As we’re thrust deeper into the holiday season with thoughts focused on the New Year, a great temptation is about to rear its ugly head.

No, it’s not the temptation of yet another batch of holiday cookies. It’s the impossible-to-resist pull to set unrealistic, Herculean goals for 2015.

And yet while the setting of New Year’s resolutions isn’t a problem in itself, making unrealistic promises to one self or others disrupts balance and ends up making you feel more frazzled than ever.

Here are 5 balanced, realistic ways to achieve your goals in 2015:

1. Create a Goal Board/Calendar

You want 2015 to be a great year. You have 20, maybe even 100 different things you’d like to achieve. But a goal without a realistic plan is merely wishful thinking.

Create a goal board and/or calendar and choose ONE goal per month for the first quarter of 2015. Choosing fewer goals will not only help you prioritize; it will help you create a manageable plan for actually achieving those goals as well.

2. Ask the Tough Questions

What do you really, truly want in 2015? On the surface, your goals might include launching a new business, getting healthy, spending more time with family, and other worthwhile pursuits.

But what is at the core, or heart, of those goals? What is your “why” behind seeking a new business, a healthier body, or better state of mind?

Determining what you truly want underneath the surface will help you choose goals that reflect your deepest aspirations. It will also help you shift your lifestyle and bring every aspect of your life into balance.

3. Do Your Research

You’re not alone when it comes to achieving goals and cultivating balance in 2015. Examine some different resources, including blogs, books, mastermind groups, and coaches, and see which of these resources can help you achieve your goals.

The resources you choose should not only help you reach your goals, but should help you focus on your overall performance and create more equilibrium in your life.

4. Evaluate Pro’s and Con’s

Be honest – what aspects of your life are just not working for you? Which facets do you love and want more of in 2015?

Sometimes it can be difficult to know from where your lack of balance originates. Take a good, hard look at what’s working and why those aspects of your life make you happy.

Take another hard look at what’s causing you stress and draining your energy. Keep in mind that goals can also include ending toxic relationships and spending less time and energy on certain projects and/or people.

5. Treat Yourself

It may sound counterintuitive, but one of the most effective ways of reaching your goals is by doing something totally unrelated to your goals.

Take a vacation, sign up for an art class, attend a conference, or treat yourself to something seemingly unrelated to your personal and professional life. You’ll not only learn about yourself and the world; you’ll discover surprising answers and new perspectives that will, in turn, help you achieve your goals that much faster.

Bonus: Tighten Your Focus in 2015

A wonderful goal-setting treat for 2015 is called Excuse Me, Your Life Is Waiting. This book, by author Lynn Grabhorn, will help you get laser-focused about what you want to achieve and how you’re going to get there in 2015.

In Chapter Three, Grabhorn writes, “Focus on what you don’t want, and watch it get bigger. If you’re giving some passionate attention to something you truly do not want, it will eventually grow up to smack you.” Focus instead on what you DO want, and be sure that focus is directed toward one goal at a time.

If you had to narrow it downFree Web Content, what is your ONE goal for 2015?

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Human Diaries is an online lifestyle magazine that delivers all the best in lifestyle, gadgets, gear, fashion, culture, recipes and more.

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