Setting Great Yearly Goals – Let’s Make This Year Amazing

Did you know that only around 8% of people actually achieve their resolutions each year? Also, another interesting statistic is that only 75% of those who set resolutions follow through with them after just the first week. Yes, that means that 25% give up THAT soon! As you can see, the majority of people don’t…

Michelle Schroeder-Gardner

Last Updated: May 24, 2023

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Did you know that only around 8% of people actually achieve their resolutions each year?Setting Great Yearly Goals - Let's Make This Year Amazing

Also, another interesting statistic is that only 75% of those who set resolutions follow through with them after just the first week. Yes, that means that 25% give up THAT soon!

As you can see, the majority of people don’t make it far with their yearly goals.

However, that doesn’t mean you have to be included in that statistic.

Before you completely throw out the idea of New Year’s resolutions and judge people who create them, please keep the below statistic from Statistic Brain in mind:

People who explicitly make resolutions are 10 times more likely to attain their goals than people who don’t explicitly make resolutions.

This is why setting yearly goals for yourself is so important. You are much more likely to stay motivated and reach your goals when you actually set them.

So, let’s make this a great year. Let’s work on paying off debt, saving more money, earning a higher income, living a better life, traveling more, or whatever goal you want to reach.

Below are different ways to help you reach your yearly goals so that you can make this the best year of your life. Plus, I’ve included my goals below as well.

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Make sure your goal is SMART.

Have you ever heard of a SMART goal? Making sure your goal is SMART is a very important step.

What a SMART goal should be:

  • Specific – What is your goal? Is it specific enough or is it too broad? What needs to be done so that you can reach your goal? Why do you want to reach your goal?
  • Measurable – How can you measure your progress? How will you know if you’re on track?
  • Attainable – Can your goal actually be achieved?
  • Realistic/relevant – Can YOU achieve your goal? Is the goal worth it?
  • Time – What’s your time frame for reaching your goal?


Write down your yearly goals.

Writing down your goal is a very important part of the process.

Doing so can help you remember it. Whenever I don’t write something down or have it in front of me on a regular basis, I usually forget about it.

If you can’t remember your goal, it would be very hard to reach it. I suggest that you think about:

  • Creating a blog;
  • Making a vision board;
  • Putting post-its around your home that list your yearly goals;
  • Placing reminders on your phone, and more.


Create a plan to reach your goal.

If you want to learn how to stay motivated with your goals, then one of the first things you should do after you create your goal is to create a plan. Without a plan, it would be difficult to reach a goal as you would just be all over the place.

You should create a plan that details the steps you need in order to reach your goal, what will happen as you reach each step, when and how you will track your progress, and more. Being detailed with your plan will help you reach your goal and become successful.


Keep track of your progress AND make changes (if needed).

To stay motivated with your yearly goals and become successful with them, you should review your progress every so often. You may want to check in daily, weekly, or monthly, depending on what type of goal you have and what personally works for you.

Keeping track of your progress is a good idea because it can tell you what you need to do in order to reach your goal, if you are behind, or if you need to make a change.

Related: I highly recommend that you check out Personal Capital (a free service) if you are interested in gaining control of your financial situation. Personal Capital is similar to, but 100 times better as it allows you to gain control of your investment and retirement accounts. 


Next Year’s Goals:

  • Get at least two months ahead on Making Sense of Cents posts. I would like to be at least a few months ahead when it comes to my beefier posts here.
  • Grow Making Sense of Cents. I would love to help more readers, see even more engagement, have higher traffic, and so on. I love my blog and I would love to see it grow!
  • Be active every day. Whether this means just walking around the block or going for a long hike, I do want to be more active. Being in the RV full-time makes this easy because no one wants to spend ALL DAY in an RV, but there are days when I feel like I have so much to do online that I don’t move from one spot.
  • Have fun living in the RV full-time! Soon, we are going to put everything in storage and we plan on living in our RV full-time for the foreseeable future. I can’t wait to see what our first full year of RVing will be like!


Here are some of my favorite photos from this year (follow me on Instagram to see more!):


Palm Trees

Hot Air Balloon


Grand Teton


Great Smoky Mountains


Moab Jeep

Bike Tour

Big Sur

RV in the Redwoods

What are your New Year’s resolutions and yearly goals for this year?

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Michelle Schroeder-Gardner

Author: Michelle Schroeder-Gardner

Hey! I’m Michelle Schroeder-Gardner and I am the founder of Making Sense of Cents. I’m passionate about all things personal finance, side hustles, making extra money, and online businesses. I have been featured in major publications such as Forbes, CNBC, Time, and Business Insider. Learn more here.

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  1. Love the photos Michelle!

