Today I want to talk about setting goals for the new year and how to make sure you will actually achieve them. 2020 wasn’t the best year for me, so 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 ♡
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.0