Anna Maria Locke

how to set 2015 goals and follow through

January 2015AnnaComment

I've been thinking and obsessing A LOT lately about what I want to accomplish in 2015, and I'm just now finally hashing out my goals and intentions even though we're already almost a month into the year. Better late than never! This is the first full calendar year that I'll be self-employed, so I feel a lot of self imposed pressure to have all my goals and dreams beautifully organized with made to match action plans and long term and short term objectives. But it's not that easy!

It's freaking hard to set goals and follow through. This is why only 8% of people actually achieve their New Years Resolutions. It's really scary to trust yourself enough to set a long term goal because who knows what will happen! The great unknown is a big obstacle.

Will I actually be able to make this happen?

There's only one way to find out. Obviously you have to have faith and give it your best shot, but the fear of failure can be self sabotaging and my own fears have been holding me back.

I'm obsessed with the big picture and long term dreaming and visioning, which is why I went to grad school for geography instead of ecology (if you're an environmental scientist you'll understand), but I also struggle with a lot of self doubt, which prevents me from setting and accepting really big scary goals. When I quit my day job to follow my dreams, I was surprised to discover that my self doubt hit me even harder and stronger than ever before!

For the first time in my life I'm cut free from external expectations of school or a job. I have complete control over how I spend and manage my time and let me tell you, it's not necessarily a blessing! Some days it feels more like a curse. I don't know what to prioritize. I don't know WHAT is the most important thing for me to be focusing on at any given moment, no structure, and that paralyzes me and prevents me from doing ANYTHING.

I'm also obsessed with absorbing books and blogs and podcasts and printable questionnaires that will tell me what I should want out of life, how I should feel, and how I should plan out my strategy, but it's hard for me to know what I'm capable of, or what is possible and realistic, because I'm so new at all of this. Because I don't know what to expect, I don't know what my end goals should be. I don't know how to plot out the details and baby steps because I hate not being able to see exactly where I'm going. I am a chronic overachiever and commitment-phobe, and I'm easily overwhelmed by all the information I'm overloading myself with.

Sooooo yeah. All this is what I've been dealing with this past month, but I'm starting to finally feel like I'm developing a plan. I've discovered several bloggers and coaches who have amazing perspectives on goal setting, and here are some of the resources and posts I've found most useful!

Goal Setting Resources

Blog Posts


Push by Chalene Johnson (great for taking action and making shit happen!)

The Desire Map by Danielle LaPorte (for putting values front and center in your jam packed crazy life)


PowerSheets by Lara Casey

Design Your Creative Year  by Kyla Roma (free!)

Unraveling the Year Ahead Workbook by Susannah Conway (free!)

What I've Learned About Goal Setting

-Start with how you want to feel. What makes you excited to think about? What would make you disappointed if it never happened (no matter how scary it seems now?)

-Instead of setting goals based on what you want to accomplish, think of benchmarks or milestones as intentions that align with your core desired feelings and values.

-Focus on daily actions that you can control. For example, you can't control the number on the scale, so instead of saying "I want to lose 10 pounds," say you're going to eat whole foods 6 days/week and exercise 4 times/week. Allow room for fun!

-It's important to focus and simplify! Set a Chief Initiative for the year ("Push" Goal), and a handful of supporting goals.

-Plan actions and benchmarks seasonally. Every three months ask yourself "what do I want to accomplish?"

-Braindump for each goal! What do you need to learn, do, acquire, and who do you need help from? Break all steps down into tiny daily action items.

-Sort the steps into 3 categories: This month, next month, third month.

-At the end of each season, re-assess!

-Set deadlines. Be aggressive with yourself so you don't procrastinate.

-Journaling every single morning really helps me feel more in control and less overwhelmed.

Now go forth and dream bigger, girl!

Do you set goals or New Years Resolutions? What is one big scary dream you want to accomplish in 2015? Let's make it happen!

Let's be internet friends!