Admit It, You Suck At Setting Goals

Hello 2018! With the new year officially here, you are probably being bombarded with “New Year, New Me” and “My Resolutions For 2018” and “Lose That 10lbs! No Enrollment Fees At 24 Hour Fitness!”. It happens every year around this time. New year, new calendar, new me, blah blah blah.

>>  At the bottom of this post, there’s an Instagram Story Template for your January Goals. Save the image, then put in your own goals and tag @beccarisa so I can see. <<

I’ve done the whole “in the new year I’m going to lose weight! I’m going to work out 5 days a week! I’m going to eat more vegetables!” thing, but those aren’t actionable goals, and therefore, around March I realize I am nowhere near any of these goals and then it’s just about summer and, well, fuck it.

Do you feel like you’re working your ass off but not getting anywhere? Me too.

The Easy Formula I Use To Set Goals

SMART stands for: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Timely

• Specific (simple, significant and detailed)

• Measurable (meaningful measurements to get motivated)

• Achievable (is this actually attainable or are you crazy?)

• Relevant (reasonable, realistic and results based)

• Timely (time based or time sensitive)

In order to set real goals you can actually achieve, I’m going to walk you through a really way to set goals. This is how I’m battling my anxiety and workaholicism. It’s referred to as the SMART goal-setting system. Setting SMART goals means you can focus your efforts, time and resources productively, and therefore kicking your goals’ metaphorical ass.

Typically used in corporate settings, I find that this method of goal setting is a super useful way to train yourself to see the components of what it takes to really get what you want in small, actionable steps as opposed to broad, insurmountable tasks—whether it’s losing 10lbs or writing a book.


Your goal should be clear and specific, otherwise you won’t know where to start. First, try to answer the five “W” questions:

• What do I want to accomplish?

• Why is this goal important?

• Who is involved?

• Where is it located?

• Which resources or limits are involved?


Measurable goals means you can track your progress and stay motivated. Creating a timeline means you’re more likely to meet your deadlines, and feel the excitement of getting closer to being finished.

Ask yourself things like:

• How much? How many?

• How will I know when I’m done? Is there deadline at the end?


I know this sounds pretty basic but your goal also needs to be realistic. In other words, it should actually be possible (not like, I’m gonna be a billionaire in 2 months but I wish). Ask yourself:

• How can I actually accomplish this goal?

• How realistic is the goal, based on other life constraints or commitments?


Does your goal really matter to you? Is it in your control or does someone else have power over you achieving it (like getting a promotion)?

If you answer “yes” to these questions then it’s probably good:

• Does it seem worthwhile?

• Is this the right time?

• Does this match my other efforts?

• Am I the right person to reach this goal?


Every goal needs a deadline so you have something to work toward. Humans naturally love repeating tasks (and mistakes), but setting a deadline can prevent everyday boring tasks from taking priority over your longer-term goals.

Ask yourself:

• When can I achieve this goal by?

• What can I do six months from now?

• What can I do six weeks from now?

• What can I do today?

January 2018 “Resolutions”

Be more active, get healthier (physically and mentally), cook more, start writing my book, be more social

Sounds easy enough, I guess? But here’s how I’m actually going to DO these things:

Here’s how I break down my PERSONAL goals so they are actually attainable.


Currently: I’m currently going on about 3-4 walks per week (about 40 mins)

REAL GOAL: Every morning, look at hourly forecast and schedule a 40 minute walk in my calendar or just go as soon as I wake up (but first coffee obv). If it’s raining, do 15 mins of stretching, once in the morning and once in the evening. This is a daily goal but a long term habit too.

SMART GOAL: Go on a 40 minute walk per day to help manage my chronic pain.


Currently: just doing my best here. I skip meals and sometimes eat pizza or cheeseburgers. aaaaand I eat tacos once a week.

REAL GOAL: Green veggies every damn day. Nutrition is a big part of physical health, and I know I feel better when I eat more veggies (hello duh). I’d like to eat at least one green veggie every day to improve my health in the next month. I can do this by adding more green smoothies to my Daily Harvest smoothie deliveries or just adding spinach to my smoothies. Avocados are green so I’m pretty sure they count too.

SMART GOAL: I will add one more green veggie to one meal per day.


Currently: Barely keeping my anxiety at bay. Recently diagnosed with PTSD. It sucks.

REAL GOAL: I’m starting PTSD treatment next week. I will set appointments every two weeks and I will be keeping a journal about it (frequency TBD by my doctor).

SMART GOAL: Complete 3 sessions of PTSD treatment in the next 30 days. There will be 10 sessions total so I’ll finish around March pending doctor availability.


Currently: I am not comfortable in the kitchen. I don’t cook. Sometimes I am sous chef but husband mostly cooks on his own. Occasionally, when he’s working late, I start making dinner but only if it’s from Plated and I already have pre-portioned ingredients and a recipe.

REAL GOAL: Getting more comfortable in the kitchen means BEING IN THE KITCHEN. I’d like to help Gus cook twice a week, which includes chopping veggies or helping or stir or literally anything as long as I’m doing it. Plus. it’s fun when he bosses me around (sorry feminism).

SMART GOAL: Chop vegetables with Gus twice a week to feel more comfortable in the kitchen.


Currently: I have three pages of outline for a fiction book I’ve been thinking of. It’s super rough still and I have a long way to go before I can start writing.

REAL GOAL: I need to iron out details. I am going to put an appointment in my calendar for one hour per week where I open my Google Doc and only work on my outline.

SMART GOAL: One hour per week on my novel to have an outline completed by spring.


Currently: I don’t even remember the last time I met a friend for coffee. Social anxiety means I am stuck at home. It’s hard to make plans.

REAL GOAL: Coffee with two friends (IRL or online friends). That’s all. I will tell them where and when so I’m in control of the situation. I’ll go somewhere I have been before so I am less anxious.

SMART GOAL: Coffee with two friends in the next 30 days.

Instagram Story Template: January Goals

Save this image and upload it to your stories to add your own goals.

Instagram Story Template Tag me @beccarisa so I can see your Insta Story!

Good luck!

Author: Becca Risa Luna

Seattle-based fashion writer and personal essayist. Likes designer handbags, glaring openness, and subtle vulgarity.

One thought

  1. I’m absolutely blown away at how you’ve been so honest and open about your struggles, but also how easily you recognize your strengths and get back in the game by outlining stuff like this. You’re truly such an inspiration and I can’t wait to meet up soon! Where and when is all up to you 🙂


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