Set Goals That STICK // CEO in Progress

How to Set Goals that Will STICK

I’m a big believer in setting goals for yourself at the beginning of the year, not just lofty ones, but solid ones with a plan. New Years is a great time for reflection of all the positives of last year and all the hopes for the upcoming. However, we all know how flighty our resolutions can be. One minute we’re pledging to workout everyday and the next we set out to beat a Netflix binge watching record. Been there.

Below I’ve outlined a system that I started to use this year that I think will be a game changer. Instead of just listing off lofty goals and keeping my fingers crossed for them to come true, it’s a system with a plan. It’s a system that helps you decide what you want to do, how you’re going to do it, and when.

Set Goals that STICK // CEO in Progress

Set categories for yourself

It’s an easy way to set yourself up for brainstorming everything you could possibly want to accomplish this year. Set categories to help your train of thought cover all the different and random goals you want to include. Here’s some of the categories that I use, but feel free to use whatever ones work best for you:








Make a list of everything you want to accomplish

Under these categories, right everything you want to accomplish this year, from keeping your home clean to saving $5k. Brainstorm all that you could possibly want to achieve and add it to the list. It’s best to make sure that these goals are quantifiable too, so you have a mile marker that you can look forward to. Otherwise, you’ll never really know when you have achieved your goal and could end up selling yourself short.

Put it on a mind map and branch out with how you’ll accomplish those things

Now here’s my favorite step of the process, take your lists and create a mind map of your goals for the new year. They’re really easy to make online and help organize your thoughts by letting you branch off on little tangents. Below is an example, but feel free to make yours at

It’s really easy, just go to the website above and double click in the main circle to name your central idea (2017, new year new me, the cheesy titles are endless). Then click on the red circle and drag it out across the map, adding all of your categories. Slowly branch out into all of your goals, then off those, add all of the things you need to do in order to reach those goals. 

How to Set Goals That Will STICK // CEO in Progress

Mind Map is great because you can change all of the colors, font sizes/styles, and the shape of the map. Play around with the layout to set up something that’s organized, all encompassing, and easy to look at!

Make a 90 day plan from the mind map

After finishing your mind map, go through all of the action items that you have and figure out what ones you can accomplish in the first 90 days. Make a list of them by goal and keep it in a place that you can easily and always access it. This will be your road map for the first 3 months and gives you more of a concrete plan. So instead of having really broad goals, you have a simple set of tasks you can build on throughout the year to slowly reach your goal.

For items that are daily, like drink more water or hit 10,000 steps a day, make a list of those separately. Spend the first week or so getting everything in order to accomplish these routine tasks, then check the list weekly to see how well you’re doing. These daily goals can be the most difficult to keep up with, so check your progress often and see if there’s anything that you can do to help yourself stick with it.

Share it with someone

It’s always important to have someone that can hold you accountable when things get tough. Share your goals and how you’re planning on accomplishing them with a friend, significant other, or your mom even. Someone that will help motivate and support you when things are tough and help you push yourself. Take some time every 3 months to go over your goals and progress with them, reviewing what you’ve done and how you can progress.

No matter what your goals are, use this system to have them stick for the year and to create an actual plan in order to achieve them.

What are your goals for the year?! 

This model is based off of Agile Results, if you like it you can check it out more in the book Getting Results the Agile Way by J.D. Meier, or with this blog post/podcast recap.

Let me know what you think!