Five Steps to Make Progress in 2020 - Aleta Norris Skip to content

Five Steps to Make Progress in 2020

Do you want to get a strong start in 2020, make progress in your life immediately and avoid another ‘good enough’ year?

I’m always acutely aware of the start of a new year. Good intentions are fresh. Women are hopeful to turn some things around. I’m no different.

Do you know almost 80% of the population who set new years resolutions have abandoned them by the end of January? And by year end, less than 10% of us accomplish what we set out to?

There are numerous reasons our best intentions go sideways.

Often, we have a wish without a plan.

Or, we have a plan without a strategy.

Or, we fail to set up our circumstances and surroundings to help ensure our success.

If it were easier, we’d be using our paid gym memberships, and we’d have lost the weight, and our houses would be clutter-free, and we’d have investments for the future with paid-off credit cards, or we’d be spending more time with friends, or we’d be calmer, or……

If only.

In this blog post, I am going to share four simple steps to help you set yourself up for success.


1. Assess Your Current State

Before selecting your area of focus for 2020, give thoughtful consideration to how your life feels for you right now. Consider a variety of areas, and rate your level of satisfaction in each.  As you’re doing this, you could even assign an importance level to each area.

For example, you may not feel satisfied with your current home and space, but you may have plans to buy something different or move or remodel in 2021.  So, “dissatisfied, but not important” as a current area of focus. On the other hand, you may be very dissatisfied in your significant relationship or your relationship with one of your children….and it is very important.

You can consider the following areas of your life:  your significant other relationship, your role as a mom (if you are one), your friendships, your extended family relationships, finances, career, fitness, hobbies and interests, and your joy and peace.  Feel free to add your own.


2 . Choose ONE area to focus on.

Yes, just one.

You may have multiple areas that you would like to give attention to, but it is better to make measurable progress in one area than less progress in many.

If you were to select one area, what would it be?

Do you want a more peaceful home and space? More meaningful friendships? Do you want to have a more positive relationship with your kids?  Perhaps you don’t get along with one of your siblings.

I’m focusing on health and fitness in 2020. Specifically, I am going to focus on food habits. I have other things I’d like to give attention to, but this will be my priority.  What about you?


3. Brainstorm

Okay, now you have your one area.  Your next step will be to brainstorm all of your ideas related to this. You’ll brainstorm as if you have no constraints. Imagine money is not a concern, time is not a concern, and previous failed attempts are not a concern.

Imagine if others are involved, they will appreciate your attempt, and you’ll make progress in your relationship.

As I think about my desire to improve my food habits, I have so many ideas: don’t eat candy, cookies, cake and other desserts, don’t eat crackers and chips, eat more vegetables than protein for any meal, don’t eat after 7:00 pm, do not eat before 10:00 am, drink 8 oz of water before my workout, limit chai tea lattes to twice per week, don’t stand by the food table at gatherings, order a salad rather than fries as a side, eat only half the entrée at a restaurant.

I’ll stop here, but there are many other things I can consider to improve my food habits. This is a good start.


4. Choose Three Things

From your brainstorm list, identify three things you can begin to focus on to make progress in your one area. You could, of course, choose more, but the key here is to set yourself up to succeed.

One of the reasons so many of us fail in making progress toward our goals is because we overestimate our willpower.  In our enthusiasm to make progress, we make a declaration of sorts, then fall short when we need to turn our wishes into action.

As I look at my brainstorm list above, here are the three things I will start with:  Do not eat after 7:00 pm; eat more vegetables than protein at any meal, and eat only half the entrée at a restaurant.

These things feel fairly easy for me, and I’m comfortable with my ability to succeed. As I move a month or so into the new year, I’m going to tackle the first one: eat no candy, cookies, cake, pie and other desserts. THIS one will be difficult for me.  Meanwhile, I’ll begin to work on that one.

What about you? What three things will you commit to?


5. Write it down

A goal without a written plan is just a wish.

Get out your journal and notecards and stick notes!


I wish you a fantastic start to the new year AND the new decade.

IF you are someone who likes to be part of a community of women doing the same thing, seeking progress, wanting to succeed….I’d like to invite you sign up for my FREE mini mini boot camp called “Kickstart Your New Decade.”  You can learn more and sign up at We’ll be doing the work I’ve just described. And working together.


Hope to see you there!  XOXO  Aleta


Prefer to listen to these ideas instead of reading them? Visit my YouTube channel for similar content!

Or join my Women Who Spark Tribe Facebook Community to become part of a supportive group of women….seeking positivity and productivity in life, just like you.

If you’d like to contribute your thoughts to my research on women’s fulfillment, you can find my survey at


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