Over the last couple of day’s I have heard many people talk about New Year’s Resolutions and what changes they would like to bring to their lives. How often have you set a New Year’s Resolution only to fail it in the middle of the year?

It is easy to wake up one morning and say  “from today onwards I will…” but actually following through with it is a different story, One day you may wake up and decide to eat healthier or you may decide on a career change  looking over the online MBA rankings for a new degree and then forget about it the next day. Setting effective goals is not always. Setting effective goals is not always an easy task, however some of the following tips can help you with this.

1. Attainable
You can set any goal you want to, for example “make a million dollars this year,” but how realistic is it? Unless you have invented something or are making close to a million there really is not a realistic chance of making $1Million this year.  Set realistic and attainable goals, ambition is great but you need to keep things in perspective.

2. Measurable
How much progress have you made? Do you need to make any adjustments? Goals need to be measureable in order to monitor the progress and make adjustments as needed. If your goal is to increase your net worth you can easily track it on monthly bases, but if your goal is to “become a better person” it will be a little harder to track.

3. Specific“Become rich” can be a goal, but what do you mean by it? “Accumulate $1million in 10 years, excluding principle residence” is a specific goal which can be measured over time. If your goal is vague you can easily loose sight of it and miss your them, the more specific you are the easier it will become to reach it.

4. Write It Down
Write down your goal! Studies have shown that those who write down their goals are significantly more likely to reach their goals compared to those who don’t. Writing down your goal makes it more real and increases your commitment level, which significantly increases your chances of reaching your goals.

5. Make It Public
Many finance bloggers have made their goals public through their blogs and share their progress on regular bases with their readers. Studies confirm that making goals public significantly improves attaining those goals. Similar to writing your goals down, this increases the commitment level. You do not need to send a press release to make your goals public, simply share your goals with your family and friends. You can also share your goals Financial Highway and report your progress, just leave it in the comments section.

How do you ensure you can reach your goals?