How to set goals for 2021 ( free printable worksheet)

With 2021 right round the corner, and my journaling reflection done ( see last post 2020 reflection journal prompts ) my next step to prepare for the new year is to set my goals. Everyone is probably familiar with setting new years resolutions, however I expect a few amount of people actually stick to them. Why is this? the new year, new me fitness and weight-loss journey goals that most people are accustomed to, are generic goals that people feel like they need to set every year. These generic, non specific goals are going to be almost impossible to stick to for many reasons. Mainly, they aren’t personal to you and your strengths and weaknesses, which makes it harder to commit to. In this post I’m going to share my method for setting my new years goals, resolutions i will actually stick to, and sharing how to tailor them to you. Because how good will it feel when you look back in a year and realise you’ve actually stuck to your goals for once?

The first step is to do a brain dump of everything you want to improve on this next year. these could be areas of your life, like your physical fitness, or more specific things like improving your stamina. a few personal things i wrote at this stage were: improve my ability to maintain habits, improve my revision schedule and improve my mental health. once you’ve listed down the main things you want to improve, highlight a few of the main ones. after this you will see your main themes and priorities for the year becoming more clear. at this stage i also like to sum these all up into a word to represent my main intention for the next year, mine this year being expand and sustain because i want 2021 to be all about me taking everything in my life to the next level and being able to sustain it without burning out.

The next stage would be expanding on these main priorities and fitting your specific goals into groups. I like to write down the 5 main areas of my life that my goals center around: Mental health, physical health, academic, learning, personal projects. under each heading i write the goals out in more details. this is the crucial stage where you can ensure these goals are not generic, basic goals, but personal, actionable goals. Use the SMART technique with each of these goals. if you are unfamiliar with this, SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Realistic and Time bound. if your goals can match each of these steps then they will be easy to achieve seeing as you have accountability, clear steps and time bounds for you to work towards, instead of a general yearly goal.

Once you have completed these steps you will be left with goals that are a lot more specific and achievable than just ‘ get fit and loose weight.’ at this stage it is important to look closely at all the goals you have set; are these all goals that spark excitement within you? if not, you may want to reconsider. these targets you set should be things you are passionate to achieve, not just things you are putting down for the sake of it. it is better to have 3 main focused goals than 15 fluffed out goals that you aren’t really passionate about, but would seem cool to do. when first setting my goals for this year i made the same mistake, i wrote over 15 goals down, but looking back over them i realised i had no proper interest in completing them, i just thought it would be fun. for these extra goals put them on a separate, secondary list, for you to look to for inspiration and fun, but not to be annoyed if you don’t end up completing. ensure your goals are tailored to you as well, if you hate running do not set a target to run! these need to bring you joy or you won’t sustain them! instead reframe this goal to focus on another activity that could bring you the same benefits, but without the struggle. Focus on another area of fitness, such as pilates or HIIT that you would enjoy more.

in conclusion, setting goals for the new year is so important as it gives you something to work towards and to motivate you, but only if these goals will serve you long term. there is no point in setting 20 easy goals and only achieving 4, instead set 5 key, important goals and work on keeping those up.

check out the printable below to help with your goal setting!

Photo by Olya Kobruseva on

happy new year!

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