by Matt Alderton | January 03, 2019
Let's face it: When it comes to New Year's resolutions, most people fail before they even begin. Author Anisa Purbasari Horton is not one of those people. In an article for Fast Company, she details how she set -- and achieved -- some very lofty goals in 2018.

"In 2018, I set one or two goals for various aspects of my life: professional, physical health, mental health, personal/relationships and financial," Horton reports. "As of writing this article, I accomplished the following: ran a marathon, received a promotion at work and saved 20 percent of my income."

How did she do it? The key, Horton says, was setting "habit" goals that focus on the process instead of "achievement" goals that focus on the outcome.

"None of those outcomes were part of my resolutions," Horton explains. "I'd committed to following a full-marathon training plan, vowed to dedicate more time to career development and longer-term strategic projects -- and I wanted to pick up one or two positive financial habits, like building a solid emergency fund by setting aside a portion of my income every month."

Simply put: Her goals weren't accomplishments; they were behaviors.

"Here's what I found with habit goals: it was a lot easier to set up (and follow) a solid system," Horton explains. "I knew exactly what I needed to do each week, and I simply made that a priority. For my financial goal of building an emergency fund, I simply set up an automated payment at the end of each month so that 20 percent of my paycheck will go to my savings account. For my marathon training, I picked a plan that was suitable for my fitness level and time commitment, and I followed it as much as I could for 12 weeks leading up to the race. As for doing long-term projects at work, well, I pitched a story where I'd be forced to try and finish most of my work on Thursdays, in order to free up time to do deep work on Fridays. It wasn't a perfect system, but it gave me a good structure to work from."

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