    I have big plans for 2016 and I intend to see them accomplished so I’ve been working through the book “The Power of Less” by Leo Babauta. It’s fantastic. The proof though, is in the pudding! So we’ll have to wait until late 2016 to see if it all happens to plan. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Best of luck for your goals in 2016.

    Happy New Year!

  2. I love your goals list! Mine is very similar. My favorite advice in this post is to set up a visual goal. Without some sort of daily, visual reminder, your goals become “out of sight, out of mind.”

  3. From your pictures, it looks like you had a great 2015! The biggest focus of my goals in 2016 is on savings. This is our first year post-student loans so I want to try and make a big dent in our overall savings plan. However, I do want to make sure that I take time to live and enjoy the people and world around me a bit.

    Good luck on your 2016 goals and on shifting to living in the RV full-time! I’m sure the switch will be well worth it! ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. I hope 2016 is a great year for you!

  4. Absolutely agree with the entire post, I set short-mid-long term goals and control and adjust them during the year:D

  5. Lindsay VanSomeren

    Your photos are so awesome, I’m so jealous! ๐Ÿ™‚ And Happy New Years to you! No popping holes in the roof of your RV with champagne corks!

    I’m going to call 2015 my year of fire and ice. I’ve seen some of the lowest points in my life, but I’m also seeing new opportunities that I wouldn’t have considered before. To that end, my goals for 2016 are to 1) Try and get a job, 2) Develop and grow my freelance writing business, either part-time or full-time if goal #1 doesn’t work out, and 3) Start my very own personal finance blog. Woohoo!

    1. Haha me and my husband were just talking about how we better now break a window with a cork!

      I hope 2016 is a great year for you Lindsay.

  6. Gorgeous pictures; looks like you’re having a blast!
    One of my goals is to post more frequently on my blog. I should probably think more about other specific goals. I’m finding it a bit hard to find time to reflect with two little kids!

  7. Amy @ DebtGal

    2015 was the first year I set goals for myself, and I’d say I did okay with them. (I’m still finalizing my full assessment post.) I learned a lot about how I could help ensure my success in 2016, which I applied when setting those goals. I set fewer goals this year (8 instead of 12), tried to really make sure they were very important to me personally, and will be posting more regular updates on my progress, since I really need the accountability.

    Here’s to another great year for you, Michelle!

  8. Setting new year’s goals is a great way to get the transformation process started. Healthy new year’s resolution are:

    1. Going to church and seeking GOD
    2. Losing weight
    3. Eating right
    4. Cooking healthier food
    5. Putting alcohol down (and yes, the Wine too)
    6. Mending broken relationships (not all can be fixed)
    7. Staying humble so you can stay blessed

    Getting back on track with healthy new year’s goals is tough, but doing the transformation work is a beautiful labor of love.

    1. Love the photos. Cheers to a great 2016!

  9. Beautiful pictures!

    In 2016, I want to really tackle our debt. A lot of the past year has been focused on making changes to our lifestyle to enable long-term success. Now, we can put those changes into action. The info on resolutions is interesting. I’m planning on recalculating our debts and budget. I want to make some type of chart for the fridge to track our debt payoff, we just need to identify our specific goals first (amount versus a snowball style).

    1. Thanks! I hope you do well with your 2016 goal. You can do it!

  10. We don’t have a super detailed plan when it comes to our RV plan, but we want to travel more slowly than we did the last 6 months. Thinking about staying in one area for at least a month, so hopefully we will visit around 12 areas.

  11. Good luck with your goal! ๐Ÿ™‚

  12. Thank you as always, for your helpful and encouraging advice! I was wondering if you could ever considering writing a post about traveling with your pets. I’d love to travel with my dog, but he’s a bit neurotic to stay in the car in a new place (OK, I’m a little neurotic too). Do yours just lounge in the RV when you’re out on your hiking and paddling adventures?

    Thanks and Happy New Year!

    1. I will definitely have to do a post on this soon! Great idea.

      Our pets come pretty much everywhere with us. We bring them on hikes, we bring them on the paddle board, and more haha ๐Ÿ™‚

      1. That’s awesome! Thanks for responding!

  13. I’m not a huge resolutions guy. My plan is to increase my income, increase my savings rate, and monitor my expenses more closely, all while spending mindfully on lots of travel and visiting friends and family. I also want to negotiate a 6 month remote work arrangement as well – wish me luck ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. I hope 2016 is great for you! ๐Ÿ™‚

  14. I have never heard of the SMART method of creating goals. That is very helpful and a good guideline. I love vision boards because I’m a visual person who maps everything with pictures and drawings. The picture of you sitting on the edge of a cliff gets me nervous!

