How To Set Big Goals (and actually achieve them!)

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With a new year already in full swing, I’m sure you are thinking about what goals you want to achieve in 2017. I know I have been scheming and plotting for the last month, and I think that 2017 is really going to be the year for me to reach those goals. I like to be totally transparent with you so not only am I sharing my own goals for 2017, but I’m also sharing my tips on how to set BIG goals (and actually achieve them). I also created a printable Goal Planning worksheet for email subscribers. Scroll to the bottom for more information!

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How to set BIG goals and actually achieve them

Every year my husband and I sit down and plot out our goals for the coming year. We also revisit our long term goals and make any adjustments that may come up. We keep a notebook that has goals from each year written in it. It also helps that we have each other to lean on for support, and to help keep each other accountable. I won’t be sharing our family goals or my husband’s personal goals, but I will share my own goals.

How to Set Big Goals and Actually Achieve Them

My 2017 goals:

Personal Goals

  • Lose 40 pounds to hit my target weight
  • Eliminate added sugar from diet for good
  • Utilize FitBit Charge HR to it’s full potential–tracking goals, weight and calories in/out
  • Run 3 miles without stopping (and work the dog up to it too)

Business Goals (by the end of year)

  • Reach 10K followers on Instagram and Facebook 
  • Reach 20K followers on Pinterest 
  • Grow my pageviews to over 150,000 views per month
  • Earn $5,000 per month income working from home
  • Grow Etsy shop into a successful, self sufficient business, earning $1000 per month

It’s a little difficult for me to share some of these goals, especially the business related ones, but it does feel good to put it out there. Now there’s no taking it back!

Subscribe to my weekly emails, and the Goal Planning sheet is yours FREE. There is a full page worksheet, and a cropped sheet to fit into the Happy Planners.

How to Set Big Goals and Actually Achieve Them

Grab a cup of coffee, notepad, pens and planner and lets plan your best year ever!

How to Set BIG Goals (and actually achieve them)

Think big–like HUGE

We have all come up with daily, monthly or yearly goals that seem safe right? While that is great, why not set BIG goals, and actually achieve those? Instead of paying off one debt, why not set a goal to be debt free? Instead of setting a goal of losing 10lbs, why not 30lbs?

That’s crazy right?! Well, I promise that these goals will seem less scary after working through the next steps.

How to Set Big Goals and Actually Achieve Them

How long will it take to reach

Decide how long it will take you to reach the big goal. If it’s more than a year, that’s fine but give it a hard and definite deadline. Not putting a deadline on a goal is probably one of the biggest reasons people fail at achieving them. That being said, be sure the deadline is realistic. Setting a deadline that is too soon can also lead to failure.

What are the exact steps to reach your big goal

Be as specific as possible!
Think of it as taking a trip. Make a detailed list in as many small steps as possible. Sticking with the weight loss goal–what is your target daily calorie intake? How often will you exercise? What foods will you cut out? Answer those questions and you will be able to make a step by step process from that. Start small and work your way up.

Set Mini Goals

Set mini goals according to the steps you listed out earlier. With weight loss you may want to set mini goals of certain pounds lost. So mini goals would be; lose 10 pounds, lose 15 pounds etc. Another mini goal could be; run 1 mile without stopping, run 2 miles, 3 miles, etc. Break it down into as many mini goals as you want. The more goals you hit the more motivated and the closer to the BIG goal you will be.
How to Set Big Goals and Actually Achieve Them

Work Backwards

Starting from the BIG goal deadline, work backwards through the calendar setting deadlines for your mini goals until you are back at the beginning. Now you have an actionable plan in place to achieve your goal with a lot of check ins a long the way!

I like to write out the mini goals and steps in my happy planner so that I know when my deadlines are coming up. This is especially helpful in keeping accountability. You don’t “forget” a deadline if it’s written down! Don’t have a planner? That’s OK, you don’t have to have a fancy planner to keep track. A notebook works just as well because the main focus is to write it all down.

How to Set Big Goals and Actually Achieve Them

Reward yourself

Reward yourself when you hit your mini goal deadlines but remember it doesn’t have to be elaborate. If your goal is for weight loss, reward yourself with a new shirt or outfit when you reach your mini goals. But also be sure that your reward doesn’t negatively impact your BIG goal. You wouldn’t want to reward yourself with a big dessert if you are trying to lose weight, just like you wouldn’t want to go out and spend money if your goal is to cut down debt.

Now you know how to set big goals, and the steps to actually achieve them, it’s up to you to make it happen. Get an accountability partner to help out, but remember–you gotta hustle too!

Subscribe to my weekly emails, and the Goal Planning sheet is yours FREE. There is a full page worksheet, and a cropped sheet to fit into the Happy Planners.



  1. Hi – I was wondering where you found the goal pages for the Happy Planner? They are just what I was looking for. Thank you for the ideas on how to break down our big goals.

  2. Very interesting goals for the new year….
    I will be curious to see how you go about achieving them so I hope you keep us posted…

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