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Set Specific Small Goals

Set Specific Small Goals

“Do or Do Not. There is No Try.”

It’s January!  A time for a fresh perspective, time to set new year’s resolutions, and time to look toward the future. We see the new year as a fresh start, time to turn over a new leaf and change our ways. Many get a new journal or a new calendar. It seems like a period of optimism with the whole year ahead and one having the best intentions.

Unfortunately, so many set a new year’s resolution, only to give up after a few weeks. According to U.S. News, approximately 80% of resolutions fail by the second week of February. Those are horrible odds.

I think of all the goals I have made in my life that were going to be transformative. I started off so full of excitement that this time, things were going to be different. This year I was going to get up at 6:30 a.m. to exercise, I would organize my time to be more productive, I would lose 50 pounds, I would spend more time with friends and family, I would say “no” more often to all the requests for my time and so many other goals.

As I looked back at 2018, I wondered what happened to my beginning optimism. But wait, this is not all doom and gloom. By writing down my goals and looking at them every week, I may not have exercised every day, but I exercised more than I did in 2017. I may not have chosen perfectly every meal, but I lost 25 pounds. I didn’t get to spend lots of time with family and friends, but I called more often and really listened.

Finally, by not saying “no,” I definitely had some fun experiences out of my comfort zone. Would I consider myself one of the 80% who fail to keep their resolutions? No.

I think setting goals, even if you don’t accomplish all of them, is important. Having a new slate each year to aim for is like a reset button. That sense of optimism that happens every January 1 gives us permission to start over. A grand sweeping change is not as important as realizing that a change is necessary, then slowly working toward it.

Instead of making grand epic goals, having simple prioritized goals develops the small attainable changes one needs to make to be successful. This means that the small successes keeps one motivated, rather than frustrated. Setting specific, tangible goals makes them measurable, rather than a vague wish.

Share your goal to build accountability because some system to chart your goal is important. Tracking success can include writing out your goal or preparing a vision board so your goal is always top of mind. By simply setting a goal, you are more apt to achieve your goal than those who do not. Believing you can brings you one step closer to success.  

As Yoda said, “Do or do not. There is no try.” Believing you will be successful brings you one step closer to a self-fulfilling prophecy.


Nancy Peltonen serves as President/CEO with The Greater Palm Bay Chamber of Commerce. She currently serves on committees for the Economic Development Commission of Florida’s Space Coast, Palm Bay Maker Faire Committee, and State Small Business Expo Partner, and still finds time to volunteer with many local organizations and travel the world. Nancy’s accolades include 2017 Community Excellence Award, 2016 Business Acceleration Summit Heart of the Community Award, 2013 Woman of Excellence, 2011 & 2014 Woman of the Year for the American Business Women’s Association Space Coast Express Network.


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