    1. Haha it made my friend nervous too when I sat there!

  15. Great goals and beautiful photos! I hope you have a great New Year!

    1. Thank you Cat! I hope 2016 is a great year for you. I’m sure it will be! ๐Ÿ™‚

  16. Let’s make 2016 amazingly great by having SMART goals. Happy New Year everyone!

  17. I’m a big believer in visible goals. For the past few years, I’ve kept an ongoing goal of 15 days of fitness per month. I have a dry erase calendar in my kitchen and when I go to the gym, hiking, swimming, etc, I note which day of fitness it is. It’s easy to see if I’m going to hit my goal or if I need to hustle to make it by month end. Still pondering what other goals I’d like for the new year. Just like one of the other readers commented, I work in HR and we use SMART goals as well.

    Your pictures for this year are great and the RV adventure for 2016 sounds like fun.

  18. How many times do you think most bloggers failed today in their creative efforts before becoming super successful?

  19. Allie

    I am following your recommendation and using my blog to hold myself accountable to my goals and help others achieve theirs. Getting debt free is #1 on our list and you’ve helped my husband and I plan to be debt free before 30.

    Happy New Year to you and yours!

  20. Thanks for sharing your spectacular photos! Looks like you had an amazing year. I recently bought a Passion Planner to help me actually achieve my 2016 goals. It will require me to write my goals down, which, as you mentioned is one of the most helpful ways to stay on track. Thank you for this post! Great reminders.

  21. sham

    Another great post. Hope 2016 is another prosperous year for you!

  22. Congrats on a great year! Cheers to a wonderful 2016!

  23. These are some great tips Michelle! I really like how you included your own goals for 2016 instead of just telling people how to set up their own.

  24. Barb

    Thank for your help and all your information this year. I hope that you have a wonderful, healthy,
    and prosperous new year.

  25. Thanks for the inspiring post, Michelle!
    2015 was an exciting year because it has been the year I was introduced to the world of online business and also the year I started my blog!

    My big goal for 2016 is to get 1,000 email subscribers! Thanks Michelle for your advice and continual inspiration.

    Here’s to a great new year!!
    – Nick

    PS: My wife is begging me to get her a Frenchy, we love your pics!

    1. Good luck with your goal. Haha we love our French bulldog ๐Ÿ™‚

  26. “Active every day” is a great goal. Reminds me of the CEO of IZEA who has run for over 200 days straight (even if it’s just a short run).

  27. Michelle, I love your photos! The places look so great! Happy New Year! May odds be ever in our favor.

  28. Ray @ Squirrelers

    Great photos from 2015, and excellent words to start up 2016. Totally agree on making SMART goals, I actually break this down to a monthly cadence.

  29. Athena

    Loved the tips and thank you for sharing your goals! 2015 was pretty good for me despite having a few lows but I’m excited for 2016 too! This year I plan to graduate from ASU, train for a Warrior Dash and hopefully build my site up enough to allow me to walk away from my job.

    1. I hope 2016 is a great year for you Athena! ๐Ÿ™‚

  30. Hi Michelle

    2015 was very good for me. But I want to make 2016 even more special. I have set up few blogging goals for 2016:

    – I want to increase email subscribers base by 5 times. Have already taken few steps in this directions. Recently changed the design for my blog and incorporated email sign up forms at different level.

    – Then want to increase my blog traffic and revenue to the next level. Setting up few niche and event based websites as well in this year to reach to the next level of earnings.

    – Then want to take my blog Alexa into four figures to name a few.

  31. Kenia

    This will be the year I pay off my student loan! Thanks for the motivation =)

  32. Its great that you have clear goals in mind for next year! I appreciate the motivations, im going to try and budget this year, thats my biggest goal!

  33. Your pictures are inspiring! And of course your setting goal advice too! I set reminders on my calendar to go in and check in on myself when it comes to goals otherwise I am in trouble! I need to automate as much as I can when it comes to my finances too otherwise I will get lazy:) I am trying to get back into blogging too mostly just because I love to write but its hard to set away the time!

  34. Yogesh Shinde

    Setting goals helps to achieve our goals and focus on specific goals and achieve it in certain time period.

    I have set many goals, I hope I achieve most of them ๐Ÿ™‚

  35. If a person wants to lose weight, be a “side hustle millionaire,” think positive and be an inspiration to others, it starts with prayer and setting yearly goals 2nd. So glad to have you in my support system Michelle. Thanks for keeping me inspired! ๐Ÿ™‚

  36. Hi Michelle,
    Thank you as always, for your helpful and encouraging advice!
    my next goal is to to increase my blog traffic and revenue to the next level

  37. I have set a new goal of striving to be more consistent in creating and publishing more meaningful content to the website. It’s easy in the beginning of a new year to set New Year’s goals and say I’m going to achieve this and I’m going to achieve that. But it’s in moving day to day progressively by doing the transformation business work and staying focused in business objectives that one is able to accomplish their yearly goals. Thank you for being one of many sources of online business inspiration, Michelle. ๐Ÿ™‚