A New Way To Look at Setting Goals For The New Year

And there we have it, a new year is upon us and with it a feeling of wanting to take on the world and conquer all those things we’ve been putting off. 

The new year ambition of wanting to do it all always gets me this time of year. I’ll write down a long list of all the ways I’m going to be different this year and then quietly forget about it as the busyness of life sets in after the holidays…

Anyone else? I know I’m not the only one because according to research, only about 36% of us who set new year’s resolutions actually keep pursuing those goals after January! And only 9% make it all the way to the end of the year.

So with those success rates, how do we actually set goals for the year and follow through on them? 

Well let’s look at the main reasons our goals fail in the first place. 

  1. We’re not ready to commit to our goals
  2. We set unrealistic goals. 
  3. We don’t keep track of our progress over the weeks and months 
  4. We just completely forget we set the dang goals in the first place
  5. We set way too many goals to be able to keep up with 

Any of these sounds familiar. I don’t know about you, but I am definitely guilty of all 5


With that list of reasons our goals fail in mind, here are 7 tips to think about when setting (or not setting?) your goals this year:


1. Get Your Why in Check 

We have to be ready to commit to our goals in order to pursue them. Commitment means we have to have the right mindset. That means getting real with yourself on why you are choosing this goal. Sometimes it’s just not the right season in our life to go after certain goals. Or sometimes a goal is just some bogus societal goal we think we should be pursuing. Really getting to the root of why you are pursuing a goal will help you realize if you’re ready to commit to that goal.  


2. Get Detailed With Your Goals 

Determine exactly when you will know you’ve been successful in achieving your goal. You can’t reach a goal when you’re not even sure what the end result is. You don’t have to have every single detail ironed out but you should be able to understand what the product of your goal will look like. 


3. Limit Yourself to 1-3 Goals 

As much as I wish we could, we cannot do ALL the things.. at least not all at once. Changing habits and pursuing new things takes time and effort. Setting too many goals at once only leads to failure because it’s a lot to keep up with. Take your time to focus on a few goals at a time and you’ll see much better results. 


4. Set up Regular Check-Ins With Yourself 

It’s important to check-in on your progress with your goals. These can be monthly, weekly, or even daily if that works for you. You want to make sure you are still on track or if you need to readjust. This is also good to see how far you’ve come to give you motivation to keep going! 


5. Write Your Goals Down 

I’m sure we’ve all heard this one. The mind is an amazing thing, but too many great thoughts get lost whenever we don’t write them down. Write your goals down and bonus points if you put them in a place where you can see them daily. I know life can get hectic and we can forget about our goals but having them written down where we can see them on a consistent basis helps with accountability and reminding us about the things we are working towards. 


6. Consistency Over Quality (At First) 

I think this is one of the ones I struggle with most and I’m still learning. Setting up new ways we do life is all about consistency first, and then we can build on that consistency over time and get better. It doesn’t have to be perfect the first time, doing something half ass is better than not doing it at all. And if you miss a day or two (or five) that’s okay, just get back to it. 1% better each day is still progress!


7. Add in New Habits Instead of Stopping Old Ones

This is some of the best internet advice I’ve heard (and I’m sorry I don’t remember where the first time I heard it) but adding things into your routine is a lot easier than removing things from it. It’s like when you tell a kid they can’t do something you’re basically ensuring they will do it, we are all that kid telling ourselves we can’t do something and it just makes us want to do it even more. So instead of saying I’m not going to eat out anymore, why not say I am going to cook one more meal than normal a week. Or I’m not going to spend time on TikTok vs. I’m going to read at least 15 minutes a day. 


I hope these tips help with your goal setting this year. I would love to hear what your favorite piece of advice for pursuing goals is!

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