Carrying Out Goals Effectively and Efficiently for the New Year

Independent Living

With the new year, many of us have new goals that we hope to achieve. Many times, when these goals go unachieved, they can have a negative impact on individuals self-perception. [1] By outlining steps to achieve a goal, we may increase the likelihood of making progress and eventually reaching the goal.


SMART is an acronym used to help make goals more attainable. Using SMART as a guide, we can make an outline for goals, so they are clear and understandable.


Goals should be very specific, which helps set the outline for what you want to achieve. For example, if you would like to save more money, a specific goal may be “I want to save $100 a month.” This gives a very specific goal and a timeframe to do it in.


Having a goal that is measurable allows us to see the progress being made. Quantifying goals allows us to track the progress being made. For example, if the goal is to eat healthier, maybe try to incorporate 5 healthy meals a week. Instead of feeling as if each meal throughout the day has to be healthy, there is a specific goal that now can be measured.


To set yourself up for success, make certain the goal set forward is realistic. Making sure a goal is realistic makes it more likely the goal will be achieved. Ensure the proper tools and skills have been obtained or figure out a plan to attain them.


Make sure the steps you are taking to achieve the goal are relevant. The urge to want to get many things done is normal. Reflect and ensure that each goal you set is relevant to your bigger goals and will help you. Taking on tasks that are not relevant may become overwhelming.


Having a deadline for your goal will make it seem more real and may provide more encouragement to reach the end. By having an end date it will be easier to set smaller deadlines within the timeframe of the overall goal.

All goals become more achievable when breaking them down into smaller steps. Huge goals can become overwhelming and intimidating. For New Year’s resolutions, many people want to make choices to better their lifestyles, which is a great initiative to take.

Tips for Saving Money

America Saves, a campaign dedicated to helping individuals reduce debt and gain wealth, has come up with a comprehensive list of tips to save money.

  • Be realistic about what you are able to save.
  • Keep a record of what you are spending on and how much you are saving.
  • Examine your record of spending, perhaps there is some spending that can be cut.
  • Set goals and honor them. Treat the goals as bills and “pay them” consistently.

Tips for Exercising More

Harvard wrote an article that outlines various things you can do to incorporate more exercise to your daily routine.

  • Set a realistic goal and set the time aside to achieve the goal.
  • Make a workout routine that you can follow that fills the time you allotted.
  • Try new ways or working out. There are many ways such as dancing, palettes, yoga, boxing, going to the gym, that can help you exercise more.
  • Find someone who has the same goal, which can help stay motivated.

Tips for Eating Healthier

According to the Center for Disease and Control there are many ways you can incorporate healthy eating into your diet.  

  • Have healthier snacks throughout the day. This can include fruits, vegetables, nuts.
  • Limit added sugar intake. Added sugars can lead to weight gain, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes.
  • Add potassium, calcium, vitamin D, and fiber to your diet.
  • Limiting daily salt intake can help reduce risk of high blood pressure, heart attack, and stroke.
  • Eat colorful food! Having a variety of colors in each meal can help ensure important vitamins, minerals, and fiber are ingested.

Form a Habit/Learn a New Skill

Forming a habit or learning a new skill can seem extremely daunting. With the right mindset and understanding how habits are formed, new routines can be learned. The University of North Carolina has come up with a comprehensive article that explains habits and how they are formed.

  • Identify the habit you would like to change and reflect on it. By understanding why we do something, it's easier to make a change.
  • Do not expect to change all your habits at once. Pick one and give it your attention. 

Becoming Organized

Being organized can help productivity and reduce stress. Becoming organized in one area of life can help us become more effective is other areas. The University of Rochester has listed several tips that can help build organizational skills.

  • Use a planner. Planners, electronic or paper, can help keep track of all tasks that must be completed. Try to spend a few minutes each day jotting important information down.
  • Make lists of everything you need to and be sure to prioritize your tasks. Lists can be specific to different areas of life (i.e., occupational, financial, social, etc.), which can help keep life from becoming overwhelming. 
  • Use reminders on your phone or computer. To ensure nothing of importance slips out of mind, use an alarm or reminder to alert you of important events or obligations.

Wanting to make a resolution is a great way to start the new year. Don’t let huge goals seem daunting and discouraging. By incorporating minor changes into everyday life, these resolutions not only can be achieved, new skills for reaching all goals in life can be learned.