The Best Way To Set Goals And Reach Success in 2024

It’s that time of year when people start goal setting for the new year. It’s only normal, a new year offers the possibility for a new you, right? However, only around 8% of people actually achieve their resolutions each year. And, only around 75% of those who set goals follow through with them after the…

Michelle Schroeder-Gardner

Last Updated: January 1, 2024

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, meaning if you decide to make a purchase via my links, I may earn a commission at no additional cost to you. See my disclosure for more info.

It’s that time of year when people start goal setting for the new year. It’s only normal, a new year offers the possibility for a new you, right?

However, only around 8% of people actually achieve their resolutions each year. And, only around 75% of those who set goals follow through with them after the first week of the year.

It’s crazy that 25% of people already stop working towards their goals after just the first week!

With today’s blog post, I’m going to help you stick to the goals you set for 2024 and become successful with them in the new year. Let’s make your 2024 goals list a reality!

Posts related to goal setting:

And, before you throw out the idea of goal setting and New Year’s resolutions, or judge people who are doing so, please keep this quote 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 I believe that setting goals and making a plan to reach them is so important.

Due to that, let’s make it a great year. Let’s work on managing our money better, living our dream life, traveling more (here’s how to take a 10 day trip to Hawaii for less than $25!), and succeeding with whatever goal you want to reach.

Here are my tips and advice to help you reach your life goals. Plus, at the end of this blog post, I’ve included my goal progress as well as my goals.

Related: 70+ Goal Ideas For 2024

9 goal setting tips for success:

Review the previous year and your previous goals and objectives.

Before you start thinking about 2024, you should think about how 2016 went for you.

Think about the goals you reached, the successes you had, and more. Then, think about what you wish you could have done better and the areas you struggled with.

By completing this step, you’ll be able to better figure out what you need to do in 2024 in order to have a successful year.

Make sure your goal setting is SMART.

You should always make sure that any goal you set is SMART.

A SMART goal is:

  • Specific – What is your goal? Is it specific enough or is it too broad? What needs to be done for you to achieve 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 goals and objectives.

Writing down your goals is a very important part goal setting.

Completing this step can help you remember your goal and why you want to achieve it. Whenever I don’t write something down or have it in front of me on a regular basis, I tend to 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 to detail your progress.
  • Making a vision board.
  • Putting post-its around your home that list your yearly goals.
  • Placing reminders on your phone, calendar, or whatever else you use for your to-do list.

Related tip: If you’re looking for a life planner, I highly recommend checking out Erin Condren and looking at their life planners and monthly planners. This can be a great way to stay motivated so that you can reach your goals!

Create a plan to reach your life goals.

If you want to stay motivated with your goals, then one of the first things you should do is to create a plan on how you will reach your goal.

A plan can help you focus on the steps it will take to reach your goal, instead of feeling like you are all over the place.

Your plan should detail 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.

Related reading: Be More Confident And Get What You Want In Life

Break your goal apart into smaller goals.

Having a full year to reach your goal is a long time, and you may forget about your goal or just become overwhelmed by it.

What I recommend doing is creating 12 goals for your overall goal, one for each month of the year. Basically, each month would be a step that gets you closer to your overall goal.

This can be a great way to stay motivated and see the progress you are making towards your overall goal, and you’ll know exactly what you need to do in order to be successful.

For example. If your goal is to become a blogger in one year (this is just an easy example for purposes of this blog post), your monthly goals may be something such as:

    • January – Think of a blog idea and a name.
    • February – Start a blog and create a blogging plan.
    • March – Create an editorial calendar.
    • April – Find ways to monetize a blog.
    • May – Reach X amount of page views.
    • June – Attend a blogging conference.
    • July – Guest post on 10 websites.
    • August – Grow your email list to X subscribers.
    • September – Build an emergency fund for X months.
    • October – Reach X in blogging income.
    • November – Grow a social media account to X.
    • December – Become a blogger!

Keep track of your goal setting 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 goal setting progress is a good idea because it can tell you what you need to do in order to reach your goal, whether or not 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.

Find small ways to stick to your goal.

Many fall off track when it comes to their goals because sometimes the daily steps they are taking are just too big. This may cause a person to ignore their goal because they are feeling lazy (we’ve all felt this!), tired, and so on. This can lead to spiraling out of control and completely falling off track.

Forgetting about your goal, for even just a short period of time, may also contribute to you falling off track.

