Every year we set goals and convince ourselves we’re going to do something better than we did before. But have you ever been able to reach your goals?

The truth is, making unrealistic promises to yourself disrupts the balance and ends up making you feel more frazzled than ever. So try something different this year; try to cultivate balance as you work towards your goals.

Here are 5 balanced, realistic ways to achieve your goals this year:

1. Create a Vision Board

You want this to be a great year. You have 20, maybe even 100 different things you’d like to achieve. But a goal without a realistic plan is just a wish. So create a vision board and choose ONE goal per month for the first quarter (January to March). Choosing fewer goals will not only help you prioritize your energy; it will help you create a manageable plan for actually achieving that goal. Create a vision board using magazine clippings, newspapers, or a secret board on Pinterest using images that represent your ideal life. Click here for tips to help you create your digital vision board.

2. Ask the Tough Questions

What do you REALLY want to accomplish this year? On the surface, your goals might include launching a new business, making healthier food choices, exercising more, spending more time with family, and other worthwhile pursuits. But what is at the core, or heart, of those goals? What is your “why” behind the goal? Determining what you truly want underneath the surface will help you choose goals that reflect your deepest aspirations. It will also help you shift your lifestyle and cultivate balance in every aspect of your life.

3. Do Your Research

You’re not alone when it comes to wanting to reach your goals and cultivating balance. Examine different resources, including blogs, books, mastermind groups, and coaches, and see which of these resources can help you achieve your goals. The resources you choose should not only help you reach your goals, but should help you focus on your overall performance and cultivate more balance in your life.

4. Evaluate Pro’s and Con’s

Be honest about the aspects of your life that just are not working for you. Which parts do you love and want more of? Sometimes it can be difficult to know where your lack of balance originates from. So take a good, hard look at what’s working and why those aspects of your life make you happy. But be sure to make a note of what is causing you stress and draining your energy. Keep in mind that goals can also include ending toxic relationships and spending less time and energy on certain projects and/or people.

5. Treat Yourself

t may sound counterintuitive, but one of the most effective ways to reach your goals is by doing something totally unrelated to your goals. Take a vacation, sign up for an art class, attend a conference, or treat yourself to something seemingly unrelated to your personal and professional life. You’ll not only learn about yourself and the world; you’ll discover surprising answers and new perspectives that will, in turn, help you achieve your goals that much faster. Click here for a few more ideas to help you decide how to treat yourself.

Bonus: Tighten Your Focus

A wonderful goal-setting treat for you can give yourself is the book Excuse Me, Your Life Is Waiting by Lynn Grabhorn. This book will help you get laser-focused about what you want to achieve and how you’re going to get there this year.

In chapter 3, Grabhorn writes, “Focus on what you don’t want, and watch it get bigger. If you’re giving some passionate attention to something you truly do not want, it will eventually grow up to smack you.” Focus instead on what you DO want, and be sure that focus is directed toward one goal at a time.

If you had to narrow it down, what is your ONE goal for this year? If you need help setting realistic goals, take a look at our article Set GOALS and Skip the Resolutions.

Do you want professional guidance on how to create a balanced and focused life? Are you struggling to set goals for the new year? Let us support you. Contact us today at 866.659.3400 to receive information on viable training and development management solutions for your workplace.