2016: Make Goals, Not Resolutions

Here it is! I won’t keep you waiting for this post any longer!

On Christmas Eve, I wrote a post centered around the holiday. It briefly touched on what I’m about to discuss with you today.

I’m so ready to get The New Year under way. I’ve made lots and lots of goals for this new year, and I’m excited to share them with you.

Why Not Make Resolutions?

That’s easy! It’s because we don’t tend to stick to the things we say we’re going to do. The word resolution means to decide to do something. A goal, however, is an object of a person’s ambition, the desired result.

What’s the Difference?

The difference is that the former focuses on a decision. We humans are a fickle, fickle species. We want results. We are likely to center our focus around the result we desire, not a decision

Use that to your advantage. Instead of resolving to lose weight or finish reading that book, concentrate on buying smaller clothes or what the ending will be. Don’t waste your energy thinking. Instead, do. As you travel down the road toward what you want, you’ll see it. You’ll focus on your bigger picture.

Make S.M.A.R.T Goals

You know you saw this one coming! It’s your favorite acronym! Don’t look all surprised to see these letters. You remember what they mean from my post on Day 1 of My Sweet November. It’s contained within Lesson 2: Creating Income Goals of Gina Horkey’s course, 30 Days or Less to Freelance Writing Success.

Goals Should Be


Photo Credit: Courtesy of the Author

Do not make goals just to make them.

Think them through using this acronym. Ask yourself (and be honest) whether or not your goals fit these criteria.

Be clear about your intentions. This list is all about focusing in on the big picture.





  • S.: Are you specific about your desired result?
    • Don’t be afraid to be truthful with yourself. Get specific. Get really, really specific.
    • Example: Don’t just say, “I want to be successful.” Instead say, “I want to earn [set dollar amout].”
  • M.: Can you quantify the result? Is it measurable?
    • Make sure you can assess your progress by giving it a value. How long is the path toward your goal. How much is it worth?
  • A.: Do you have the tools you’ll need to achieve that which you set out to do?
    • Make sure you have exactly what you need.
    • Example: Do you need internet access? If so, do you have access to a connection either at home or at a public place like your local library or coffee shop?
  • R.: If so, Does This Plan Move You in the Direction of Your Desired Result?
    • How will using these tools get you closer to achieving what you want? Make sure your tools are useful and not distracting.
    • For example: If you need the internet, and you have access to it, how will you avoid distraction. Will you refrain from spending excessive time on social media?

And, finally…

  • T.: When will your goal expire?
    • Give them expiration dates! No worries, you can change them (like I did). Giving them a time frame makes them real.
    • For example: If your goal is to have a new website, and you give yourself a month to earn enough money to do it, commit to get it done in a month.

Keep evaluating your goals as you progress. Make sure you’re meeting important milestones on your way to them.

My Goals Since Day 1

I won’t make you flip back and forth. Here are the goals I set out to achieve on November 1st:

My Short Term Goals: 0-6 Months

  • Get published in The New Yorker by 5/2016 – On track to get this done. Since I began, I’ve been published internationally in The Netherlands. 
  • Land first steady and regular client by 1/2016 – Oh, yeah! This one is done a month ahead of schedule! I am the newest content writer and editor for Guyvorce. I’m so grateful for this opportunity. I absolutely love it!
  • Have my own URL by 1/2016 – Thanks to having steady income coming in, I’m on track to get this done in January!
  • Sign up to start my next semester at University of Phoenix by 1/2016 – This one will have to wait. I don’t think I’ll be able to start until March, so I’ll have to change this goal’s expiration date.

Three out of four ain’t bad, eh? I think I’m doing great compared to where I was just a few months ago. I’m proud of my results and am ready to set new goals to work toward.

My 2016 Goals

Here it is, the moment you’ve been waiting for. My new list of goals for The New Year is simple. There isn’t much on there you don’t already know.