A better idea for the days when you don’t feel like working towards your goal is to take smaller steps. This way you won’t completely forget about your goal and you also won’t feel like you have entirely given up. This will make days when you’re feeling “off” much easier to deal with.

Several examples so that you can learn how to get back on track include:

  • If you are trying to eat in more, do a batch freezer cooking session to stay on top of preparing meals ahead of time. This way you will have a meal to turn to on the days when you don’t feel like cooking.
  • If you’re not feeling like working out, then do something small instead. Try to fit in some squats, lunges, jumping jacks, or whatever else you can while you are cooking a meal, watching TV, or getting ready.
  • If you are trying to reach financial goals but are feeling overwhelmed, you may want to start automating as much as you can, and so on. This can make reaching your financial goals a little easier.

Related reading: Living Life To The Fullest Is Something Everyone Should Start Doing

Did you know that only around 8% of people achieve their resolutions each year? Check out these tips on goal setting so that you can be successful!

Find ways to motivate yourself when setting goals.

Motivation is what keeps you going so that you do not quit and this will help you to reach your goal for 2017. However, finding motivation can be a hard task for anyone.  But it’s so important to find what motivates you because it will help you continue to work towards your goal, even when it seems impossible.

Here are a few ways to motivate yourself so that you can learn how to get back on track and not give up on your goals:

  • Create a vision board and keep it somewhere that you will see on a daily basis.
  • Make it a friendly competition (read more below).
  • Find ways to reward yourself as you get closer to your goal.

Related reading: How To Stay Motivated And Become Successful

Make reaching your goal a friendly competition.

One great way to stay on track with your goals is to turn your goal setting into a competition between you and someone else.

Finding an accountability partner can make reaching your goals more fun and potentially easier.

This is because you won’t be going at it alone, you’ll have someone to talk to who is going through a similar process as you, you’ll have someone else pushing you to succeed, and more.

There are many ways to find an accountability partner. An accountability partner can be someone you know, such as a friend, family member, coworker, and so on. They can even be a stranger, such as someone you met online who has a similar goal.

Update on my goals:

  • PASS! Get at least two months ahead on Making Sense of Cents posts. I am currently two months ahead. I wonder how far I can get next year! 🙂
  • PASS! Grow Making Sense of Cents. While my page views didn’t grow in 2016, my email list grew significantly as well as all of my social media accounts.
  • FAIL. Be active every day. While I am a pretty active person, I doubt I was active every day in 2016, haha.
  • PASS! Have fun living in the RV full-time! Living in an RV has been a ton of fun so far. I can’t wait to see what amazing places we go in 2017.

My next year goals:

  • Get at least three months ahead on Making Sense of Cents posts. I figured since I am currently two months ahead, I might as well work even further ahead. Being ahead in blog posts makes life much more enjoyable because I can focus on other things knowing that the majority of my writing work is already done.
  • Grow Making Sense of Cents to 1,000,000 monthly page views. 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! I’m hoping to see at least 1,000,000 monthly page views by the end of 2017.
  • Start doing more live interviews, such as podcasts and webinars. I’m not as shy as I used to be, but living in an RV and not always having an internet or a reliable schedule makes podcasts and webinars are a little more difficult. I hope to find a way around that (perhaps planning out a better schedule?) and make time for more of these two things.
  • Create one more product to sell. In 2016, I created Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing, and that has completely changed my life and my business. I want to think about and create another product to sell in the next year so that I can continue to diversify my income.

What goals are you hoping to reach? What goal setting tips do you have to share?

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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. Kate @ Cashville Skyline

    My biggest goal for 2017 is finishing my CFP courses. I’m switching over to in-person classes at a local University to stay motivated. I also really want to take two international trips with credit card rewards points.

    1. Awesome goal. I hope 2017 is great for you!

  2. interesting, thanks for sharing!!!

  3. Shannon // Style Emulator

    Great tips–especially the one about accountability. I find nothing to be more of a kick in the pants than when a friend asks about a goal I told them about. I always have a running list of things I’m working toward, so I don’t typically do beginning of the year resolutions, but I just started a blog so I am hoping to grow readership in the coming year. We’ll see how it goes!

  4. Luxurybackpacking | Emma

    This is such a great motivational post! After reading this I’m going to set my goals in 2017 seen as my travel blog is fairly new! Happy Christmas and New Year! 🙂

  5. Mrs. Picky Pincher

    I started my blog last year as a way to keep track of our money-saving growth as we try to achieve financial independence. I think it’s really important to document a long term goal so you can see what works and what doesn’t work.

