This might seem a bit early for some but since 8% of people actually keep their New Year's Resolutions, why not set some goals in December? Try spreading your goals out into categories: Work, Personal, Health, Finances, Relationship, Time, Social, Spiritual. You don't have to have a goal in each category but thinking about the different aspects of your life may help narrow down what you want to achieve.
Once you've decided on your goals there are some parameters you can use to be more successful in achieving them. We call this setting 'SMART" goals.
SMART Goals are:
SPECIFIC: Be as precise as possible, write it down. What exactly do you want to achieve? What are the conditions and limitations? What are possible alternatives in achieving the same?
MEASURABLE: How will you know when you've achieved this goal? What exactly will you hear, feel or see? Is there a number or other form of measurement you can use?
ACHIEVABLE: Make sure your goal is realistic for you. There's nothing wrong with shooting for the stars but if you don't have the time, money, or talent to reach a certain goal you will not be successful. Setting big goals can be daunting, setting several small goals that will lead up to one big goal can be helpful.
RELEVANT: The goal must mean something to you. It will be very hard to achieve if you are only half-hearted about it. Why do you want to achieve this goal?
TIMED: How long will you give yourself to achieve this goal? Again, setting smaller goals over shorter time periods might help with this. Install deadlines for yourself and go after them. Keep the timing realistic and flexible, that way you can keep morale high.
It's also important to ensure you've got a network of friends on your side. Share your goal with others and ask for their support. Setting a goal that puts you against others doesn't work. If it means something to you, it should be important to your friends and family as well. Sometimes just having someone acknowledge your intentions can help.
Formulate your goals positively. When you focus on NOT doing something, all you think about is that thing. For example, instead of 'stop procrastinating' put a positive spin on that and 'achieve a daily discipline.'
Lastly, check in on your goals and re-evaluate if necessary. It's completely reasonable to make small changes if you're not quite on track or better yet, if you achieve your goal early and decide to exceed your own expectations!