With the new year approaching, new year's resolutions are fresh on the mind. We begin to anticipate the opportunities that a big milestone event like a brand new year can bring! We want to kick it off right – inspired and motivated from the very first day.
The problem with new year's resolutions is that they're notorious for not sticking. Many of us will arbitrarily say something absolute that we're going to do (or not do!) and we certainly know how to start off strong. But before we know it – sometimes within a few days – we're back to our old ways.
Instead, here at Day Designer, we're a fan of setting goals. And not just any goals. Your goals need to be well thought out and planned into your life! But how? Join us for a quick guide on how to set the right goals for yourself as you embark on a new year!
How to Set Goals for the New Year
1. Assess where you are
Self-awareness is the start of self-improvement. Think through all areas of your life to evaluate what is working and what is not. Consider your health (both physical and mental), your relationships, your finances, your career, the way you spend your time, and any additional areas of your life – such as your education, parenting, faith, volunteer work, and more.
Your reflections will become building blocks of the goals you will set for the year to come.
2. Clarify what is important to you
Next, let's zoom out for a few minutes. Grab a notebook and brainstorm your biggest dreams for the future and envision the kind of life you want to live. Outline your values and remind yourself of your passions as you look at the big picture. Later, when you set your goals, each one will support your overarching desires.
3. Determine where you want to go this year
Now, let’s close in on the year ahead! From the list above, identify what is most important to you right now. In other words – realistically speaking – what do you want to change, improve, and accomplish in the coming year? To ensure you're not leaving something out, run through the areas of life that you considered in step one.
4. Develop specific goals to guide you there
Now it’s time to get more detailed and officially set your goals for the new year. Take your answers from the question above to develop your list of goals. Each goal should be specific and include a deadline. If one of your goals feels too lofty, break it down into smaller goals or more manageable pieces.
Pro-tip: Start with a rough draft and mark it up until you are comfortable with your plan. Next, refine and write down your official list of goals to kick off the new year! Research has shown that we’re more likely to accomplish our goals when they are in writing. (One of the many reasons we love planners!)
But don't stress – your goals are not "final" and there's no shame in giving yourself grace throughout the year! Things happen and circumstances change. You'll simply adjust your goals as needed.
5. Create a plan!
Identify times in your planner to review your goals on a regular basis, keeping them at the forefront of your mind. Consider posting your goals in obvious places! Tell them to your friends and family for extra accountability.
As you plan your year, create routines and habits that support your goals. As you go about your weeks and days, prioritize the projects, tasks, and to-dos that will help you accomplish your goals. It's important to remember that our achievements are really just the accumulation of small steps in the right direction over time!
The Flagship Daily Planner by Day Designer was created to help you plan an intentional year with goal-setting worksheets, monthly calendars, and daily planning pages. Learn more about our best-selling planner today!