How to set goals for the new year?

How to set goals for the new year?

Why is it that with the new year many people set goals for themselves, but they don’t work out? This is due to the fact that we do not motivate ourselves enough. Our article will tell you how to fix it, how to set goals for the year ahead.

Why our year-goals are not fulfilled as intended?

According to my experience, people most often set the following goals for the new year:

  • To lose weight, start a diet;
  • Start jogging in the morning;
  • Give up smoking, drinking strong alcohol;
  • To start a career, self-education;
  • Give up bad habits, change their way of life;
  • Start traveling;
  • Spend more time with family and friends, and others.

All of these goals are quite achievable. So why don’t they get accomplished? Why do they remain goals for most people year after year?

In the first week of January, most people put off their goals, because it’s the holiday and vacation period. After that, people have no time for new goals as they cramp back into a work rhythm.

What happens then? Nothing happens. Most people just forget about the annual goals. Sometimes they remember them only in the summer or fall, and then begin to torment themselves with a sense of shame that they do not have enough willpower, that they can not pull themselves together and all of that.

But this does not happen to everyone. As studies have shown: about 10-15% of people do achieve their annual goals. How do they do it? Let’s study this moment.

What is the difference between people who achieve their goals and those who don’t?

His Majesty Success, as well as the achievement of this miracle – perhaps the most popular of topics in the psychology of our time! A huge number of books have been written on the exciting question, “How does one achieve goals and success?” Not to mention all the advertising that we see on television, in magazines. Which imposes on us the typical, and single-type images of people who are successful!

How to set goals for the new year?

But what is success in reality? Is it true that it, indulging in the standards of modern reality is: a prestigious job that pays well, a luxury car, clothes from brands known around the world?

Insanely appropriate here is a saying by one of the “fathers” of coaching, Tolmas Leonard:

“The human determines for himself what success is.” This view of the “problem” of success makes it possible not to follow the image imposed by someone else, but to move directly to one’s own understanding of the word.

With all that said, almost all people who realize the goals set for themselves and maximize their potential, you can identify a certain number of common features that distinguish them from other people.

So let’s go down this road together and figure out how successful people are fundamentally different from unsuccessful people. And so, 10 qualities that are common to successful people! Here we go!

1. Successful people look for opportunities around them, while unsuccessful people look mainly for excuses

For example, consider a situation where there is no money (not at all or a severe shortage). What will a successful person do? Absolutely right!

He will look for an opportunity to earn it, to seek knowledge how to do it! Will learn how to manage their finances.

What will the unsuccessful person do? Maybe he will look for money, but after a couple of tries, he will give it up! He will sit in his kitchen and complain about how you can’t make money in “this” country.

2. Successful people and unsuccessful people have a big difference in their actions

While successful people act (despite the risks, ignorance, fears, laziness), unsuccessful people accumulate knowledge (even surpassing in quantity and quality people successful), but do not apply them in practice for fear that they will not succeed, and they begin to wait for a favorable moment, which (of course, not surprisingly) never comes.

3. A successful person strives to become more than he is now

Achieve something greater than he already has, while an unsuccessful man tries by all means to maintain the status quo.

“It didn’t work then, no problem, it will work this time,” is how his inner self dialogues with the successful person.

“And why would I want to do that? This is the dialogue inside the unsuccessful person.

4. The successful person is not afraid to make a mistake!

If he falls, he will rise again, carrying with him the experience of his fall! An unsuccessful person is afraid to make mistakes, he is afraid to fall, and if he falls (as practice shows), he will not try to get up again!

Almost all successful and famous people (to be exact, all 100%) made mistakes and fell down one way or another, but found the strength and rose, which subsequently led them to greatness. This point can be seen in the biographies of absolutely all the famous and powerful people of this world.

5. Self-motivation is one of the main points of successful people!

A successful person motivates himself by the excitement of the process, by the desire to prove his power to everybody (mainly to himself, of course)! He motivates himself by sincere interest, sincere love to the activity itself!

An unsuccessful person needs to be constantly motivated from the outside. Their motivation is created by other people. They are motivated by the fact that as a result of performing these or those activities, he will receive some benefits, whether it is an expensive car or the approval of others.

