Another year has passed and you can officially start looking forward to 365 more days, consisting of 1,440 minutes each. It’s up to you to decide how you want to spend them.

Nearly 50% of Americans will make New Year’s Resolutions, with less than 10 percent actually achieving them. With this in mind, consider setting realistic goals this year, rather than a “New Year’s Resolution.”

Whatever your plans for 2017, New Year’s Resolution or not, here’s five steps you’ll want to keep in mind.

It’s been proven that people with written goals are 50 percent more likely to achieve them, so write them down. Don’t stress about the format, you don’t necessarily need anything fancy, a simple written or typed sheet of paper will do. The act of writing your goals can be a powerful motivator.

If you believe it, you can achieve it. Although you want to stretch yourself a bit, make sure your goals are realistic, considering where you currently are in your life. For example, if you are making $30,000 per year, a $3 million dollar house is nice, but not very realistic, considering your budget. Again, stretch yourself, but be realistic. Use these three warning signs to determine if your goals are too small.

Not only do you want to write your goals down, you want to be sure they are measurable along the way. Therefore, you can’t be too vague when writing them down.

  1. Be Specific — Clearly define the details of what you want to accomplish.
  2. Measure — Develop some way to assess yourself along the way
  3. Action-oriented — Identify a process you’ll use to reach your goal
  4. Realistic — Again, can it be achieved considering your existing time, budget and resources
  5. Time — Give yourself a timeframe to reach each goal

Sometimes, we have all the right intentions, and we start out great. But suddenly, for whatever reason it may be, we contemplate stopping all together. That’s where your posse comes in. We all could use a little motivation every now and again. Make sure you have a team of people around who can motivate you when you are down, and help celebrate your milestones as you journey to reach your goals. Don’t have a team you can rely on? Click here to find one.

You need to continue to see it to believe it. Make sure your goals are posted in a place where you can see them often.

The time is now — make your 1,440 minutes count each day of 2017. Here’s a free Goals Planning Worksheet to help get you started.

Wishing you many successes in the coming year! If you enjoyed this story, hit the heart button and share. Someone in your network may need this information.

Originally published at on January 1, 2017.

Originally published at


  • Kimberly Buchanan

    Speaker, Coach, Transformation Coach

    Kimberly Buchanan is CEO of The Buchanan Group and founder of the Unlock Your Potential online platform. She is also an international bestselling author, a much-sought-after motivational speaker, and a transformation coach. She lives in Illinois with her husband and two sons. Visit her online at Follow her on social @kimsbuchanan