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5 Tips to Successful Goal Setting for the New Year

5 Tips to Successful Goal Setting for the New Year
17 January, 2016
Tools to Help You with Goal Setting

By now you are either full steam ahead on your goals for next or have failed miserably. Ok so the latter sounds a bit 'drama queen' territory but the shameful way we berate ourselves for getting stuck and lasting only 2 or 3 days or so with our goals you'd swear world peace depended on our success. 

As it has become our time honoured tradition in Herbi & Carni to have an inspirational post in January, this year is no different.

Here are 5 tips we use to successfully choose our aims for the coming year. They couldn't be simpler and we hope that they help you to take another run at setting your aims for this year and choose one to five that will bring you the most happiness when completed. So at the end of the year, you will look back and celebrate your achievement. 


Pick the aims for this year that you  really want to achieve. Tony for the last few years had an aim of losing weight. The only problem with this is that we had very little spare time for him to devote to looking after himself. It sounds like an excuse but his weight issue needs a lot more attention. It meant that we were disappointed with his progress all through the year. It was a stupid goal to set, we both weren't being true to what our top priorities were for that year. Finally, this year it is part of his goals and one he is working on, so watch this space.  


Always, always set goals you have a great chance of achieving. Again with Tony's weight, we are setting realistic goals. In this case, we have the optimal goal and the goal weight he'd be happy achieving if doesn't reach the optimal one. I want to learn another language but am holding off this year as I'm not fully back to health after a tough illness last year and looking at my plan for this year I won't have the spare time. Instead, I'm being sensible and putting it provisionally on next year's plan. See how the pressure is taken off. Other years I'd put the language on the plan with no hope of success, it's a desire, not a goal for now. 


There are 3 areas in our life we set aims: academic, professional, personal. Your goals can be spread all over the 3 or concentrated in one area. We tend to spread them over the 3 areas with the ones needing more enhancement. It means there are at least 3 goals. On review you might need to get a mentor with one of them, you might need to complete a course. Whatever it is set it all in motion. 


Have you ever began a course or tried to achieve your ideal weight or decided to decorate your home from top to bottom? When setting goals, the exuberance can have us launch into them with all our might. It can often happen we overdo it and become exhausted. It is important to break the goal down and set achievable chunks and treat them as stepping stones. Each time you achieve one chunk celebrate as it tends to motivate you onwards. As one of my favourite tutors told us one time look at our college timetable, see where there is an exam or assignment due in and work back. It's a great tool to use as instead of being overwhelmed by the year and all the work to be achieved you concentrate on time chunks. It helps to keep you focused on what needs to be achieved first and block out the 'noise'. 

As it happens I'm setting 90-day plans as a result, with my first for my academic goals being set for up to beginning of March. A couple of weeks before that 90-day deadline I'll be setting the goals for the next 90 days. You don't believe how calming it makes you feel and more eager to get on with achieving your goals. 


Writing your goals down is like marking them in stone. We use journals and diaries, you might prefer a noticeboard with all of you goals highlighted in different colours, so you are constantly reminded. Up to now we've used journals and each month referred back to them (on a Saturday night with a glass (or two!) of wine and review. That way you can make adjustments as necessary. This year we have a lot taking place this year. As a result, we have bought a weekly and a monthly diary, plus a whiteboard. Our three areas are packed this year so to keep a watchful eye and keep us on track we are testing out these. 

Wrapping It All Up: Regular Review:

If this is your first year setting goals or your starting out again to set achievable goals for 2016 remember to set a review schedule, either each month, every 6 weeks, every 90 days. Only you know what works best for you and that makes it the right way for you. It may not work for anyone else.

Remember your review is a check to see what is working, what needs to be scrapped or amended. Have you goals throughout changed, do you need to devote more time on one particular that is a bit weak? These regular reviews are vital as you don't want to wait until the end of the year you went off in every other direction bar the one you set for yourself. It's ok to veer off in directions different to your original plan, so long as you decided to do it and not because everyone else was doing it and it seemed like a good idea at the time. One life, Your Choices.  

If the first review shows you fell off the wagon then dust yourself off and get back on. 

Enjoy 2016 and may all your fantastic dreams come true.

Be Happy


Tony & Marian x