Sticking to New Years Goals

It’s the new year and everyone is planning out what they want to accomplish in 2022. Making your goals last is helpful when trying to have a good year. (Photo Courtesy of Kaelyn McCann)

“New Year, New Me!” We say it every year, but for a lot of people, not all of their goals last. Sticking to your goals is hard, but it can be easier if you have a plan.

Choose a Plan

Everyone has different styles of implementing change. For some, it’s quitting a habit cold turkey. For others, it slowly changes your behaviors over time. 

Here are a few ideas on how to add your goals: 

  1. Change, cold turkey. Whenever you start, drop your old habits and pick up the new ones. This method is great for those who tend to fall back into old habits quickly. 
  2. Add one or two new goals every month. This method might work best for those who have a hard time with balance. You only have to focus on one thing at a time, by the time the end of the month rolls around the old goal is a habit and you can focus on a new goal. 
  3. For every one goal you have, drop one habit/do something that will help you reach your goal. If you want to spend less time on your phone, read for 10 minutes a day or don’t go on your phone the first 15 when you wake up. 

You don’t necessarily have to choose one of these methods; you could combine or create one of your own. 

Choose your Goals

Your goals should be challenging, focused, measurable, and relevant.

 They should be challenging enough to keep you motivated but not too much so it becomes overwhelming. 

Your goals should be focused, and there shouldn’t be too many. A good range is 3 larger goals and 5 smaller ones. Larger ones may be going to the gym 5x a week or saving $1000. A smaller goal may look like drinking ½  a gallon of water a day or stopping biting your nails. 

The goals you pick should also be measurable. Saying your goal is to “read more” doesn’t help. Reading more can mean anything. Instead, say “read for an hour a day,” or “read 10 pages a day” 

Lastly, the goals should be relevant. If you complete your goal of saving $1000 by July, then change your goal to saving $2000. Or if something happens preventing you from saving $1000, change your goal to saving $500. 

If you are having trouble thinking of a goal try looking through these lists, be sure to specify them to fit your life and so they fit the 4 qualities of a good goal. 

55 New Years Goals- Parade

70 Achievable Goals to Set for Yourself- College Life

Map Out how you will Apply your Goals

You now have a list of 8 or so goals, and your method for achieving said goals. Now you need to apply your goals to your method. This is where you may find you want to mix and match some methods. 

As an example, say your big goals are going to the gym 5x a week, saving $1000, and volunteering 2x a month. Your smaller goals are drinking ½ a gallon of water a day, stopping biting your nails, reading for 30 minutes a day, and spending 5 minutes a day cleaning.

In this example, the larger goals are something some people can implement all at once. Though the smaller goals might be easier to add a new one each month or every two weeks. 

You also want to take into account the steps you need to meet your goals. Whether that’s saving $70 a month or setting aside 1 hour after school or work to go to the gym, everything has steps. 

If it’s helpful, buy a few things that may help motivate you to reach your goals; buy a big water bottle or a couple of new books.

Go for It!

You have your method, goals, and steps on how you’ll achieve these goals — go for it!

“Goals are important to help motivate you and move forward as a person,” said Liya Mekuria, a sophomore at Leesville. 

Some reminders: be gentle with yourself. The year is long, things will come up and alter your plans. It’s ok to have to change and adjust your goal. Progress isn’t linear. 

“If you’re struggling with goals, keep your head high and focus on one thing at a time,” said Mekuria. 

Try to step out of your comfort zone. Pick up a new hobby, or take a spontaneous trip; you only live once.

Lastly, even though the new year has already started you can still start your goals. 

Good luck and Happy New Year!


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