how to set goals for a new year

How to Set Goals for 2021 & Actually Accomplish Them

Are you tired of setting the same goals every week, month, or year and never accomplishing them?

End the cycle by learning how to set goals for 2021 a way that doesn’t leave you stressed out and disappointed.

At the beginning of every year or month, or at every birthday you write down your goals and there’s at least one goal, if not a few, that you still haven’t reached after years of saying you’ll do them.

Eventually you lose faith in yourself or the universe and lose all your motivation.

The good news is that it’s not because you aren’t capable of achieving your goals, you just need a better system which you’re going to learn today!

Whether you have a small goal or a big one, this goal setting strategy will work.

Setting the right goal

What hasn’t been working for you?

Reflect on the last year and see what worked and didn’t work for you.

Take a few minutes to write down all of the things that brought you stress and misery this year onto a piece of paper. Write down all the negative thoughts, limiting beliefs, toxic relationships, pain, fears, heartache, bad habits, and disappointments of the year.

Then take that paper (or papers) and either toss them into the fireplace, paper shredder, or just rip them up and throw them away.

This is optional but you can think to yourself or say out loud the following:

“I choose to release every thought, belief, habit, fear, disappointment, and relationship that is no longer serving me. It is safe for me to leave these things in the past and move forward into the new year with absolute self-love, trust, and excitement for what the future holds. I choose to free myself so that I can create something new and beautiful. And so it is.”

Now that you’ve shred the emotional weight of the past you can move forward feeling lighter and free.

What do you really want to accomplish?

Sometimes we set goals that aren’t really aligned with us because we’re influenced by what other people are doing, or what other people want for us, instead of figuring out what we want for ourselves.

If we don’t really care about this goal, of course we won’t be motivated to achieve it, but we’ll still beat ourselves up over having abandoned it.

So the key really is to set goals that we really care about, that actually excite us!

To figure out what is or isn’t aligned with you ask yourself the following questions:

  • What’s truly important to me?
  • What do I want more/less of?
  • What would make my life easier?
  • What do I need to let go of to make life easier?
  • If I knew I couldn’t fail, what would I do?
  • How do I define success?
  • What gets me really excited?
  • Where do I want to be in 3 months, 6 months, and 12 months?

Write down the first answers that come to mind, don’t think about it too hard.

Sometimes we have this idea in our heads of what success and happiness looks like, but when we dig a little deeper we find that what society portrays as success doesn’t really resonate with us.

Look at whatever answers come up and make sure your goals are aligned with them.

Know exactly WHY you want to achieve your goal. What purpose will it serve and how will it improve your life?

I have a list of 35 journal prompts for the new year you can take a look at if you need more insight on what you want from 2021.

Create a system for achieving your goals

Break big goals down into small steps

One of the biggest hurdles to achieving a goal is that we don’t know how to start, or we get half way and don’t know what to do next.

It’s so important to break your goal down into smaller steps that are both actually possible to do, but also easy for your mind to wrap around.

When I started this blog it was definitely an overwhelming dream to bring to life, so I broke it down into phases. First I did research, then I bought my domain and hosting and learned the technical side of having a website, then I wrote some content, then I did marketing.

Just saying to myself, “ok Katrina go start that blog!” would never work for a big goal like that, and I’m someone who gets overwhelmed very easily so it was essential to have at least the first few steps mapped out for me to get started.

When you set a big goal you have to set yourself up for success by creating small stepping stones.

I use my Big Goal Action Planner to create an outline for my goals. It’s so helpful to have a visual guide to refer to when I’m not sure what to do next.

You don’t have to have every step planned in advanced. Even if you did there will still be surprises along the way that force you to readjust.

Plan what steps you can, and plan to be flexible.

Develop the right habits

The little actions you take every day are either working for you or against you.

In my Atomic Habits, one of my favorite personal development books, James Clear says that small daily habits add up over time.

You don’t see the long term affects today, but a year down the road you see that all these daily actions have results for good or bad.

We tend to care more about instant gratification than long term consequences, but when you have a goal you have to keep the end game in mind. What will your actions today add up to a year from now?