  • Create a pitches/day minimum requirement by 1/2016
  • Set schedule to spend adequate time boosting social media presence by 2/2016
  • Start semester at University of Phoenix by 3/2016
  • Get published in The Huffington Post by 3/2016
  • Land second steady client by 3/2016
  • Improve monthly income by 10% month-over-month by 5/2016
  • Make enough income to cover all my expenses by 8/2016
  • Spend New Year’s Eve in New York City on 12/31/2016

Savings Account

I can’t begin to stress this one enough. Please, oh, please open (or consider doing so) a savings account specifically for your goals.

Once you have one, deposit a minimum of $5 per week in that account. It doesn’t seem like much, but this is money you owe to yourself.

When you have more to add, add more. The more you put in there each week, the faster your Goal Fund will grow.

Goal Tracking

I’m a nerd to the enth degree. I love spreadsheets. They make it easy for me to see where I’ve been and where I’m going.

I’ve created one that makes it easy to track your progress. I made it in Google Docs, so everyone will have access to it.

Add in monetary and non-monetary goals, the date you’ve assigned them, and the amount you’ll need (if needed). The “Total Needed” will automatically be calculated. All you’ll need to do is update your savings account balance regularly. The “Adjusted Total Needed” field will automatically update to subtract your balance from the total you’ll need.

Please copy it before entering in data.

As you track your goals, evaluate where you are. Make this a monthly thing you do. Every time you generate an income report review your standing. This is how to get what you want long-term.

In Closing

Now that I’ve shared my plan for 2016, go make your own! You have the tools to start.

You don’t have to be perfect about meeting your goals. All you have to do is work toward them. That’s the idea! You think of something you want to have or somewhere you want to be, and then, you work toward it.

If I hadn’t set the goals I have, I wouldn’t be where I am. I focused in on what I wanted to have, where I wanted to be, and I went for it.

So, go for it!

Don’t wait another day to make a change. My teacher and mentor, Gina Horkey, is setting up her second epic giveaway to get you started. And best of all, it’s totally FREE to sign up! You know my story. It’s time you start yours. I wish you a Happy New Year!

What are some of your goals for 2016? How do you plan on meeting them?

This post contains affiliate links. This means that I could benefit financially from your clicks. Don’t be mad at me. Instead, smile because you’ve just read my due diligence disclosure statement.


About Cruz Santana

Cruz Santana is a cancer-fighter, professional writer, editor, and business consultant specializing in web building, content management, bookkeeping, and traffic optimization strategies. A nine-year veteran of the entrepreneurial world, she has a handle on which techniques work and which don't. She isn't afraid to step out of the box to overcome challenges. An alumni of Texas A&M University, she's well-versed in science and medicine. A voracious writer, she's been featured in The Huffington Post and The Write Life. Her VA clients benefit from her experience in content management and bookkeeping. In addition, she is the author of "Phenomenal Dad: Ten Lessons on Single Fatherhood from a Tougher-Than-Nails Single Mom," her first published book! When not developing marketing strategies that flirt with the avant-guard, she loves kicking back on the couch with her small army of seven babies to watch old movies. Hitchcock films are her favorites!
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4 Responses to 2016: Make Goals, Not Resolutions

  1. Pingback: Why I’m Excited About The New Year | The Freelance Dance

  2. Gina Horkey says:

    Whoop! You’re going to crush your goals. I’m curious – why college? Why not just get an internet education? You have HUGE potential girl – can’t wait to see you ringing in 2017 in NYC (maybe I’ll join you;-).

    • Cruz Santana says:

      An EXCELLENT question, mon Cherie! It’s because I still have dreams. Once upon a time, I was a med student. It’s still there. Cancer may have sidelined me, but it hasn’t kept me from wanting all the stuff I wanted before. My kids need to see me do it. They need to see me get to where I’ve always wanted to go. They need to have no excuse for not getting there. Girl, I have seven babies who have to see me do it…or die trying.

      Oh, lawd!!! You’d come with me??? Oh, my! Let’s do this, then! You just gave me something to aim for! LOL. I really hope you do. You and Wade would ❤ it! We'll see how the year shapes up! Why not us, right?

  3. Pingback: Kicking Butt and Taking Names: My December 2015 Income Report | The Freelance Dance

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