Personal Goal Setting: How to Set The Right Goals for the New Year
Daily Grind Blog

Personal Goal Setting: How to Set The Right Goals for the New Year

As soon as the holidays end, I’m starting my diet!

In January, I‘m getting a gym subscription!

This new year, I will live my life to the fullest!

Next year, I will save more money and buy a house.

New year, new me! I will be an entirely new person by next December.

Yep, we’ve heard these a million times. 

You already know the drill. Beginning of December: get all hyped up about closing another year. Middle of December: enjoy the holidays, relax completely, indulge in all the foods (it’s too cold to go for a run anyway!). End of December: I’m just a few days away from starting a new chapter! It will be my best year so far.

First week of January starts, and we are back to basics. As each day passes, motivation disappears, and so do your hopes and dreams of becoming a new you. Oh, I am just way too busy to be dealing with this right now!

The cycle continues, year after year. We are entirely relying on some magical motivation to come down and save us from repeating the cycle. But let me tell you - motivation alone won’t save you. It disappears as quickly as it comes, and it’s not stable enough to be relied on.

It’s a temporary solution to a permanent problem.

Luckily, it doesn’t have to be this way. This year can be the year in which you break the cycle - with proper personal goal setting, discipline, and of course - the right tools. Let’s not waste any more time and jump right into it!

What does it mean to have the right goals?

Make goal setting fun with the daily grind planner


Before we deep dive into personal goal setting, let’s clear something up. What exactly does it mean to have the right goals? Isn’t any goal the right one for you? I mean, if you want to achieve something, it must mean you really want it - and need it, right?

Well, yes… and no.

The right goals aren’t random, individual thoughts that suddenly make you want to achieve something. They should be connected to a larger purpose, to a long-term vision of what you want to become, and where you want to be.

Let’s take a look at one of the most common goals for the New Year: losing weight. We often think that the goal is to drop a few numbers on the scale - which is, essentially, true. However, it’s not the true vision of where you see yourself at the end of the journey. 

In reality, in terms of personal goal setting, you associate losing weight with:

  • Feeling more confident in your own skin
  • Looking better in your clothes
  • Having a healthier and stronger body
  • Being able to move with more ease

When your specific goals (i.e. losing 20 pounds) are connected to a deeper vision or end goal (living a full-fledged life by feeling and looking better), it’s a lot easier to stay motivated.  

If you have a clear picture of where you are going, your goals become the means to get there - and you won’t lose your motivation along the way. 

Five steps to choosing the right goals for the New Year

1. Identify your priorities

When it comes to personal goal setting, the first step toward choosing the right goals for yourself is to identify your priorities. Let’s be honest… no matter how much you try, you can’t focus on too many goals at the same time.

You don’t want to get overwhelmed and end up failing at every single goal, right? Because that’s exactly what’s going to happen if you don’t identify your priorities, and try to achieve more than what you actually have time for.

To identify your priorities, start by figuring out where you’re currently standing. Are you happy with your job? Are you concerned about your finances? Do you think you could do better in the health and fitness area? 

There are multiple types of goals that you can work on, including:

  • Relationship goals
  • Finance goals
  • Friendship goals
  • Spiritual goals
  • Health and fitness goals
  • Education goals

No matter which ones you choose, remember that personal goal setting should feel motivational and achievable, not something that you are dreading or is overwhelming you. 

You don’t have to work on one goal exclusively - you can start with a couple of them, just don’t overload yourself to the point of abandoning them altogether.

2. Write your goals down

Did you know that you are 42% more likely to achieve your goals if they’re written down? Studies have shown that there is a huge amount of evidence in the effectiveness of written personal goal setting.

In fact, according to the same studies, only 3% of the population sets goals, and only 1% of them ever writes them down - despite the effectiveness of this method. The good news is that you now hold valuable information to avoid being one of them!

Hands down one of the best ways to set, record and track the progress of your goals in written form is by having a daily planner or a bullet journal. Daily planners are great for:

  • Enhancing productivity
  • Managing stress levels
  • Keeping track of your goal progress
  • Improving time management
  • Maintaining effective schedules

And so much more! You will find that personal goal setting is a breeze if you have the right bullet journal in your hands. 

3. Choose the right bullet journal

Not all bullet journals are made equal! You’d be surprised by the difference between a great journal designed for goals when compared to a regular, dated daily planner that puts restrictions on your personal goal setting.

Restrictions are the last thing you need when setting your goals. You need something to help you unleash your imagination and really focus on becoming a better you!

Here are some of our top tips on how to find the best bullet journal:

  • Opt for a hardcover bullet journal - don’t underestimate the importance of a hard cover for protecting your valuable notes! Look for a durable bullet journal that will hold up to wear and tear.
  • Look for a ring-bound design - being able to use your bullet journal in the most convenient way possible will help you maximize its value. For this reason, choosing a ring-bound option is usually the best option to ensure that it always lays flat.
  • Lack of restrictions - restrictions can hinder your creativity and decrease your motivation significantly. A planner with extra pages and no date restrictions will reduce limitations that may be holding you back, ensuring that you have all the space and time you need for maximum productivity.
  • Invest in quality - a beautiful, high-quality, no bleedthrough bullet journal will not only inspire you to begin your personal goal setting journey, but will also ensure that the ink from your pen or highlighter is not seen on the back of the page.

If you don’t want to spend too much time researching, visit the Daily Grind Planner shop - the perfect collection of stunning bullet journals designed to maximize your goal setting and time management. The first planner you will ever use from cover to cover!

4. Set specific and attainable goals 

The key to effective personal goal setting is setting specific and attainable goals. Of course, it would be great to lose 50 pounds in a couple of months and pay off your debt completely, but how realistic would that be?

Setting unrealistic goals may leave you feeling disappointed, frustrated, or maybe even feeling like a failure. Essentially, you have sabotaged yourself before even starting!

Instead of setting huge and complex goals that involve a lot of steps, work on breaking down your goals into smaller, attainable and realistic ones. By completing each step as a milestone, you will be excited to continue with the next steps.

For example:

  • Instead of changing your diet completely and drastically, start by reducing sugary drinks as the first small step.
  • Instead of paying off your debt completely (unless you already have the money), start by paying $20 a week towards your smallest debt.
  • Instead of sending out hundreds of resumes, start by sending out 5 a week that are completely personalized to each company and job description. 

Everything adds up at the end - and achieving small goals will be a huge confidence booster towards the bigger ones! So, be sure to set specific and achievable goals when starting with your personal goal setting. 

5. Make setting goals fun  

Yes, you heard that right! Making goals fun is a great strategy towards actually meeting them. One way to do that is to include friends and family so you can do it together, and hold each other accountable. 

You can also reward yourself after you complete each goal! For example, if you drop 20 pounds, you can reward yourself with a new book or piece of jewelry.

A great bullet journal such as the Daily Grind Planner can also make your goals a lot more fun - with different sections, challenges, colours and lists, you will never get bored!


goal setting planner

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