Every new year represents a new beginning for many of my clients. And with that new beginning comes some new goals to accomplish over the next year or two. Big or small, setting goals creates a path to greater happiness and more financial freedom.

Most people think the failure to reach goals happens when they lose the motivation and give up. But the key to attaining them is often found in the way we set them. These five little tips can help you understand the importance of the goal setting process, so you can give yourself a greater chance at attaining yours:

Align yourself with goals that motivate you. A mistake that many people make is setting goals that they THINK they should be setting, not what excites them. If you’re not motivated within, you’ll depend on external motivators to keep you going. This is a misalignment of goals and you’ll be much more likely to drop them along the way. Create goals that speak to you, not goals you think should speak to you.

Break down big goals into smaller ones. When we don’t reach goals, we feel defeated. By breaking down bigger goals into smaller or medium accomplishments, you can attain them more frequently. This naturally keeps you motivated since you can see and measure success as it’s happening.

Make your goals visible. Create a vision board of pictures of goals to hang in the home and/or office to remind you of what you want to achieve. They are proven to work! Having a constant visual reminder of goals helps stay focused and connected. If you don’t create a vision board, be sure to read your goals daily to remind yourself of why you’re working so hard.

Assign an accountability partner. Find a family member or friend to hold you accountable for your goals. Whether it’s losing weight, saving money or getting comfortable with public speaking, having someone who checks in with you regularly or heads to the gym with you will increase your chances of attaining them.

Expect hard times. Expect obstacles in your path and be willing to put in the time, commitment and hard work to overcome them. If you don’t anticipate opposition, you’ll be more likely to get thrown off course or quit. When you’re faced with a roadblock, know that this too is all part of the journey and get back on track.

Celebrate small victories. Part of the fun is celebrating smaller victories along the way. It’s important part mentally and physically to feel accomplished and check off goals as you reach them. Create a plan to reward yourself for the smaller goals you accomplish. This will provide the extra motivation to stay the course.

We hope these tips help you reach the goals that are most important to you.