Setting Realistic New Years Goals

New Year – New Me! Does anyone else feel this at the beginning of a new year? Around December 31, you sit down and think about what did or did not happen in the current year. Then you set some amazing new years goals. January 1 comes and you hit the ground running! You’re motivated, ready, and dialed in. But we all know the feeling when our new years goals start to fall away. By February you’ve lost momentum and by March they’re long gone. I’m here to help you find ways to make realistic new years goals that can easily be sustained throughout the entire year.

Know the Steps

Every year I would make new goals. February would roll around, and I would start to lose momentum. I felt stuck, frustrated, upset, totally not motivated and questioning why I  even thought I could achieve those amazing goals I set on December 31st. Year after year.  I literally cannot tell you how many times this has happened.

Here is the thing, I would get so excited. I knew I could achieve the goals I had set, but, getting from point A (the start of the year) to point Z (the end of the year) was hard. I would say to myself, “I’ve got time,” or, “I will try again next week or month,” to try and reset my motivation. What I realized is while point A was super refreshing and like a clean slate, I had no clue how to get to point Z. That is where I lost my motivation, hope, spark, focus, determination, because I did not know how to get from A to B and B to C. The small steps in between were missing for me.

Small Steps Stick

When you are thinking about setting goals for the new year, think about your big vision.  The finish line. Fast forward, it is December 31 of this new year. What do you want to sit back and be proud of? Are there things you still want to accomplish? What have you achieved? Write all of it down. Now you’ll break your vision down into smaller steps because small steps stick.

These small steps stick because you are taking consistent action to hit smaller goals for that goal you set one month at a time, and an even smaller goal for one week at a time. These monthly and weekly goals are the points along the way, until you reach point Z!

Here’s an example of what breaking down these visions looks like:

Vision: I want to shed 50 pounds, make time for me at least twice a month, and run a half marathon.

I always start with what is most important to you right now. That is your starting point.

Most Important Vision: You want to make time for you twice a month…alone.

January Goal: Name one date just for you. Block it on your calendar and make a plan of exactly what you want to do.

February and March: You repeat same thing, to build consistency.

April: You add in a second date. Block it on your calendar, make a plan of exactly what you will do.

And each month after that you keep building upon the last goal. It is the small steps that stick. Here is why. Your huge vision is more manageable because you are breaking it down into baby steps. You are not cutting everything out cold turkey, you are not putting a halt to everything right away, you are not turning your whole life, schedule, or routine upside down!

So many times I thought if I set these grand goals they would just magically happen. But, I would stop putting in the work because I would not know where to go next or it felt very overwhelming. However, when I started to practice working one month at a time, one week at a time, then, literally one day at a time, it felt way less overwhelming and so much more achievable.

So this year, get that big vision and then break it down into smaller goals. Slowly but surely, if you continue to show up, continue to put in the work, and continue to trust the process, I promise the work will be worth it.

For more ideas on how to stick to your new years goals, check out Four Tips to Stick with Your New Year, Fresh Starts.

Kelli Careathers
Hi! My name is Kelli, I am a mama bear to one daughter, her name is Adrianna! My family and I live in East Lansing and are a true Spartan family! I am a health and wellness coach, who works with women daily to empower them to live their best lives and be their support along their journey. In my spare time I love to workout, cook and catch up on my DVR shows!


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