    1. Yes, I agree. Long-term goals are important!

  6. Loving this post. While I don’t usually make resolutions as such, each year I write down what I want to achieve in the year to come in a special book that is only used at that time each year, and then I look at last year’s list and write down what I achieved on that list, as well as those surprise things that I’m proud of and had no idea the year had in store for me.

    I’ve yet to sit down and write this year’s one but already know a few special things I’ll be including on that list!

    1. Amanda, that’s a great idea. Love it!

  7. Michelle, I absolutely agree that setting goals is the key to achieving what you want in life. I believe goal setting to be so vital that I put together a 244-page planner for myself that’s focused on achieving goals and financial awareness. I spent so much time and put so much love into the planner that I’ve decided to share it with everyone on my blog. Good luck achieving success with all your goals in 2017 and keep inspiring us!

    1. I hope 2017 is great for you! 🙂

  8. Cari Ouweneel

    This is a good one, Michelle! I’m sure you already have a course in mind for 2017, but it would be interesting to learn how you converted to RVing full time. I’ll bet there are a lot of people who would pay to cut out some of that learning curve. 🙂

    1. What are some questions you would have for that? I can always create a blog post! 🙂

      1. Cari Ouweneel

        What were the non-negotiables in choosing an RV (size? slide out? 5th wheel? pull behind?)? How is it traveling with a big dog? Considerations you have to make like wi-fi connection…do you schedule your trips around connection time or wing it? Also, I’m a sucker for “A Day in the Life of” (including nitty gritty details, like dumping blackwater). How do you handle winter, don’t the water lines freeze? What’s the best part? What’s the worst part? What would you do differently? Like that. 😉

        1. These are all great questions. I’ll definitely cover something about this. Thanks so much! 🙂

        2. Amber Laswell

          Cari I love the questions you came up with for Michelle. This would be a great blog to read. I love the Day in the Life idea.

  9. I set SMART goals in my day job all the time and when I transferred doing that over to our personal finances- huge change! Mad at myself for not doing it sooner! Do you set aside a week to write/batch blog posts and then schedule them out in wordpress? I’ve got to do more of that in 2017! These are great reminders, thanks for sharing!

    1. I just write whenever I’m in the writing mood. Sometimes that’s 10 blog posts a week, and sometimes it’s none 🙂

  10. I’m hoping to grow my blog. I’m also working on creating my own product. I can’t decide between an eBook or a course, or both. I’ll hopefully have that figured out in the next couple of weeks since I have a little time off work before life gets hectic again.

    Outside of blogging goals, I’m building on my successes with crushing debt and simplifying life. I’d LOVE to get back to being self-employed, I doubt that will happen this year. I also want to spend more time with my children and my partner, perhaps see a little more of New Zealand by traveling at weekends. So much to do and so little time!

    1. Yes, you should do more weekend traveling 🙂

  11. Mindy

    I don’t normally make New Years resolutions but this year I am. It’s been a very stressful year and I feel like I have fallen behind in a lot of areas due to health and outside interference in 2016 and I’m ready to get back on the horse and make 2017 a year of growth. I’m going to pin your post and use it to help me with my goals. Good luck to you in 2017!

    1. I’m sorry Mindy. I hope 2017 is better 🙂

  12. Getting your blog up to 1,000,000 pageviews per month would be incredible! Good luck with that for this upcoming year.

  13. The first step is SO important. You have to look back and reflect on the previous year before you can plan for the next year. This is why I encourage writing down what you do every day in your digital calendar (I use gCal), so at the end of the year you can evaluate whether you spent your time doing what is in alignment with your values. Then, the next year, you can plan accordingly.

  14. Amanda @ centsiblyrich

    Great advice! I have written down many of my goals and they meet the SMART criteria! Plus, I’m going to publish blog updates on a few of them, so that will provide accountability!

  15. re: “making a plan to reach them” <- the key part of making goals that is all too often overlooked. Love that you included that.

  16. Lindsey

    Those are really great goals for 2017! I hope you get there! One of my big goals for 2017 is to read 24 books. I didn’t get to read as often as I liked this year so I want to make sure I’m reading at least 2 books a month.

    1. That is a great goal! I’m looking to read more books in 2017. I don’t read for fun much, and I need to change that.

  17. Caroline

    I have set up my 52 Goals in 52 Weeks for 2017 and have started some of these goals already. I am keen to see what 2017 looks like for my family and I as a result of making small changes in my life that can have significant benefits for my immediate family.