6. Attitude to risk

Successful people are not afraid of risk. They take risks every day. They take risks, knowing that at one moment or another, even in the best and most considered plan, problems and circumstances, which are usually called unfavorable, may break in. But they are aware of the possibility that this may happen and take a step toward the unknown.

At the same time, people who are unsuccessful will not take risks. They are simply more comfortable with where they are now. They want to change their life / job / relationship, but they won’t take the risk because it’s the unknown, because you could fall there and have to start all over again.

7. Successful people are patient people

They are willing to go long and hard toward their goal. They are willing to do a tremendous amount of work, day after day, until they reach their desired result. They know that their journey will not be quick and certainly not easy.

At the same time, people who are unsuccessful want to get everything at once. They start something, perhaps even something they have wanted to do all their lives, but they quickly lose it, because they encounter difficulties and obstacles that they do not dare to fight for fear of losing.

So as one wise man said, “Genius is 1 percent of luck and 99 percent of hard work”.

8. A successful person is not afraid of being rejected

He looks at the world soberly and understands perfectly well that he will not be constantly told “Yes” in this life, it does not happen.

At the same time, rejection knocks the unsuccessful man out of his cali, ruins his “castles of air.

As Timothy Ferris said : “A man’s success in life is determined by the number of ‘uncomfortable conversations’ he has endured”.

9. Successful people believe in themselves

They are sure that they have made the right choice. They are confident in themselves and don’t need outside approval. They do not care what others (except the people closest to them) think of them.

An unsuccessful person, instead of believing in himself or herself, mostly believes in what others say about him or her. This position lowers a person’s self-esteem a lot. He does not know whom to believe, because he is told differently from all sides.

10. Successful ones follow the call of their big Dream, a Dream so huge that it just seems unattainable

They pursue a Worthy goal in life, and that goal is usually comparable in size to their own Dream.

Unsuccessful mainly pursues small goals. Their dreams, as a rule, can be realized by the end of the week, but they make it the dream of a lifetime. Although even such seemingly small (especially by the standards of successful people) dreams they cannot achieve even in a lifetime.

The last point is the most important. After all, setting goals for the year and for the week are not the same thing. That’s why most people don’t achieve their annual goals.

Why are your goals not being met?

1. You didn’t want it in the first place

Our society is set up so that there’s a bunch of things you’re supposed to want, otherwise you’re a loser: “Exercise a sports,” “Take care of the environment,” “Call your mom every day.” Brghh, thank you, no.

Don’t copy other people’s lists, don’t strive for beautiful 10 or 25 plans for the next year, let’s better figure out what’s important to you and right now.

2. Circumstances have changed, or you wanted earlier, but no wanted now

You have so perfectly planned each month, for the New Year holidays – a trip, then for April, March and May – to earn a lot of money, in May again a trip to take up three new sports… And then you’re asked to vacate a rental apartment, for example. Or downsized. And ooops – no more expensive trips, plans crumbling, guilt mounting.

So let’s try to choose something that will be relevant until next winter, regardless of the circumstances.

3. You wanted something like “feel a lot of joy” or “stop thinking about that liar”

It doesn’t work that way. 🙂 Recall how to set goals correctly:

  • Аffirmative wording (instead of “I want to stop watching TV,” you need to write exactly what you’re going to do in your free time);
  • Сontrol the execution (instead of “I want to get married,” which you have no control over because the other person’s feelings and desire to combine life with you are beyond your control, alas, “have a romantic date with my man every Saturday”);
  • Measurability of accomplishment (instead of “I want to learn to play guitar” – “I’ve learned 50 songs, am able to take a bar and feel confident when company asks me to play”);
  • Clear date of completion or frequency of the process (instead of “do yoga” – “do yoga three times a week for half an hour in the morning”;  instead of “save money” – “have XXX dollars in the bank by December 2021”).

This is a necessary minimum, you can Google SMART technology or any other. Someone recommends formulating goals in the perfect form and the present tense, for example, “I did”, “I have”.

However, at this stage, it is too early to define specific goals.

5 exercises to achieving annual goals

1. Identify the important areas of your live

My favorite exercise for this is the Wheel of Balance.

You have to choose four to eight of the most important areas of your life. Those areas without which your life would not be complete. There are some blueprints on the Web like this one:

How to set goals for the new year?

