Tips To Start The New Year Off Right

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At the end of every year, you think about the goals you want to achieve for the following year. Successfully meeting your home improvement or handyman goals takes the same requirements as meeting personal goals, such as losing weight, eating healthier, or saving money. 

Forget about the differences if your goals are business oriented or if they affect more people around you. Forget about the differences if your goals are more about getting your house ready to sell by fall and involve more planning.

Your path to success is essentially the same. 

You got this. 

Step One: Understand the challenges that can keep you from reaching your goals.

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Strava is a tool, a social network actually, for cyclists, runners, and other fitness enthusiasts. People record activities, track stats, and compare results with other members.

Strava has designated January 19 as “Quitter’s Day.” This is the most common day their users quit their New Year’s goals. 

Numerous research shows this is common for anyone making goals for the year. 

First, you must understand that it’s easy to give up on your New Year’s goals once the excitement of making them dies down. 

Second, you need to set yourself up for success now and plan out ways to carry your momentum forward throughout the year until you reach your goals.

It’s easier than you think. 

Step Two: Set specific and challenging goals.

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You’ll be more motivated to hit your goals if you clearly define what it is you need to achieve. 

Renovating the house by September is too vague to keep you on track. Instead, break the work down and designate which work you’ll do and when specifically. You may buy supplies for the living room in April and renovate it in May. Break down the tasks into chunks of time they will take and assign those to certain days or weeks, depending on your schedule. 

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Saving enough money to buy that new lathe machine in November for your handyman business needs to be more specific. Break it down into what it will take you to get the money you need. Will taking on three new jobs from May through August get you the money you need? How will you get these jobs? Set a goal for finding the new clients you need and how you will market your services to win those jobs in time to start them in May.

Losing 30 pounds isn’t specific enough. Instead, break it down into monthly goals and decide how you will achieve those goals. What will you cut from your diet to help you get there? How much time at the gym will you spend each week? 

As you can see, choosing a challenging goal is good, but adding specifics to how you will achieve that goal is better. You’ll be able to keep moving forward because you’re motivated when you see yourself accomplishing each step.

Step Three: Determine the new skills you need. 

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You will likely need to do something you’ve never done before, or at least you’re not great at, to achieve your goals. Look at what you need to know and do to achieve your goal and develop a strategy to master those skills.

Do you need help acquiring these skills and the habits you need to adopt? 

  • Hire a trainer to teach you how to use the machines at the gym.
  • Take home improvement classes before you tackle your home renovation.
  • Get certified in a new area for your business and qualify for higher-paying jobs to help you save the money you need.

Step Four: Keep track.

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Throughout the year, consciously make an effort to think about your goals and how you are doing. Keep track of your success and discuss your goals with friends, family, and colleagues. You’ll gain support for your efforts and make sure your goal continues to be important to you.

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Step Five: Don’t let regrets hold you back.

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Sometimes things will go differently than planned, and you’ll experience a setback. 

  • You’ll give in to temptation and eat a massive piece of chocolate cake, ruining your diet goals for the week. 
  • You’ll skip working on the living room and go fishing on the weekend you set aside for it. 
  • Or perhaps you lose a few handyman clients, setting your savings schedule back a month.

It’s okay.

  • Ask for help when necessary—it’s okay to need assistance. 
  • Acknowledge you needed the time out and get back on track by resetting your timeline.
  • Adjust your goals and benchmarks as needed. 
  • Learn from failures and use them to guide you in doing it better next time.

Step Six: Make time for yourself and entertainment.

Meeting your goal for the year is important to you, but it’s not everything, and it should not take over your life. Taking care of your mental well-being is more important. 

  • Schedule time on the calendar to take that fishing trip, so you don’t feel guilty about not working on your home renovation.
  • Allow yourself one day a month where you eat anything you want without worrying about the diet plan.
  • Working extra long hours getting to you? Take a few more days off to recharge, even if you have to wait a few more weeks to get that lathe.

Got a huge goal you want to achieve in 2023? Here are some tips to stay on track that may surprise you.

  • Help those struggling to do similar things. Advising someone trying to do something you’re still trying to achieve for yourself may seem wrong, but it’s not. You also motivate yourself by giving someone else insight from your knowledge and experience.
  • Establish precise goals. Instead of saying, “I want to buy a new lathe,” give it a specific amount. Make it memorable with an exact quantity you’ll remember(such as “I need to save $7,469 for this new lathe and the materials I need to use it”).
  • Set targets to let you know when you’re halfway there or nearly to your goal. When you set a target, you’ll keep the overall goal in front and will work harder to achieve it in time.
  • Choose time periods to “reset your goals” and avoid losing momentum. For instance, in saving a specific amount of money over the year, break it off into chunks. Set a monthly goal amount and “reset” at the first of the month to hit that monthly target. You’ll keep track of your progress, plus motivate yourself to keep going.
  • Look back at what you’ve already done before looking ahead at what you have left to achieve. After the first few months into a huge goal, you may become discouraged by how much you have left to achieve if you only look forward. Realizing that you’ve made progress already will help push you to keep going. 
  • Make sure you have fun getting there. When you envision achieving your goals, you may see yourself as more focused on your goals and less fun-seeking than who you are now. Choose goals that are personally engaging to you and put you in a direction you will enjoy. 
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The above is influenced a great deal by the teachings of Ayelet Fishbach in her  book   Get It Done: Surprising Lessons from the Science of Motivation. If you want to succeed at achieving your personal and business goals, grab a copy of this book for yourself.

Set realistic goals that interest you so that the journey is more fun. Break them down into manageable chunks to help you stay on track. When you follow the six steps above, the sky’s the limit on what you can achieve.

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