    1. That sounds great. I hope 2017 is a great year for you!

  18. Great tips Michelle thanks for sharing.
    This is realy helpfull.


  19. Ian Bond

    I feel like 2017 needs to be about scaling my businesses outside of my job. My budget is tightened up and I have a solid group of ecommerce income streams that I really need to scale up.

    This is my year to scale the side hustle revenues and grow my blog to help more folks near the end of their careers. More affiliate income!

    Thanks for the inspiration!

    1. I hope 2017 is amazing for you!

  20. Amber Laswell

    Michelle, your post is inspiring!! I am looking forward to 2017 as being a year for growth and renewal for all areas of my life. I am currently setting up my blog. Getting my social media accounts set and just preparing to move forward in 2017. I read through your post twice and then sat down with my handy dandy notebook and made an entry from all of your information. Thank you!!! Have a wonderful New Year!!!

    1. Congrats on setting up a blog!

  21. Excellent post on goals. I’ve been thinking a lot about goals this last month, and “M”easurable is key! A lot of my own goal setting is based on the book “The 12-Week Year,” As many strides as I’ve made in 2016, I’m looking forward to 2017.

    Best of luck on your own goals as well, Michelle. Continue to inspire!

    1. Thanks Stan! I hope 2017 is great for you.

  22. Bernie Liew


    Thanks for the excellent reminders on how to set SMART, actionable goals! 🙂 I’m always surprised whenever I tell some of my friends about “SMART” goals, and they just respond to me with a “huh” kind of face.

    Kudos to you too for achieving the majority of your 2016 goals. Today is day one of 2017 and I will definitely be writing down my big goals for the year with the key points listed here in mind.

    Looking forward to your next post!

    -Bernie @ The Quarter Life Struggle

    1. Thanks Bernie! I hope you reach your 2017 goals 🙂 Let’s make it a great year!

  23. Hi Michelle,

    I read about your income report on Matthew Woodward site and decided to check you out. From what I’m seeing here, I now know why you were able to make so much money doing what you love.

    Here’s my first comment on your blog but will never be the last, so that’s why I’m taking ample time to first thank you for the impact you are making in blogosphere. Bloggers like you are powerful motivation to us. You are a proof that it is possible. Thank you for following your heart to set up Making Sense of Cents.

    Now back to your post on setting goals for 2016. I already did my last month. And I speak with you, I have already kicked off the implementation of some of my goals. I gave myself 9 goals to achieve this year in my blogging and writing career. Someone might say 9 is too much but here’s the point, all of them are just revolving round Blogging and Writing.

    I’m optimistic I will achieve them because they are SMART goals. With some of the ideas you shared here, I think it will even make my growth faster. From time to time, I will always return to tell you how it’s going. I just hope you busy schedule will allow you time to read them.

    Thank you once again. Keep it up.

    1. Aww thanks so much! Yes, I definitely love what I do 🙂

  24. Kristine Puzel

    Michelle- Thank you for this very thorough overview. I started my blog in 2016, working with a mastermind partner. It was literally startling how quickly things came together; a local blog designer for the half the cost of what I see on the web; an invitation to a FB group that has literally become my new BLOG BFFs (or, as they say, my ‘tribe’). I appreciate your calm down to earth voice; a welcome change from some other overly-enthusiastic voices. Best wishes for continued success, and 3 months worth of blog posts in 2017 !!

    1. Thank you Kristine! I hope 2017 is great for you.

  25. Ash

    This is such a motivational article. I have set my goals for this year. I will monetise my blog as much as I can and try to get better result from last year. I will learn new things from blogging and will achieve the target to become a successful blogger by end of the year. Thanks Michelle for an inspirational post.

  26. Hey Michelle,
    Thanks for sharing you ideas for better goal setting in 2017. Everyone should have plan to achieve the goals. Yes, we should create a list for goals to achieve in 2017.

    ~ Vijay

    1. Thanks! I hope you reach your 2017 goals 🙂

  27. I find it sad that rather than setting goals at the beginning of a New Year people instead pronounce New Year resolutions which they do very little with. Most before January is even over have abandoned their intentions. Setting goals and making plans to achieve them will create far more positive results.

  28. Great sharing. This is really an inspirational article. I also have a plan in 2017. I want to make my first income through my blog on 2017. I want to earn enough in this year. Every person should have a goal. This 2017 can be your year if ou can perform well. Thanks for your awesome articles.

  29. I have to ask – is there a reason you have so many?