Setting Goals for 2018 + Tips to Achieve Them

This post may contain affiliate links; all opinions are my own.

As the end of the year gets closer, I like to set aside some time to reflect on the current year and start thinking about goals for the upcoming year. Of course you can set new goals for yourself at any time during the year, but there’s something significant about starting the year fresh and having a clean slate on January 1st. Here’s a look at what I do to set my goals for the new year, and my tips on how to achieve your goals:


You already know that I love my Erin Condren Life Planner for planning everything in my life — money, my blog, weight loss tracking, grocery lists, appointments — just everything. If you aren’t familiar with Erin Condren planners, they are customizable planners that are super colorful and functional. Click here if you want to see my full review on the 2018 Erin Condren Life Planner.

I use my planner to track all aspects of my life and to help me stay organized. It’s helped me to accomplish most of my goals so far, and I’m looking forward to having success in 2018!

Erin Condren Goals Section

I am very excited to put pen to paper in my new 2018 planner. I love having a fresh, new planner and I even got these new colorful dual-tip markers to write with. Also, this 2018 planner has thicker paper than the 2017 version, so I am looking forward to using it.

There are twelve large boxes in the front of my Erin Condren Life Planner, and I use those to plan out my year’s goal or just longer-term goals. I call it the “Goals Section” because that’s just how it works best for me, and it’s in front of the planner before the beginning of the year. It just really sets the tone for the year to me. There are twelve boxes in this two-page spread, and you could totally create a box of goals for each month. I prefer to use each box as a main category and then detail some smaller goals within. So, for example, some of my main categories this year will be Money, Vacation, Fitness, Personal Development, Blog/Business, etc. Last year, I only has 8 categories, and I left the other boxes blank. You can do whatever works for you. Under each category, I will list more focused goals related to that topic.

I love how my Erin Condren has little colorful page flags in each box. If you like to color code then you could assign a color to each category, and use that same color to reference it throughout your planner. The box colors are similar to the marker pens, so I think I will be using them this way throughout the year. Also, if you create an account through my link, you’ll get $10 off your first Erin Condren purchase.


Over the years, I have been pretty successful in reaching my goals and I’m really proud of my progress towards others. As you are planning your goals for 2018, these are a few tips to keep in mind:

Make realistic goals

It’s important to make sure that your goals are realistic so that you don’t become overwhelmed. I love having long-term goals/dreams that I want to achieve, and I personally include them with my yearly goals because I want to remind myself of the bigger picture. But if your intent is to accomplish your goals within the year, you may need to step back and evaluate if that’s truly realistic.

For example, maybe your goal is to “learn another language” — unless you are fully immersing yourself in that language, it seems a little unrealistic to become fluent in a year.

Better goals may be:

  • “Practice French everyday using Duolingo
  • “Take a French class at school”
  • “Visit France this year”

I like to create “goals/levels” of progress under each category. That way I don’t feel overwhelmed with my overall main goal.

The best goals are SMART — Specific, Measurable, Attainable,Β Realistic, and Timely. So if you want to set yourself up for success, get detailed about your goals, and plan out steps to make it happen.

Write out your goals

It’s been tested that when you write out your goals, you are more likely to achieve those goals. So, I always write out my goals in my life planner as I told you above in the “Goals Section”. But I don’t just write them and forget about them during the year. I frequently go back and look at my goals — at least every month — and I check myself to make sure I am on track to meet those goals.

I write down whatever steps I need to do in order to meet my goals in my weekly section of my planner. So, if that means I need to track my daily progress or something, I will use a little habit tracker sticker, or just write it into my day. If it’s on my list for the day, I will get it done. It’s important to ensure you are taking the steps necessary to reach you goals, and writing them down is a huge step in getting started.

Celebrate your wins

When you reach a goal, celebrate it! Write it in your planner and decorate it. Make that moment special and feel proud of your accomplishments. I love tracking my progress on different goals and visually seeing my success. When I decided to lose weight, I created a tracker in the notes pages of my life planner. Each time I lost a pound, I colored in that space. It was so motivating and encouraging when I colored in a new little square; and when I lost 30 pounds or hit a “mini goal”, I was super excited.

I hope these tips are helpful in your goal-setting for the new year. Let me know if you try this out in your planner! Use my link to create an account for $10 off your first Erin Condren purchase.