A powerful way to make your daily actions work for your goals instead of against them is by making those productive actions habits.

A habit is something you do without having to think much about it. When a behavior becomes a habit it takes less effort to do.

Look at your goals and figure out what daily actions will get you where you want to go.

Read more about how to develop habits that support your goals.

Make your environment support your goals

It might not look that way on the surface, but your environment can either help or sabotage you.

If your home is cluttered, messy, and overall an uninspiring place to be then that’s going to drain your drive and motivation.

Look around and identify any areas that are working against you. Sometimes you know what they are just by how they make you feel looking at them. If an area of your home makes you feel tired or unhappy you need to change it.

If you work from home but your work space is cluttered, dark, and uncomfortable you aren’t going to be as productive as you could be.

If you want a beautiful home but you hoard clutter or don’t take of your possessions, even if they aren’t exactly what you want, that’s not going to happen.

If you want to be healthier but you don’t have healthy food in the fridge and you don’t have a space to exercise how are you going to get healthier?

Sometimes we live with other people who may be messy or loud or do things that make it hard to create a supportive environment. I know from personal experience how frustrating that is! Just do your best to work with what you have.

Make your space, whatever size it may be, as functional and inspiring as you can. If you can only make your bedroom beautiful and peaceful, do that.

Get your mindset on board with your goals

Get excited about your vision!

Achieving a goal is not always about what you do, it’s about the energy you carry and your attitude about yourself, your goals, and life in general.

It’s about having a vision for your life that excites you!

If you aren’t passionate about your goal or it won’t make an positive impact on your life why bother?

Visualize how you want to feel at the end of your goal, see what you want your life too look like and how it will be better.

You can make a vision board with Canva (it’s free) and set it as your phone or computer background (read my guide to a successful vision board), or write a journal entry from the perspective of having just achieved the goal. Write down how amazing you feel to have accomplished your goal and the positive impact it has had on your life.

If you aren’t excited by your vision reassess whether or not you should set that goal.

Got money goals? Try printing a manifestation check out and putting it on your vision board or someplace you will see often. This sends signal to your brain to find ways to make it real.

Believe in yourself

If you’re plagued with self-doubt and you tell yourself right from the start, “yeah that would be nice but it will never really happen,” then of course it’s not going to happen.

The number one reason why people give up or ‘fail’ is because they self-sabotage.

Our external reality is largely a reflection of our internal reality. It’s shaped by our thoughts, beliefs, and actions.

What you believe about yourself and your life you will find a way to make true.

What old limiting beliefs or excuses are you still holding on to?

What’s your self-talk like? Do you tell yourself that you can do it, or do you put yourself down and doubt it’s even possible?

If you have a tendency to doubt yourself, to give up, or to not try at all because you believe you’ll fail, I suggest you consider taking my Limiting Beliefs Breakthrough course to work on digging up your limiting beliefs and eliminating them so that you can achieve your goals.

If your beliefs are working against you no amount of smart habits or goal planners are going to work, you will always find a way to sabotage and not even know you’re doing it.

If you know you have a tendency to be negative change your inner and outer dialog. Focus on gratitude instead of complaints and criticism. Develop a growth mindset instead of a limiting one.

Check in and reassess

You don’t achieve something by setting the goal on January 1st and then never thinking about it again. After you set a goal you have to check in and measure your progress.

Choose a time and day when you’re going to check in on your progress. It could be every Sunday or the first of each month.

You can link it to another activity like writing your weekly grocery list or paying monthly bills.

Put a reminder on your calendar or on your phone. Just find a way that will keep you checked in.

Go back to your outline and see where you are and what you need to do next.

Remember that if you’ve fallen off track you can have a fresh start at any time. You don’t have to wait for a new year, month, or Monday to start over.


Those are the methods you need to set goals and accomplish them in 2021. I hope you’ve gotten some clarity of what you need to do to set the right goals and make them happen.

I wish you the best of luck with all your goals, whether you set them at the start of the year or any other time. Make it happen! Subscribe if you want similar content delivered to your inbox.

Love and light,

Katrina

how to set goals in 2021

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