2021 goals: how to achieve them and what’s on my list ✨

Today I want to talk about setting goals for the new year and how to make sure you will actually achieve them. Besides that, I will also share my own 2021 goals with you, in case you’re still looking for some inspiration. In my Goodbye 2020 entry I reflected on the past year, which for me wasn’t a good one. To set myself (and you!) up for success in 2021, I researched how to actually achieve your goals. In this article I share the best tips with you!

How to actually achieve your 2021 goals

2021 arrived and you wrote down your goals for the new year. That’s a great start, but how do you make sure to actually achieve them? We all know it’s easy to forget about our goals after a few weeks if there’s no plan. Here are five tips to help you to actually achieve your 2021 goals:

1. Set specific goals

It’s important to set goals that are specific. If your goal is not specific, it’s hard to measure your progress. For example, I want to be more fit is not a specific goal. There’s no clear point at which you can consider this goal achieved. A non-specific goal can be a great starting point, but you have to make sure to specify it. For example: I want to go to the gym at least twice a week or I want to be able to run 5 kilometers in under thirty minutes. These specific goals can be easily tracked and you can clearly answer if you have achieved the goal or not.

2. Know why achieving the goal is important for you

Okay, let’s say you’ve written down all your goals for 2021. Now take a moment for each goal to write down why it is important for you to achieve it. Why do you want to go to gym twice a week? Is it because you want to lose weight or because you know working out is good for your mental health? Or is it because being fit is seen as something good in our society? It’s really important to know why a certain goal is important for you. If the goal is not actually important for you, it’s unlikely that you will find the motivation to achieve it.

3. Make sure your goals are realistic

Look at your goals again. Are they realistic? Can you actually achieve them in 2021? For example, maybe setting the goal of travelling to three different countries isn’t the most realistic for 2021. Think about your lifestyle and the ‘obligations’ you have throughout the year. If you’re a student with little money money to spend, make sure your goals don’t require financial investments. If you’re working full-time and have two kids, make sure your goals aren’t too time-consuming.

I’m by no means trying to say that you should just discard all of your big goals. Instead, choose a first step towards achieving your specific goal. Don’t set the goal of travelling the world for 2021 if you know you won’t have the money for it. Instead set yourself the goal of making some money for your trip, so that in 2022 you can actually do it.

4. Break your goals up in smaller steps and make a plan

A big goal can seem overwhelming and this can put us off from getting started. Let’s say that your goal is to start your own business in 2021. During the first months it’s easy to think that you still have a lot of time left. The further you get into the year, the bigger and more overwhelming the goal can seem. To avoid this, make sure you break down your goal into smaller steps and make a plan.

To get started, you need to identify the steps that are needed to achieve your goal. In the case of starting your own business, this could be writing a business plan, legally registering your business, getting your first clients and so on. Once you’ve got your steps, it’s time to make a plan. Which concrete actions are you going to take in January? For each month you write down which actions you’ll take towards achieving your big goal. You can even break it down into smaller steps for specific weeks if you like.

5. Track your performance

It’s important to track your performance, because this helps you to get insights in how you’re doing. You already went from the non-specific goal of I want to read more to I want to read one book per month. This in itself already offers you the possibility to track your progress. You simply check by the end of the month if you have read a book or not. Another option is to set yourself the goal of a certain amount of pages or chapters per week. This way, at the end of each week you can reflect on your reading and see how it’s going. 

Alright, now you’re able to set yourself realistic goals and keep track of your progress. But most importantly: stick with your goals. Even the most amazingly planned goals don’t get achieved without commitment and work.

Be kind to yourself β™‘

Although setting and achieving goals is great, it’s also important to take care of yourself. Do you feel overwhelmed or stressed? It’s okay to take a step back and rest. We all need a break sometimes and our mental health is a lot more important than achieving a goal. It’s great to have a plan, but it’s also okay to need a little extra time if it’s better for your mental health.

My list of 2021 goals and intentions

I thought of some intentions for the new year. How do I want to feel? In 2021 I want to feel calm, have a positive mindset and spend my time intentionally. This relates to the previous part in which I said to also be kind to yourself. Setting goals is great, but feeling calm is more important. Nonetheless, I set myself some goals for 2021. I’ve made them very specific for myself, but I’ll give you a general overview of what I’d like to achieve.

Big 2021 goals

Some goals are bigger than others, more important even. For 2021 I have a few big goals that I would really like to achieve, mostly related with moving to Galicia and finding my way here.

    • Find a way to make money in Spain
      I have recently moved to Galicia (Spain) and my biggest goal for the year is to find a way to make money here. This could be a regular job in an international company or by working as a freelancer for European companies.
    • Move to our place
      This goal correlates strongly with the first one. Because, of course, we need to make money to be able to move to our own place. So when either I or my boyfriend finds a job, we can start working towards this goal.
    • Make new friends here and have a social life
      I guess this goal – again – is related to the previous one. Once we’ve got our own place, we can start building a social life. I would really like to have some friends here and attend language classes or do sports.
    • Get my Spanish to a decent level
      A big part of integrating and feeling at home somewhere is speaking the language. Therefore I want to make effort to improve my Spanish a lot this year and get to a decent level by the end of 2021.

2021 goals for my blog

Of course I also set myself some blog goals for 2021, as I would really like to work more on my blog. I have no idea what the year will look like and how much time I’ll actually have for it (it depends a lot on theΒ finding a job goal of above), but I have some intentions.

    • Write two articles per week and publish at set times
      From now on I want to post an article on my blog every Monday and Friday at 5 p.m. This way you guys know what to expect and I know how to plan. The idea is: every Monday a diary-like entry about my life in Spain and every Friday a different topic. This could be a Day Zero Project update, a life-planning entry or another life/motivational topic.
    • Regularly update my Instagram with posts and stories
      I want to regularly update my Instagram (follow me @lindabijdeleij). Here you see more about my life in Spain, previews of what’s to come on my blog and more.
    • Start using Pinterest
      I know that Pinterest is a great tool to increase the visibility of your blog, but I’ve never made an effort to do so. In 2021 I want to change that! I’m working on a good template to use for my posts and I will start creating boards soon.

Health, learning & creative

Below I’ve listed a couple of goals that fall into different categories and don’t need any further explanation. They’re either creative, good for my health or something I want to learn.

    • Read one book per month
    • Keep investing money and learn more about it
    • Work out and stretch at least twice a week
    • Meditate at least once a week
    • Spend time outside and take my camera more often
    • Participate in a creative competition

Next Friday ☾

In next Friday’s post I will go deeper into how to plan in way that will help you to achieve your goals. I’ve recently discovered Notion and I love it, so I’m looking forward to share how I use it for goal setting.

What are your goals for 2021?

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4 Comments

  1. Wow dat zijn een heleboel goede voornemens! Grootse plannen. Succes, ik lees mee vanuit Rotterdam.
    Ik heb er maar eentje dit jaar, een heel concrete. Je leest hem op https://hemelsgroen.nl/goede-voornemens/

  2. Actually I do not have any goals for this brand new year. Since I practice mindfullness I live in the present, I don’t look forward and I see every new day as a gift.

  3. Het leven meer nemen zoals het komt, weg met de lijstjes

  4. Leuk dat je ook echt doelen stelt om beter Spaans te spreken. Dat zou ik mezelf ook als doel stellen als ik in het buitenland zou gaan wonen. Hoop dat het je allemaal lukt, deze tijd is niet makkelijk om nieuwe contacten te maken.

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