But it’s better not to use it, and make up your own. For example, I don’t understand how finances differ from career for most people, and I don’t care about fame at all.
Try to combine or divide the spheres so that they are not less than four (otherwise it will be very sad) or more than eight (otherwise it will be very difficult and you will be “torn”).

This is what my balance wheel looks like:

How to set goals for the new year?

In each area, you should roughly shade your level of satisfaction with the quality and quantity of expression of that area in your life. For example, I’m satisfied with my work, and I paint over everything. And I haven’t had much new lately, for example, I fill in half of the division there.

You get something like this:

How to set goals for the new year?

At this point, we see in ourselves that the wheel doesn’t look like a wheel at all, and we start crying bitter tears.

After we cry, we take up the wheel again, and begin to fix things.

I’ve written very general points on the outside of the wheel about what I need to do to be happy.
And you write them too.

Option “b”: write only the ones you’re not doing yet, but are going to (I’m taking vitamins, then you don’t have to write them anymore)

Option “c”: write only one item, aka the next step.

2. Analyzing the Wheel

I choose 3-4 areas that require close attention in the coming year. These are usually the areas that are sagging. 🙂

If it turns out that the satisfaction of your career is already at a maximum, forget about it, let it be maintained in the background of going to work. If your health isn’t a concern, you don’t have to start hogging liters of water or buying new running shoes.

Choose what you care most about and don’t throw everything away that could have been done in a year, leave yourself room for life, surprises and adjustments to plans.

Let’s say the sagging areas are family, health, and personal growth.

3. Don’t forget to set one new target for each area of the Wheel

For example:

  • Work: earn XXX money by the end of the year;
  • Leisure: get two trips a year;
  • Culture: go to museums once a month;
  • Religion: Go to church on Sundays.

These goals don’t have to be hard for you. That is, they must be such that you can accomplish them in a year anyway.

Write them down so you can see that by focusing on the three sagging areas, you are not throwing away the rest.

4. Set a few goals for the “sagging” areas of the Wheel

For example:


  1. Calling my mom once a week;
  2. Call my grandmother twice a week;
  3. Go out with my sister once a fortnight, have tea with my mom, and talk live;
  4. Go out with a man every two weeks for cultural activities.


  1. Have a checkup at the dentist;
  2. Get checked out by a surgeon;
  3. Treat a long-standing bronchitis;
  4. Buy multivitamins:
  5. Go to the gym three times a week;
  6. Eat a healthy diet.

Personal growth:

  1. Take three new online-courses (this one for work, this one for hobbies, this one is just interesting);
  2. Read 30 books;
  3. Write reviews of books I like and post them on my blog;
  4. To attend 4 trainings (two for work, two for hobbies).

These are my goals for the year. Nothing extra. Everything is important.

5. Create a timeline for accomplishing the goals

If you’re an “organization maniac”, you can immediately assign goals to the seasons, make up timelines for them, add additional small plans from the “must-do” lists for summer, fall, winter, and spring,” put in advance preparations for friends’ birthdays and other little things.

If you prefer to leave yourself more freedom, you can try doing what I did: “A plan for the next two months”.

I set 10 goals (sometimes a little more) with the internal permission not to do any two (so a little more). Then I divide them into three sections – working, resource and external. It used to be – working, development and attitude. I also had working, healthy, and mental. Accordingly, each section has three goals, plus one that = the coolest event of the two months. It is impossible not to do it, or it will turn out that I have not had anything awesome for 60 days.

The goals are again made with the areas of the wheel in mind. 🙂

For example, here are the goals I set for May-June 2021:


  • Deposit $1500 in the bank:
  • Write reviews for Omar’s Voice by the end of June;
  • Compose the first part of the student test papers.


  • 4 trips to the cottage for 2 days each with the phone off;
  • 4 trips to the doctor X;
  • Exercise sports every day, half an hour on the back.

Internal: I won’t say. 🙂


  1. Determine what is important in your live;
  2. Determine what of these important things works by ourselves;
  3. Keeping what works alive;
  4. Figure out how to make the sagging start up;
  5. Go for it!

I wish you success in achieving your goals!

No more posts
No more posts