How to Set Realistic Goals for the New Year
Happy New Year, everyone! There is something so hopeful about a new year beginning, and I am ready to see what's in store for 2022 (and having hope that it's a little bit more calm than 2021 was...)
As a new year rolls in, I think it's pretty commonplace to want to set goals and resolutions that we intend to accomplish over the following 365 days, right? While these goals are usually well-intentioned they can also sometimes be unrealistic and they can fall by the wayside within a month or two. I'm here to give a few pointers I've learned along the way on how to set realistic goals so that you can see them through. Here we go!
Know Yourself + Keep it Simple
While I'm not saying "don't go after difficult goals", I am saying keep them simple for yourself. Only you know what is realistic for yourself with your time constraints, your day-to-day dynamic, your current stressors, etc. The point of creating a goal is to improve some part(s) of your life, not to add more stress and chaos. Some areas to consider setting a goal(s) in are: spiritual goals, financial goals, career goals, fitness goals, family goals, educational goals, or social goals. Maybe you have the capacity to tackle one of those categories, maybe you have the capacity to tackle three categories, etc-- either way, it's all good and positive. Know yourself and set yourself up for success, and then create a plan.
When you're thinking about what you'd like to accomplish in the next year, be specific! Saying you want to be "less stressed" isn't all that specific, but if you think about what things you can do each day to feel less stressed, like meditating for 10 minutes each day, now that's something tangible that you could achieve.
Make Your Goal Measurable
How will you know if you're achieving your goal if there is no way to measure it? If your goal is to save a certain amount of money by the end of the year, figure out how much per month you will have to save and then break that number down by each week. That way you can keep track of your progress and hold yourself accountable.
Make it Personal
Your goal needs to be something YOU want, like deep-down you want this for yourself. All goals, no matter what they are, require determination and hard work and if you're chasing something you don't actually want, you're probably not going to put in the work.
Have a Plan
Having a plan and knowing your timeline is key to accomplishing any goal. Make sure your goal is written down. If you're looking to meditate each day, maybe grab a calendar that is dedicated to you keeping track of the days you have meditated, even if it's just a check-mark on the date. If you're trying to spend less money on groceries each month, maybe create a spreadsheet where you can track all grocery purchases and track the totals at the end of each month. Bookmark it on your computer or print it out, make it easily accessible! Create a plan that feels good to you, and attainable.
Don't Get Discouraged + Seek Support
As I mentioned above, all goals take determination and hard work because changing behaviors and habits takes effort. If you get off track, try not to get discouraged. If you forget to meditate one day, don't beat yourself up about it-- we're all human, just pick it up the next day and keep pressing on! Support and accountability can be1000% helpful when trying to achieve a new goal; talk to a friend about your new goal and check-in with them occasionally to share any progress or challenges, and offer to simultaneously check-in with them on their goals. Seek out new communities who have similar goals, there are Facebook groups for just about everything, or local groups, etc.
I'd love to hear if anyone has other tips and tricks, or what your goals are for 2022-- drop them below in the comments!