General Advice

Setting Goals for the New Year












Welcoming a new year can be daunting for some of us. Most people at this time tend to feel gravitated towards setting goals to make the upcoming year their best one yet.


Not to sound pessimistic, but research from the University of Scranton in the US found that just 8% of people follow through with their new year’s resolutions.


So why do so many of us fail?

Many of us make the mistake of setting too many large and unspecific goals, which often generates short-lasting motivation towards achieving them.

For example, an entrepreneur makes a new goal to ‘build a million-dollar business.’

Designing the systems required to get to this end goal may be more effective in the long term by making the goal seem more attainable and realistic.


Ask yourself: would you still succeed if you ignored your big goals, and focussed only on your systems? The answer is yes.


Our small daily habits accumulate over time and bring us closer towards achieving our larger goals and aspirations. Shifting your focus on generating consistency in your everyday routines generates success in the long term.

One way to break down your larger goals for the year is to use the SMART goal approach. Structuring your goals using this acronym eliminates generalities, sets a clear timeline of achievement and allows you to track your progress.



So what does SMART stand for? Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound.

Let’s use an example:

S: Specific.

  • What needs to be accomplished?
  • Who is responsible?
  • What steps are required to achieve it?

EG: Lose 10kg in 6 months by eating less takeaway in order to feel stronger, healthier and move better in 2023.


M: Measurable.

  • Your goal should include benchmarks to be able to track progress and know when you’ve achieved it.

EG: I will write a weekly meal plan every Sunday and meal prep my work lunches in advance. I will add my meals into my fitness pal every day as a way to track if I am hitting my macro targets, and also weigh myself once a week.


A: Achievable.

  • Ask yourself: is this goal realistic and something that I can reasonably accomplish? If not, it might be useful to scale back or tweak your goal accordingly.

EG: I aim to lose 1.6kg every month. This is achievable in losing 10kg by the end of 6 months.


R: Relevant

  • Are you focusing on something that makes sense with your broader goal? Eg: focusing on eating less takeaway foods and making more home-cooked meals.


T: Time-bound

  • If your goal lacks realistic timing, chances are that you’re not going to succeed. giving yourself a target date for certain achievements is important in order to create a sense of urgency.EG: I will lose x amount of weight every 2 months – this keeps you on track and breaks down the larger goal of losing a certain amount by the end of the 6 months.


You can use this framework for any goal you may have this year, whether they are related to life, work, relationships, or your health. So take some time to think about where you are and where you want to be, and write down your big goals for 2023. Break them down using the SMART acronym, share them with someone you trust and get the ball rolling.

Click this link goal tracker (1) to download a Goal Tracker template that we’ve created to help you track your progress.

Don’t forget to celebrate your wins!


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