How to stop setting the same goal each year

BY Amanda Smith


5 January 2017

Reading Time: 2 minutes

We’re at the time of year where we love to set goals. We all have things we want to achieve – getting fit, quitting our job to start a business, writing that book, and the list goes on.

If you compare your past few yearly goals lists, I’ll bet there are a few similarities. A couple of goals that seem to pop up, every year.

“But shouldn’t I already have smashed those goals?”, you think. Unless you have a system or strategy for achieving each goal, it’s actually not easy to achieve.

Let me explain. Here was one of my goals for last year: ‘Live overseas for 6 months.’

Awesome. But this is where a lot of us stop. We think that once we’ve set the goal, our work is done. We’ve got our list of things we want to kick ass at. The problem is, we don’t know how we’re going to do it.

We need to focus on systems, rather than goals. If we go back to that same goal, here was the system I created to make sure I ticked it off.



‘Live overseas for 6 months.’


  • Pick a country that’s cheap to live in
  • Create a budget so I can plan my savings
  • Communicate my plans with my clients / overcome objections
  • Find accommodation & co-working spaces to work from
  • Talk to as many people I know living this life.

As you can see, my goal turned into a process. What seemed like one, big daunting life change turned into actionable steps. This is what you want to do with every goal.

Turn your goals into processes

Looking at just your goals can put a huge weight on your shoulders. Just imagine quitting your job and writing your book, all in the one year. Even just typing that is making me feel stressed.

But we do this to ourselves more than we know. We place unnecessary stress on ourselves to lose weight or to succeed in business or to write a best-selling novel.

Although these life-changing goals are important, you need to keep things simple by focusing on small things you can chip away at each day, week or month. This way, you don’t get to March and think, oh crap I haven’t started on any of my goals. It’s because our mind has already chosen that it’s too hard. The goal seems too big.

The power of accountability

One of the most effective ways to smash your goals is to tell as many people as possible. Put it on the fridge. Print out reminders on your desk. This way, you’re keeping yourself accountable.

There’s more at stake when people know what you’re planning, especially if you put dates on each process. We instinctively don’t want to let ourselves down in front of others, so it’s a gentle way of helping us get there. Trust me; try it.

Think of your goals as just the destination. Your system, actions and process are like road signs – they’ll help guide you to where you want to go.

Commit to the process, the journey, not the goal.

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