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As we hurtle around the New Year, I think it’s time for the ubiquitous goal-setting post. But I hope that mine actually helps you TAKE ACTION.

We all (or at least I) like to have a bit of a overhaul at the end of each year. It’s the ultimate “fresh notebook” feeling, giving you the space for bigger, better plans.

Confession time – I actually schedule in goal-setting sessions all year round, but this is the time when all us entrepreneurial types invest in exciting new planners, or adopt new systems in the hope that THIS will be the magic fairy dust that helps us achieve our wildest dreams.

I don’t think it’s insane to want a fresh start, or to make a genuine effort to do better in a particular area of your life. Yes, some people find it hard to stay on track, but personally, I don’t think they deserve the derision of the Anti-Resolution Movement.

I’m not going to sit here and tell you that I have the ultimate goal-setting hack that will help you earn six-figures in sixty seconds, that’s insanity. There is no magical, mystical perfect way to achieve your goals. (Shocking, right?)

All anyone can advise is to set some goals and then actually do the work.  But the way you dream up, work on and achieve those goals depends entirely on your style, your aims, your personality and your circumstances.

Anyone who promises a one-size-fits-all approach is basically a liar. So instead of channelling my inner Pinocchio, I’ve rounded up a bunch of my favourite goal-setting tips and tools.

I’ve had great success with ALL of these, so I’m evidence that they work… but you have to be willing to implement. So go. Read on, take your pick, and put them into practice:

The Chalkboard Method

This method is the brainchild of the creative geniuses over at Being Boss (one of my very favourite podcasts).

In a nutshell, it involves physically making space to achieve your goals on a chalkboard (or in my case, a giant whiteboard). So say for example your goal is to bag five new retainer clients, you would leave five blank squares on your board, ready to be filled with names. Having this empty space in front of your face every day is a powerful motivator, and keeps you on track to meet your aims.

The actual chalkboard part isn’t important, so don’t let that stand in your way. You could use a handheld whiteboard, a pin board, a sheet of A3 paper, a spread in your planner, a bunch of post-its on a sheet of card… whatever suits your setup.

Learn more about The Chalkboard Method here…

The Creative Journaling Method

This one isn’t so much a method as an all-encompassing goal-setting extravaganza.

Jennibellie (one of my favourite Youtube artists) has launched an e-course devoted to setting (and reaching) creative goals. She goes through a whole bunch of tips and techniques around coming up with your big goals, tracking them, reviewing them, and more.

I would recommend this to anyone who likes to plan things visually, because Jennibellie really brings this out in spades. It is a paid workshop (I’m not an affiliate, I just really enjoyed it), but it’s totally worth it. A year after the launch she’s still adding new video lessons, so it’s worth the price tag.

Learn more about The Creative Journaling Method here... (please note you will need to register for a free Ning account to access the materials)

The 4 Goal Method

This tip is built around the premise that four small goals have a bigger impact than one big, outlandish goal.

It’s not about dreaming small, it’s about planning more effectively. And let’s face it, we could all do with a bit of that!

Learn more about The 4 Goal Method here…

The 90 Day Method

My friend and client, Gemma Went, has developed a supercharged goal-implementation system based loosely around The 12 Week Year.

From 9th-13th of January she’s actually running a live 90 Day Planning Challenge over in her Facebook community, where she will walk you through the whole shebang for FREE.

Learn more about The 90 Day Method here…

The Effortless Everyday Method

The Effortless Everyday is a brilliant read from Lifestyle Designer, Katie Lee.

The concept is that instead of trying to make a bunch of big changes all at once, we go step-by-step, building new habits into our lives.

These lessons could definitely be applied to your business practices, but I’ve used her tips to create a life I actually like living. Because there’s more to us than just the biz, right?

Learn more about the Effortless Everyday Method here…

The Process Method

This method is about reframing your aims slightly, and setting process goals. A process goal is that thing you have to actually do before you can achieve your wild and crazy dreams.

More than anything, this one’s a mindset shift, but can still have some fabulous results.

Learn more about The Process Method here…

The Marketing Planner Method

So this method relates specifically to marketing your business (or yourself, if that’s your bag). Also, it’s less of a method, more of a tool.

The wonderful Claire Mitchell has designed a brilliant (and beautiful) marketing planner designed to help you plan and track your PR and marketing efforts (and measure the results). As part of the deal, you also get full access to a series of online business workshops and resources, and a really lovely Facebook community.

Learn more about the printed Awesome Marketing Planner here and the downloadable one here.

The CREATIVE Goals Method

A CREATIVE goal is a fresh and fruity twist on the trusty old SMART goal, and looks like this:

  • Challenging
  • Recorded
  • Explicit
  • Affirmative
  • Time-based
  • Inspiring
  • Valuable
  • Enjoyable

Learn more about The CREATIVE Goal Method here…

I hope at least one of these inspires you to get going again after the brie-based holiday slump!

If you have your own method for goal-setting success, I want to hear about it so leave me a comment below!

Extra reading on the art of goal-setting: