What are good new year’s goals?

What are good new year’s goals? 

Happy new year! Can you believe it? Just like that we’re in 2023! Just checking in, how are you feeling about the new year? What thoughts or emotions come up for you as you think about the new year? Whatever you notice, it could be useful information to pay attention to and sit with. Oftentimes, the start of a new year is when new goals are set or past years goals are revisited. Thinking about setting goals can bring up a wide range of emotions which can be influenced by many things. Statistically, despite the best of intentions, eighty percent of people are not able to stick with their new year’s resolution by February. Why is this and what's different about the twenty percent that do? There can be many reasons.  One of which is the type of goal(s) that are set and the approach to setting and implementing them. 

So, what makes a good goal?

A good goal is the goal you set and stick with. It can be easy to compare goals to others which can have an impact on how you feel towards your personal goal(s). Frequently, comparisons can do more harm than good. The goal you set and stick with is a good goal! Do you need help with organizing your goals? Here’s a suggestion for making a SMART goal this year. 

What are SMART goals?

SMART is an acronym that can be a helpful guide to help you organize your new year’s goals or any goals that you may have for yourself.

  • Sspecific: is your goal specific? Creating a specific goal can help you to narrow down your focus and will allow you to know you are on track to reaching it. Perhaps asking yourself:
    •  “What is it that you want to do or are trying to accomplish?”.
    •  Try making it as specific as possible.  
  • Mmeasurable: is your goal something that you can measure or count such as journaling for 15 minutes.
  • Aachievable: Is your goal one that you can accomplish? It’s helpful to set a goal that you can reach.  Now, this doesn’t mean to limit yourself, it does suggest for you to be realistic in your goal setting.  You may be like many others and be a” Aim for the stars and maybe you’ll reach the sky.”- Reinhold Niebuhr type of goal setter.  So, when you think of an achievable goal. Perhaps ask yourself:
    • Are you in the mental space to achieve this goal?
    • Do you have the resources?
    • Do you know of potential resources, if you don’t have them?
    • Do you have the support to help you achieve it?
  • RRelevant/Rewarding: is your goal relevant to something you want to accomplish? What’s the reward or payoff? This is a good place to get in touch with your “why” behind setting this goal.
  • TTime based or Trackable: Tracking your goal allows you to see progress, make adjustments and celebrate accomplishments along the way. Ask:
    • Over what time, would you want to achieve this goal. For example, over the next 3 days, 1 week, 1 month, 3 months. 
    • I will *insert the specific, measurable, achievable rewarding goal* that you set for yourself.

Setting your goals in this way can let you see what’s working and what needs to be revised.

While the new year can be a time of celebration and renewed energy. For some, it may be a continuation of things from the previous year. As a reminder, whatever you are feeling about this new year is valid. As you think about your desires for this year remember to connect with others. Identify who is in your corner (who are your support people?) Identifying these people can help you anytime of the year. If you would like some additional support, please don’t hesitate to reach out today. May you have a gentle start to the year.

Be Well,

Ebony Skinner, MA, LPC

Disclaimer: Content is for informational purposes only. This blog post is not intended to be or substitute treatment by a Licensed Professional Counselor.