Anyone can have a goal (or New Year’s resolution), But can they follow through?

Jan 2, 2024 | Spotlight, Women's Business

My process from goal to finish line explained.

It’s a funny thing about goals. This time a year we call them New Year’s Resolutions. Most people never accomplish them. I have always enjoyed setting what seems like impossible goals and the joy of reaching them. This was true when I ran my first marathon. The feeling of crossing the finish line during the San Diego Rock n ’Roll Marathon in 2000 stays with me today. I liked that feeling so much, I went on to run twelve more in places like Monte Carlo, Rome, Jerusalem, Paris and New York.

It was also true when I decided to learn Italian. I started with Rosetta Stone and Duo Lingo. Then progressed to lessons, classes and two months of school in Sicily. I just took the test for level B2 (advanced intermediate) and can read, write and speak Italian. I’m not fluent…yet.

In July, I made it a goal to have a cohesive content strategy because it’s crucial for marketing Knoodle and attracting prospective clients. Business had become harder to come by and for years, I had stopped and started my attempts at regular content. But this time, I made it a serious goal. Five months later, we are seeing more new business leads come to us. It’s more than we have seen in the previous 24 years of Knoodle.

When I look back, every goal I accomplished had been done exactly the same way. Conversely, the goals I didn’t achieve, I ignored the process and went “freestyle”. When I say freestyle, I mean that I declared a goal and then didn’t act on it in a deliberate way.

My process isn’t original. It’s a collection of ideas that I borrowed from other people. One of the unlikely places, for instance, was David Whitsett’s book, The Non-Runner’s Marathon Trainer. Here is my process that has always worked for me.


Tell everyone you know what you are planning to do.

To some, this might sound like bragging. But to me (and those with an ego), it means my reputation is on the line and I don’t want to embarrass myself. This is also a way to make myself accountable.


Create steps with a finish line in sight.

Once I decide to work on a goal, I create a plan. When I decided to act on a content strategy, it seemed like a daunting task. What would I write about? What types of elements would I include? What combination of social media would I use? I met with my business partner, Sandra Baumunk, and we created a content calendar. We had each week outlined with types of social media and content listed. We also created a theme for each month. This became the plan with steps to take each week.


When you want to deviate from the steps, change your thinking.

The challenge with many of these goals, is that there are times we would rather do something else. This is true when it’s 90 degrees and the last thing I want to do at 5am is to go for a run. “It’s hot,” I might say to myself or “I would rather sleep another hour.” The way to change that is to finish every thought like that with, “but it doesn’t matter.”


Work the plan.

Learning Italian has been time consuming and expensive. I spend a minimum of ten hours a week with one class, one speaking lesson and one lesson that focuses on grammar. In the last five years, I have spent over 3,000 hours or the equivalent of 108 days of my life on this goal. But guess what? It doesn’t matter because it’s my goal and I will achieve it.


Review the plan weekly.

When we are acting on a plan, reflecting on what we have done each week feels like progress. Create small celebrations. Revel in your ability to follow through and work your way to goals that seem impossible. I think “talent” is overrated and “hard work” is underrated. This is a great equalizer because anyone can work hard. It may take someone longer- like me and my Italian- but I will be just as fluent as a talented linguist who learns much more quickly because of determination and follow through. Or I will get to the finish line at 26.2 miles of a marathon in five hours, as opposed to the winner, who generally gets there in under 2.5 hours, but I still get the medal.


Enjoy the win.

The feeling of crossing a finish line, completing a goal, and accomplishing what we have set out to do is nothing short of jubilation. Take time to revel in the feeling. It will be great motivation for the next goal or New Year’s resolution you choose.


Happy New Year!

About the author:

Rosaria Cain, CEO and marketing strategist, works with her team at Knoodle, to provide marketing services that work for clients so that they can meet their goals in creative, content, digital and video disciplines. As you may have gathered, her stubbornness for reaching a goal has seeped into all areas of her life. When not working, she spends her time running, traveling and learning Italian 🇮🇹