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The Ultimate Goal Setting Guide for 2021

Setting goals and working towards something specific is the key to success. Here’s how to set goals in 2021…

New Year, New Me… that’s how it goes, right?   


January arrives and New Year’s Resolutions start rolling off the tongue – exercise more, eat healthier, save more money. So many of us make these resolutions, but it is rare any of us stick to them. Why? Because a resolution is not a goal. And experts agree: to achieve what you really want you need to set goals.  


A goal could be something as big as buying your first house, or as small as completing that nagging report by next Thursday. But trying to achieve something without setting goals can cause you to lack focus, motivation and direction. Setting goals and working towards something specific is the key to success.   


Here’s how to set goals in 2021:  


Start by jotting down some ideas of things you would like to achieve this year or even this month. Think about how important it is to achieve each of the things on your list and how much effort is worth putting into each.  


Next, think about how you are actually going to achieve your goals. Splitting them into short-term and long-term goals can help you prioritise them.   


You might have heard of SMART goal setting in other areas of your life, but it is just as important to apply this principle to your personal goals too.  


Specific: Your goals need to be specific with an end goal to aim for. If you are not specific, how will you know if you have achieved it?  

Measurable: Make sure your goal has a deadline so you can keep yourself on track. If your goal is to save an amount of money in 12 months, you should be able to check you are on track on a monthly basis. Without a deadline you can’t measure your progress and this can cause you to lose motivation and give up trying.  

Actionable: You need to be able to do something to make your goal happen. If your goal is to run a marathon in 6 months, but you are not able to run for the next 3 months, it is unlikely you will be able to achieve your goal, no matter how hard you try.  

Realistic: This might seem obvious, but your goal needs to be realistic. There is no point setting a goal to walk on the moon… unless you are actually an astronaut.   

Timely: Make sure you know how long it will take you to achieve your goal and work out if there is actually enough time to make it happen.  


And most importantly, write these goals down and put them somewhere you can see them, so everyday you are reminded of them. Not only will this help to keep you on track but it can motivate you to go above and beyond.    


Visualising the end result can actually help you achieve your goal. When you visualise achieving the goal, your body feels what it is like to have done so, and it motivates you to make it happen.  


Whether you share them in your WhatsApp group with your friends, or post about them on social media, sharing them with someone makes it more real and you are more likely to stick to your plan to achieve them because you feel like people are expecting you to. It is a little boost of motivation to stick to your plan and not give up, everytime someone asks about your progress.  


Pin them up on your fridge, or put them as your phone’s lock screen. It doesn’t matter as long as you see them regularly and keep your goals front of mind.  


Keep reviewing your progress and whether anything needs to change in order to achieve your goal. Life happens and obstacles can get in your way, but as long as you are fixed on your goals, you will always get where you want to go in the end.   


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