Setting goals for the New Year is an age-old tradition–but there’s a right way to doing it so that you can set yourself up for success! We’ve talked about setting goals on the blog before, but it’s always worth reiterating. Not only will setting the right goals get you motivated, it’ll also keep you on track throughout the year. Here are some points that you should remember when setting your goals for 2021–I know you can do it!
1. Start small.
Set small goals that are realistic and attainable. Similar to habit-building, smaller changes are easier for people to achieve than really big ones. Setting up ambitious goals isn’t a bad thing, but sometimes people set themselves up for more than they can handle and the result feels like failure. It’s much easier for someone to feel unmotivated or to give up if they’re feeling overwhelmed about what they have to achieve to reach an unattainable goal. You can always set a long-term goal and then have short-term milestones to hit along the way to the big one. It’ll keep you focused and motivated to see small successes, especially in the beginning.
2. Make it realistic.
When setting goals, remember to be honest with yourself and know what’s realistic for you and what isn’t. And I don’t mean this in a defeatist type of way. It’s more like, are you a morning-workout person, or an evening-working person? If you seriously struggle to get up early enough to go for a 30-minute run in the morning, don’t make that your goal. Instead, schedule your run for the evening. Sometimes having unrealistic goals can put unnecessary pressure on you and you end up not doing the exercise at all, so the most successful approach would be to schedule for the evening.
Another aspect to being realistic when setting goals is to understand that sometimes, it takes more time to see progress. Just because it took you 2 months to lose 20 pounds in the beginning doesn’t mean you’ll continue to lose weight at that speed. The more weight you lose, the harder it will be to lose more weight, so set your goals accordingly.
3. Make it measurable.
Having a goal that you can measure or track makes it easier to stay focused and on track. The more specific you can get, the better. Whether it’s wanting to be 160 pounds by December or wanting to be able to run a marathon in 12 weeks, it’s much more effective to have specific goals than to say, “I want to get skinny” or “I want to get stronger.” Having a “deadline” for your goal will also keep you motivated to stay focused and set a more structured plan to achieve your goal.
Another benefit of setting measurable goals is that it’ll motivate you to track progress along the way. It could be a scale, a step-counter, tracking what weights you’re lifting, etc., but it’ll give you something to compare. Added bonus is that you have something to look back on and be proud of what you’ve accomplished later on!
4. Reward yourself.
Don’t forget to reward yourself for the small successes and the big ones. Forming daily habits is how you actually achieve your goals, so finding ways to reward yourself for working out regularly, meditating every day, reading a book everyday–whatever your goal is–do something that makes this habit rewarding.
5. Don’t be too hard on yourself.
I know people can tend to beat themselves up A LOT for “falling off the wagon”. But in reality, success isn’t a straight line going up. We can miss a workout every once in a while, and that’s OK. As long as you keep sticking to the plan and work out and eat healthy most days (for example), you will still see success. One day off is not the end.
With these tips in mind, write down your goals for 2021. Be specific and have a plan. You can do this!