How to set attainable goals for the new year

38 comments
How to set attainable goals for the new year 1 - Shein Dress OOTD

Happy 2017 everyone! Did you have a good Christmas? Mine was lovely, apart from the fact that the entire family seemed to take turns getting sick. All plans for New Year's Eve celebrations quickly disappeared by the wayside, and I ended up watching the London fireworks on TV in my pyjamas, drinking lemsip. But in the interests of starting the new year on a positive note, I won't go on about it!

How to set attainable goals for the new year 2 - Shein Dress OOTD

How to set attainable goals for the new year 3 - Shein Dress OOTD

The start of a new year always gets me excited. It's the perfect time to take stock and reflect on the achievements of the past twelve months and to set new goals for the year to come. I don't tend to make the typical health or fitness related resolutions - I've been around long enough by now to know that I just won't stick to them, and that "everything in moderation" is the approach that works best for me when it comes to diet and exercise, throughout the year.

How to set attainable goals for the new year 4 - Shein Dress OOTD

I do, however, love setting goals in other areas, not least this blog. One thing I'm determined to do this year is make sure those goals are attainable. I've always been ambitious, and I see that as a good thing, but in the past I've had a tendency to challenge myself with wildly unrealistic targets. This is counter productive, as all it does is set me up for failure and disappointment. There simply aren't enough hours in the day to start five new hobbies, excel at work, be a domestic goddess and spend more time pampering myself. As for turning into Rosie Huntington-Whitely, it's time to accept that's never going to happen.

It was my husband who first introduced me to the concept of SMART goals. Just in case you haven't heard of it, it's usually used in business but can be applied to anything. The meaning behind the acronym can vary slightly, but in essence it stands for Specific, Measurable, Action-oriented, Realistic and Time-bound. Apply those criteria to any goal you wish to achieve, and you've set yourself nicely on the path to success.

How to set attainable goals for the new year 5 - Shein Dress OOTD

Let's say, for example, that I wanted to set myself a target with my Instagram account this year. When it comes to Instagram, we all dream of having a large following, so it's tempting to set a goal along the lines of getting a certain number of followers by the end of the year. However, ultimately, that's not something I have any control over. No matter what I do, or how hard I work on my Instagram account, I can't force people to follow me (unless, of course, I buy those followers, but that's cheating, and we don't condone cheating, now do we?!) This is a good example of a non-action-oriented goal - There is no action I can take that will directly result in more followers, although of course this is what we all hope for if we create a pretty enough feed.

How to set attainable goals for the new year 6 - Shein Dress OOTD

Instead, it's better to set a goal that's more focused on building my profile and improving the quality of my images, such as getting into a regular weekly posting schedule. To apply the SMART principle to this goal, I would first need to make it Specific - that is, decide exactly what I want to post and when. It then becomes Measurable, because each week I will know whether I have met my target or not. Crucially, unlike the follower-based goal, it's Action-oriented, meaning that my own action (of posting photos) determines my success or failure. Keeping things Realistic is important - for example, one to two pictures per day is probably doable for me, but if I try for much more I risk setting myself up to fail. Finally, I need to make it a Time-bound goal, so I know exactly when I'm going to post each picture, and can make sure I have set aside the time I need.

How to set attainable goals for the new year 7  - Shein Dress OOTD

Dress* - Shein, Blazer - Zara (similar), Bag - Zara (Similar), Shoes - Topshop (Similar), Tights - H&M

By doing this, I set myself a target that I'm actually capable of meeting, which leads to feelings of positivity and, as a result, should spur me on to achieve even more. By contrast, feeling that you've failed to achieve something often leads to negativity and a slump in energy, so what on earth is the point of setting unrealistic targets? Hopefully, by approaching my Instagram goals in this new way, I should end up with a feed I can be proud of and the followers will... well, follow!

You can apply the SMART principle to any goal you want to achieve, whether that's something personal, blog related, career related - anything. I'm definitely going to use it to set new goals for my blog this year.

Have you set any goals for 2017?

Kate x

P.S. If you're based in the UK and fancy winning a Wonderbra, you can still enter my giveaway here.

*Gifted item
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38 comments

  1. Happy New Year Kate, hope you're feeling better! I've heard of the Smart concept and I agree having measurable goals really helps you stay on track. Although saying that my goals are a bit more fluid - improve on my health and well being and see more of London :)

    Also you look gorgeous, love the outfit and hair :)

    Hanh | hanhabelle

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    1. Thanks Hanh - just about feeling human again! Your goals sound very doable too, and definitely good ones to have. x

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  2. I definitely agree that goals need to be attainable. I don't usually set new year resolutions but this year I have, so I'm really hoping I stick to them! x

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  3. I agree I feel like it's so important to start small and not try and set yourself an goals that are too crazy!

