekly goals, and reminders to stop and celebrate your successes along the way.
(This is the planners for me in 2016!)
This year, if you are planning on reaching your goals and making major changes in your life, the Dailygreatness Journal will help you get there. Described as a “Practical Guide For Consciously Creating Your Days,” it’s designed to help you change your habits through eight daily steps of meditation and visualization, intentions, dream journaling, gratitude, evening self-awareness questions, exercise, inspired actions and inspiration. Plus, it’s beautiful, colorful, and full of inspirational messages, quotes, and images to help keep you motivated, engaged, and encouraged.
The Desire Map Planner
Another great notebook designed to plan your days and your life is the Desire Map Planner. This calendar includes prompts that help you define your core feelings, goals, and intentions throughout the year. Between scheduling meetings and appointments, you will get daily reminders to recenter your focus and accomplish your bigger dreams for your life while getting through your daily to-do list.
(I sent a version of this to many of my clients and colleagues and they loved it!)
Make It Happen PowerSheets
If writing down your goals isn’t enough to motivate you to get things done, you may need the Make It Happen Powersheets. These “Intentional Goal Setting Worksheets” guide you through creating a step-by-step plan for hitting your goals. The paper is powerful because it helps you clearly define what you want to get done and measure and celebrate your progress along the way. Plus, the pack is sparkly and colorful and comes with bright and shiny motivational stickers.
Whether you are working to advance your career, start your own business, more deeply peruse a hobby, or just trying improve a piece of your mind, body, or soul, you need clearly stated goals to help you accomplish your mission. So get to your goals faster with a planner — even if it is just a $1 notebook — that you can write down all of your mission for making 2016 the best year yet.