As you pack and put away Christmas decorations and drink up the rest of the eggnog, you anticipate the new year and dream up all you want to accomplish. Lose 30 pounds, get out a debt, run a marathon. . . the list goes on.

It is easy to ‘set goals’, but achieving them is difficult. You can start strong, but often life gets in the way and they seem too big and unachievable and fade off in a couple of weeks.

Elder M. Russell Ballard shared a secret in goal setting a few years ago. The key, he shared, is to “set short-term goals that you can reach. Set goals that are well-balanced–not too many nor too few, and not too high nor too low.”

We often do the opposite approach with our goal setting and just need to focus on shorter term accomplishment and hold ourselves accountable by sharing our goals with others.

This year make sure that goals can be reached. Make sure they are well balanced and don’t get discouraged. Take it day by day and start where you are at and be realistic. Work consistently on that goals you set, and day after day you are improving and inching closer to where you truly want to be.