    Lauren Ashleigh xx

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    1. Definitely - It has taken me years to learn this! x

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  4. I have used SMART goals at work in the past but have never thought to apply it to goals in my personal life as well. I totally agree it's important not to set unrealistic targets though as it just makes you feel bad when you don't reach them. I actually haven't set any goals or made any resolutions this year, I just hope for 2017 to be quite relaxing and more enjoyable than 2016! x

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    1. That sounds like a good thing to aim for! x

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  5. I haven't heard of the SMART method before. I will certainly be implementing it this year!
    You look adorable, as always!
    Angie | Chocolate & Lipstick | Beauty, Fashion & Lifestyle Blog

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  6. That dress looks stunning on you!
    -Maria
    in1997.blogspot.com

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  7. What a wonderful post, I like the smart goals and instagram tips. Love your floral dress too, you styled it perfectly.

    www.busyandfab.com

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  8. I did not set any specific goals, but the SMART principle is something I know from work and it really is gamechanging in sticking to your goals.
    We have been sick all throughout the Christmas period as well, but I guess that was to be expected with two small children.

    Linda, Libra, Loca: Beauty, Baby and Backpacking

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    1. Hope you're all feeling better now Anne! x

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  9. Sorry you didn't feel well on NYE.
    Great post!

    Vanessa x | www.springlilies.com

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    1. Thanks so much Vanessa - I'm much better now! x

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  10. You look beautiful in this outfit! I really like the idea of smart goals and I'm definitely going to use your example of Instagram and try and be more consistent with it! :) xx

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    1. Thanks so much Nev - good luck with it! x

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  11. Ah my family were all ill over Christmas too and our New Years Eve plans were postponed! I've never heard of the concept of SMART goals, but it makes so much sense. I'm often too ambitious with goals and just make completely unobtainable ones!
    Amy xx
    www.callmeamy.co.uk

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    1. So many people were ill! Hope your family is all better now. x

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  12. SMART is such a brilliant concept to apply to goals, I'll keep note of this to refer back to :D thanks for sharing! Also gorgeous outfit in this post too :)

    VioletDaffodils
    xx

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    1. Thanks so much, glad it was useful! x

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  13. I learned about SMART recently as well and I am proud to say that this year I finally set some realistic and quite fair goals for myself, all thanks to this program. I love your dress by the way! Reminds me of spring in a way, haha :) x

    -Leta | The Nerdy Me

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    1. Thanks so much, Spring feels very far away doesn't it?! x

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  14. SMART Principle sounds effective. I would definitely try this!

    Love, Fads
    InstagramTwitter

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    1. Hope you find it useful Fads! x

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  15. Och, amazing outfit!
    Perfect shoes <3
    LOVELY!

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  16. Wonderful post, that dress looks gorgeous. I definitely have lots of blogging related goals. I hope to be more consistent on social media and continue to write at least 4 blog posts a week especially when uni starts and things get more hectic.

    www.themakeupaficionado.com

    https://www.bloglovin.com/blogs/makeup-aficionado-14629679

    https://au.pinterest.com/bernadette_95/

    https://www.instagram.com/themakeupaficionado17/

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    1. Best of luck with your goals! x

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  17. great post! have a nice weekend :)

    Kisses,
    Tijana

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  18. I am never one who sets goals for myself because I change and do things whenever I want or feel like it. That is such a lovely dress on you, Kate, can't believe it's from Shein.

    Shireen | Reflection of Sanity

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  19. Looking so gorgeous Kate, the tropical, botanical vibes your dress are bringing are all the dreamy. So much love! So sorry you were feeling so rough over the New Year, I really hope you're feeling tons better now. Really liking the idea of the SMART principle when it comes to setting goals and targets, I can forever set goals but always struggle with keeping them up and then end up battling with the negativity afterwards. This concept sounds perfect, I'm definitely going to try it! :)

    I'm aiming to finish writing my book by summer 2017 and try and get my ass back in gear with blogging (here's hoping) ;) Hope 2017 is full of happiness for you, you deserve it :D

    Sophie | soinspo xo

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  20. That outfit looks gorgeous!!!

    xx Sofia | SOFIAADOT

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  21. Great advice! I like the part about Instagram, because I know that all too well! I agree that no matter what we do we cannot force people to follow us haha. I always see ladies with a certain number in mind by the end of the year, and it makes me cringe a little. Even if you don't reach a certain number, you may have gained something else along the way. Happy New Year lady!

    -Emily www.coatandcoffee.com

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