Are you the type of person who puts down on paper the things you want to accomplish during the year, or are you one of those who just mentalize, during New Year’s Eve, what you would like to happen in the months to come? Whatever your profile, it’s a fact that creating goals for the new year is a habit that almost everyone has.
In today’s article, we’re going to help you make this process smarter , with tips to understand which goals are best suited to your reality. We cannot promise that you will reach the end of 2023 with all your goals met. But one thing is for sure: your list of goals will get much better with the tips we share below.
Why make goals for the new year?
We could present a list of reasons why it is worth making goals for the new year. But, we prefer to focus on just two: planning and motivation .
Planning is synonymous with stopping to think about what you intend to do and tracing the paths you want to follow to get where you want to be. Without planning, can you achieve your goals? You can, but with him everything is much easier. Besides, planning is what helps you understand if the goals are viable and what steps you need to take to achieve what you want.
Here on the blog, for example, we talk a lot about financial planning and its importance for the success of your relationship with money. And the logic applies to all areas of your life: planning makes life better and easier!
And the second reason is motivation, which helps us move forward . If you don’t have goals set, what will be your incentive to do the things you need to do? It’s like the Cat from Alice in Wonderland would say, “for those who don’t know where they’re going, any path will do”. And any path, generally, is not what makes us happy, is it?
Challenging and achievable goals are an excellent fuel for you to stay motivated along the way. If you don’t set a goal to lose weight or reduce your fat percentage, for example, you may not have the motivation to hit the gym. In the context of financial life, a goal can encourage the process of saving money and even make it more pleasurable.
Do you realize how important setting goals for the new year is for the success of your year?
What is the difference between goal and objective?
Despite being very similar concepts, goal and objective are not the same thing . Objective refers to a strategic and broader intention, while goal refers to specific tasks that must be accomplished in order for the objectives to be achieved. Shall we see an example to facilitate understanding?
If you want to lose weight in the next year, “getting thin” will be your goal. But the goals for this goal to be achieved need to be more specific: doing physical activity 5 times a week, losing 5 kilos by the end of the first semester, following up with a nutritionist.
Not all goals are the same
When listing the goals for the new year, you need to keep in mind that your list can have several items, but that each one of them will have a goal and a priority in your routine . And it is in this context that it becomes so important to understand the difference between short, medium and long term goals.
Short term goals
Short-term goals are those that can be accomplished in a short period of time . If your goal in the new year is to lose weight, for example, a good short-term goal would be to lose 2 kilos in the first month.
It is noteworthy that what defines the exact period of a short-term goal is the objective . If he is saving money to buy a property , for example, the deadline to achieve it is much longer and a good short-term goal would be to save a certain amount throughout the next year.
Medium term goals
As the name implies, medium-term goals are those that are met midway between the final goal and the beginning of the journey . Thinking about the term of one year, the medium-term goals would be those you intend to achieve by the end of the first semester.
Long term goals
Long-term goals are those that take longer to accomplish. This can be for a period of one year or for much longer, depending on the size of your goal. If you are going to buy an apartment, for example, the long term will possibly be longer than it would be if your goal is to lose weight.
It is important to say that, precisely because they are in the distant future, many people end up ignoring long-term goals. But they are very important for us to achieve bigger and more relevant goals for our lives.
How to create good goals for the new year?
Now, let’s get to the practical part. As much as creating goals for the new year is a very individual process , there are some steps you can take to make it more assertive.
Assess your current context
What makes the most sense to you right now? What can you accomplish with the conditions you have today? Is it possible to change what it takes to get what you want? Assessing your current context and setting goals aligned with it is essential to ensure the success of the process .
Separate by objectives
As we said, goals will have different priorities in your routine and to know exactly what is most important, it is worth creating goals for the new year segmented by objectives. An alternative, for example, could be to separate your list into financial goals, professional goals and personal goals .
Goals need to be challenging, but they also need to be, first and foremost, achievable — otherwise, instead of motivating, they will generate frustration. Therefore, be realistic when setting your goals, taking into account your current context and the goals that are most important to you.
If you don’t have a deadline to meet your goal, you tend to procrastinate and maybe never reach your goal. Therefore, set the final date for the goal to be met and make your planning taking this into account. When we talk about goals for the new year, it is very common for the deadline to be December 31 of the year to come, but that is not a rule.