Golden rules for successful goal setting in the New Year

by Maria Onzain
Posted: December 16, 2019

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Have you been able to accomplish the New Year's resolutions you made at the beginning of 2019? Or can you even remember what those resolutions were? The truth is that most of us struggle to complete the goals that we are so determined to accomplish every January 1st.

Learning how to set goals effectively, instead of making ambiguous resolutions, will hopefully make your 2020 goals different.

How to set a goal and achieve it efficiently?

Whether you are planning to set spiritual, health, finance, career or lifestyle goals, like enjoying more free time, the principles are the same. First, you need to understand the importance of goal setting, so then you can design a plan to achieve your objectives accordingly.

If your resolution is simply a thought or a good intention, most likely it won't be fulfilled. Instead, try to consider goals that you can honestly achieve and follow a series of steps that go beyond New Year's Day.

What are the golden rules for successful Goal Setting?

1. Set S.M.A.R.T. goals

You have probably heard of the importance of setting S.M.A.R.T. goals. But let's refresh your mind because this acronym is very easy to remember and extremely useful when you set any type of goal. Remember that S.M.A.R.T. stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-sensitive.

If your resolution follows the S.M.A.R.T. method, it will have high chances to be accomplished. So, for every goal you set, always make sure it meets the following criteria:

  • Specific - Your goal must be clear and not a vague idea
  • Measurable - Along with your goal, you should define a qualitative or quantitative way to measure your results.
  • Attainable - Your goal needs to be realistic and achievable.
  • Relevant - Make it relevant to your purpose to help you stay focused.
  • Time-sensitive - Set up a time frame, milestones, and a deadline to avoid procrastination.

2.  Write it down

To be able to remember your goal during the year, it is a golden rule to write it down and have it always visible. You may want to stick it to your fridge or use it as your smartphone wallpaper. Visualising your goal is a great way to remember it and stay focused. It will also help you review it periodically to make sure you are on track.

Don't forget to write down your milestones to be able to monitor your progress. And if you trail behind, you will need to decide if you consider yourself capable of catching up or if it is a better idea to adjust the objectives moving forward to be able to accomplish them on time.

3. Team up with a partner

One of the reasons why New Year's resolutions are so difficult to achieve is because no one notices if you give up on them. So, this year, try to team up with a friend or partner to accomplish your goals together. This trick helps in two ways. Firstly, because you’re doing it together, it becomes more fun. And secondly, you will be able to motivate each other during the weak moments, helping you to keep going and to achieve what you propose.

Remember that you don't need to set the same goal. Resolutions are very personal, and so are the steps to take in order to achieve them. So, each one of you can make an individual resolution, and you can share the objectives, milestones and achievements. You may also want to design a rewards system and celebrate together the big accomplishments.

4. Enjoy the journey

While achieving goals is important, you shouldn't stop living while you pursue them. You will be much more likely to achieve your goals if you are enjoying the journey rather than imposing upon yourself a tedious and frustrating path.

If you follow the golden rules explained above, your New Year's resolutions this year will be fun to achieve and therefore much more likely to be fulfilled.


Maria Onzain

Maria Onzain

Maria Onzain is a journalist and content marketing expert writing for Open Colleges about education, career, wellbeing, and innovation. With a degree in journalism and a master in international marketing, she covers stories on online publications about ed-tech, business, and women. She is passionate about entrepreneurship and all things digital and, in her spare time, she writes on her blog Travel for Food Hub.

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