Has your 2017 gotten off to a strong start?

Or are you still just inching along like you were at the end of 2016? Whatever the case, if you want 2017 to be your best year yet, you need to set strong goals for the year.

We already talked about some entrepreneurial New Year’s resolutions for 2017 – those are important. But if you don’t set strong goals, you won’t be able to accomplish any of those resolutions.

So, how do you set strong goals? That’s what you’ll learn today.

How to Set Strong Goals in 2017

Use the SMART Goal System

You may have heard of the SMART goal system before – but it’s often forgotten when we’re setting our goals. So, here’s a quick reminder:

S – Specific
M – Measurable
A – Attainable
R – Relevant
T – Time-bound

For example, instead of “I want to get more clients in 2017,” your goal could be, “I want to get 3 more clients by April 1st.”

This way, you have a specific way to measure the goal and a timeline to get it done. It becomes much more real, and you’re more likely to accomplish it.

When setting your goals, always apply the SMART system.

Align Them With Your Values

Are you aware and clear on what your actual values are? If not, you should be.

You see, your happiness and fulfillment will depend on whether or not you’re living a life according to your values. And so, your goals should be aligned with your values as well. That’s when they will have the most impact and be the most powerful, and also give you the most motivation to get them done!

If you’re not sure what your values are, don’t sweat it – many people haven’t taken the time to sit down and really think about it.

You can start by choosing 10-20 values from this list. From there, narrow it down to your top 5-7 values. Envision a life where you live according to those values, and ask yourself, “What can I do to embody these in my life?”

Then, set your goals with these values in mind.

Create a Plan

Setting goals at the beginning of the year may feel nice – but it won’t mean anything unless you have a plan of action.

So, if your goal is to get 3 more copywriting clients by April 1st, your action plan could look something like:

· Make an account of Upwork, and join relevant copywriting job boards around the web
· Spend 4-5 hours per week searching for and applying to relevant copywriting gigs
· Apply to at least 5 copywriting gigs per week
· Ask for referrals from current copywriting clients
· Arrange your work into a strong portfolio

Now, this has transformed from a wishful goal to a set of action steps. If you complete the action steps, it’s very likely you’ll achieve the goal of getting more clients within the set period.

Consider the Habits Behind Your Goals

We are creatures of habit. Willpower will only take you so far (and you only have a limited supply), so if you rely on willpower alone, you’ll come up short.

But you don’t have to think about habits. Once you develop them, they become something that you just do, like brushing your teeth or taking a shower.

So, when setting a goal, consider the habits you can develop to make it easy to accomplish that goal.

For example, if your goal is to be more mindful, you could create a meditation habit where you meditate for 10 minutes every day after you wake up. It will be hard for the first few weeks, but eventually, it will become a set habit, and you’ll no longer have to think about it or use your willpower to complete it.

Conclusion

If you want to make tons of progress in 2017, you need to set strong goals. However, many people set the wrong types of goals. By following the strategies we’ve listed here, you can set better goals and make 2017 your best year yet.

Do you have any other tips for setting strong goals? Let us know in the comments below!