Setting Goals for the New Year

Achieve your goals!

Make deliberate plans to achieve your goals!

In just a few days I will begin my annual phase of faltering when writing the date. My brain will recognize the error a split second after my hand automatically writes “2012.” The New Year is often conceptualized as a fresh start or a blank slate. My husband and I have chosen to capitalize on this concept by setting goals for the coming year.

Why set goals?

What is so special about setting goals, anyway? I don’t know about you, but I can identify numerous things in my life that I’d like to change. Though my awareness of these is ongoing, I find it very difficult to make substantive changes without deliberate planning. However, when I set goals, an atmosphere conducive to achievement begins to develop because goals (1) provide vision and direction for the future, (2) spark motivation, (3) help me focus my time and resources, and (4) increase my confidence as I make noticeable progress towards success.

Strategies for goal setting

Entering search terms such as “how to set goals” into a search engine will yield numerous resources to guide goal setting. Several approaches can be effective. Regardless of which approach you use, I believe it is valuable to document your goals in writing and share them with someone (like your spouse or a close friend).  Both of these actions establish accountability. Personally, I tend towards the proverbial biting off more than I can chew, so focusing on quality over quantity can also be helpful.

I developed a goal setting worksheet last week. My husband and I found it to be a useful tool as we set our goals for the upcoming year. I’ve included it here (Goal Setting for Couples Worksheet) in case anyone else can benefit from it. Feel free to adapt it to meet your needs.

What goals have you set for the New Year?

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