How to achieve your goals in 2024
Over the past few years I have truly dialed in my planning and tracking system for setting and achieving goals.
I wanted to share it today to help you achieve your goals in 2024.
If you’re like me and crave deep meaning and purpose in your life, you’re introspective and creative but sometimes feel pulled in a million directions with new ideas and desires, and you need help staying grounded and focused, you will love this system.
I’ve used this method to heal adrenal fatigue and improve my health, to publish self-help books/guided journals, to grow my blog, and now, to - hopefully grow my You Tube channel.
This whole method is about focusing on effort, not outcome because you can’t always control your results, but you can control your effort, and if you keep trying, keep iterating, you will find your way.
So here’s my system for achieving your goals in 2024.
First, figure out what feels truly meaningful to you
What goals do you really want to achieve, not based on what you think the result will get you, or what you think you should want, or what a previous version of you wanted, but what is your heart is really calling out for you to create in life?
A good way to determine this is to ask yourself — will the process of achieving this goal be enjoyable or add something to your life, or develop you in some way?
It's also helpful to connect the underlying motivation for the goal to one of your core values. (I talk more about this in the video.)
Don’t worry right now about picking your top goals, but rather give yourself time and space to explore what you really want in all areas of life.
Do you want to improve your fitness? Maybe you want to advance in your career, deepen or create relationships, or make more money, which can be meaningful when approached the right way.
At this point, you probably have several goals across multiple areas of life.
Sometimes people will vow to create dramatic changes, and this is a great way to make zero progress toward your goals and feel defeated. And that’s when people give up. Maybe sad, but true.
Achieving your goals in 2024 is about making small, sustainable changes that add up over time.
Next, zero in and get focused if you want to achieve your goals.
Pick one to three goals at a time (less is better if you’re not strong with your ability to maintain habits— let me know if you want content on that).
You can always work on more later, but true change happens when you commit to small changes over a long period of time.
The nature of achieving goals is a very up and down process, rather than the linear. Because of this, focusing and developing an intimacy with your goals is critical to maintain and deepen progress.
Reneging on your commitments is part of the process, so you need to create an environment for yourself where that’s anticipated so you can just recommit rather than get overwhelmed or feel defeated. Fostering that sense of commitment requires focus.
Next, identify the next steps required, and boil it down into a habit.
This can be a daily habit, or it can be weekly or monthly depending upon the goal.
Let’s take improving your fitness.
You could set the goal of doing a 30-minute workout 4 days a week. Or taking a daily walk. Or hitting the gym a certain number of days a week.
Let’s say you want to make friends. (This is one of my goals.)
Maybe you set the habit to, once a month, attend a class or event or something that will put you in a position to meet new people.
What about if you want to eat healthier?
You could make it a habit to meal plan or meal prep - so that would be a weekly habit.
You can still do this with more nebulous habits.
Some of my December goals are to work on confidence and equanimity.
To feel more confident and even, I am journaling daily (I don’t always journal every day, more as needed) and doubling down on my usual healthy habits because sometimes things slide when I get busy.
It sounds maybe silly or obvious but these are things that help us achieve our goals, and that don’t get done if we don’t take the time to think about it, determine a course of action, and then track it.
The key, regardless of what you want to accomplish or achieve, is to create a habit around it because our habits create our day, and our days create our lives, and we all have habits and a schedule we stick to whether we’re aware of it or not, or whether it helps us or not, so the key is to become aware of it and consciously design it so all we have to do is show up to the day’s tasks.
Over time, our days build in a way that we achieve our goals in a way that feels manageable and not overwhelming.
Next, you want to track your habits.
If you’re doubting the power of tracking your habits to achieve your goals in 2024 — and I definitely used to be a doubter — let me share with you why it’s so effective.
First of all, you’ve probably heard statistics about how people who write their goals down are more likely to achieve them, and if you haven’t, yes, it’s true.
The same is true with writing down the goals for the habits you have. It’s a way of committing to it.
The little checkmark you put on the page after completing the habit feels victorious. It increases your self-esteem, sense of competency and self-trust, increasing your ability to feel like you can achieve your goal in the first place.
And when you skip a day, you realize you skip a day. You might feel a little disappointed, or commit even harder to do the habit the next day.
At the end of the week, you can clearly see which habits you need to spend a little extra time and effort to make sure they get completed.
Think about New Year’s Resolutions and how many people give up because they skip a few days, feel like a failure, and let themselves off the hook from continuing to try.
What would happen if those same people just kept writing down the habit and kept trying again? If this is you, what if you kept trying to figure out how to achieve your goals in 2024?
Maybe the next week, you would exercise or do whatever habit you committed to one more day than if you had not recommitted.
And the next week, and the next week.
Eventually, no matter how recalcitrant you are when it comes to lifestyle change, and you’re anything like me, it can take years, but if you keep trying, you will succeed. That’s how to achieve your goals in 2024.
It’s okay if it takes years. If you give up, it’s not going to happen at all.
You need to track your habits and keep recommitting.
That's why the final step to achieving your goals in 2024 is to frequently evaluate and recommit.
Each week or month, or even at the end of each day, go back and ask yourself - how did I do? What can I do better? Do this in a journal, preferably. Writing it down is very powerful.
What I like to do is each day, mentally review how I did by reviewing the day’s tasks and the habits I did or didn’t do. Each week during a short journal session, I check in and reconnect with my goals and wellbeing while in pursuit of my goals and ask myself what I need.
And then each month, I set new goals or reaffirm my my existing goals by setting them again, in writing, adjusting as necessary, by either shifting the goal (maybe I used to work out 3x each week, and now I want to do 4x, or add in a different type of workout), or add completely new ones.
Honestly, each month my goals are mostly the exact same.
This can seem boring, but that’s because I’m working steadfastly on certain things and continuing to get better at them. And it’s funny how when you focus intently on improving one aspect of your life, it naturally improves other aspects of your life simply because everything is related.
You're probably not going to like this, but —
Achieving your goals is about consistency, repetition, and embracing being boring. That’s how you get results.
People often think creative lives are about constant change, but the truth is great artists and writers and other creatives traditionally maintain strict schedules. It helps the muse.
If you want this exact process laid out for you step by step, you will love The Most Meaningful Year.
MMY is the ultimate planner, goal journal and habit tracker. This is a book designed for people who long for deeper meaning and fulfillment in their lives, and who are devoted to the journey of becoming the best version of themselves.
It features space to review 2023, daydream a 2024 vision in all areas of life (spiritual connection, relationships, health, home, personal growth, career and finances), connect to an intention and goal each month, and track your habits so you actually realize your goals.
It also has reflection questions to begin and end the week so you stay on track and nurture your soul. It's the perfect system to help you achieve your goals in 2024.
I’m so excited to use this book, and if you think it could help you achieve your goals, check it out!
Till next time,
PS — The video contains some different points if you want to watch it. I tried to read a script, but it didn't really work out that way :)
PPS — Reply here or in the YouTube comments and let me know what your big goals are for 2024. I love connecting with you and would love to hear!