By Teresa Clark-Jones Michigan State University Extension The New Year is right around the corner and many of us try to create New Year\u2019s resolutions or goals for the next 12 months. Unfortunately, a lot of us have difficulty even knowing where to begin our goal setting. Here are some tips to get you started on creating your 2015 plan. Goal setting requires knowing what dreams and values are most important to you and how to use them as the basis for your goals. Consider what is important to you. This may include health and fitness, career and work, relationships, social life, personal development, finances, quality of life or spirituality. Create a list and prioritize your dreams and wishes. Use your top priority dreams to develop your goals. Think about when you would like to accomplish your goals. Are they short term? Ones you hope to accomplish within the next year? Or are they going to take longer and need to be planned over several years? Understand that it is almost impossible to work successfully on more than two or three goals at a one time. The most effective goals are SMART goals. Specific: The who, what, where, when, which and why part of the goal. Measurable: This describes the action of the goal. How much? How often? How many? How will know you when it is accomplished? Agreeable: All parties that are actively part of each of the goals need to agree on the action. Consider what attitudes, abilities and skills you will need. What overlooked opportunities exist? Relevant\/realistic: Is it important to you? Are you willing and able to work toward it? Do you truly believe it can be accomplished? Timed: Establish a completion date. What is the time frame? SMART goals provide a framework for making decisions about what to do. Once accomplished, they can help you turn your dreams into reality. Why do so many people have difficulty reaching their goals? There are several frequently cited reasons. One is that the goal is too general. The more specific the goal, chances improve of completing the goal. Many of us have too many goals that we are working on at once. Narrow your list down to two or three goals and you will less likely become overwhelmed or give up. Many of us set unrealistic goals. This is particularly true with financial goals. The last two reasons that goals are not achieved have to do with importance and values. Maybe the goal is no longer important or another goal takes priority. Make sure to evaluate or re-evaluate your goals to be certain they are still important to you. By using these tips you will be ready for 2015 with goals to accomplish your plans and dreams. Michigan State University Extension offers a multitude of classes and resources to help reach your goals. For programs near you go to: http:\/\/msue.anr.msu.edu\/events.