The start of a new year is an amazing time to get clarity on what you want, and what you don’t want, and move closer to the life of your dreams. Setting goals can be overwhelming, especially when there are so many things that you want to accomplish, but it doesn’t have to be! With these simple strategies, you’ll effortlessly be able to set goals and take action to achieve them. Furthermore, your goals can include anything you desire. Whether it’s a physical material object or an opportunity, you can bring it into your life with clear intention and action.


Know what you want.

If there is areas of your life that you want to improve, start to get clear on what you want each area to look like. It can be difficult to set clear and realistic goals if you don’t know what you want. So envision your ideal self, what they have, how they act, what they do for work, and where they live. Once you have an ideal self in mind, you can start to set goals for yourself in those areas, that will eventually lead you to that ideal version of yourself.


Be realistic.

Naturally, we want to set goals that are out of this world, and that is perfectly fine because literally, anything is possible. However, setting goals is only half the battle. So while it’s great to set big goals, make sure that they are things you can consistently work towards. Be a goal getter instead of a goal setter. To do this, write out a list of 3-5 of your goals for the next month. Once you have your list, beneath each goal, write 1-2 actionable items that you will do that will lead you to your goal. Instead of giving yourself too much to chew, stick to things that you’re sure you can put work towards at least 2-3 times a week. Starting small is great because it builds up your self-trust. Once you accomplish one thing, you feel more confident and capable of working towards the next thing.

If your goal is to eat healthier, some actions you can take to achieve that goal may be, eating at least one fruit or vegetable a day, or cooking at home twice a week. If your goal is to reach a book each month, an action plan would include setting aside 10-15 minutes every day to read. 


Once you have an idea of the actions that you need to take in each area, to reach your goal, pencil it into your calendar. Hold yourself accountable by scheduling what you need to do on your to-do list for each day, or working with a coach or friend to make sure you stay on track.


Consistency and motivation.

Success is the direct result of commitment and consistency. If you’re someone that struggles with feeling motivated, it can be helpful to determine your WHY for each goal. For example, maybe your goals are not aligned with what you truly want, making it hard to consistently work towards. Reframing your goals with language that aligns with your core desires and having a reason behind why you want those things, makes it easier for you to logically get yourself on board. It can be difficult to know what our personal goals are when there is so much external influence and standards that pressure us. For example, if you think your goal is that you want to lose weight, but in reality you don’t feel motivated, changing the language can help. To do this, think about what you think that goal will give you. For example, if you think losing weight will make you more attractive, or have more energy, these are hidden areas that you can use to your advantage to get clear on what is behind what you think you want. This can then be used to transform your goal and make it more applicable to your desires. If you want to have more energy, then you can transform your goal from “I want to lose weight” to “I want to feel energized and healthy”. This is a much more positive goal to work towards and it releases the resistance that you may be carrying. Find motivation. Another goal can be getting better credit to get a better loan, so you can say “I want to improve my credit score.” Whichever financial goal you decide to work on, it would help you tremendously in all aspects of life.

Once you’ve set your goals, make sure that you have an internal sense of motivation. 


Push past blocks.

Now that you have clarity on your goals for the new year and an action plan to achieve them, you might be faced with subconscious blocks or mental resistance. This occurs anytime you are on the brink of a breakthrough. There is that little piece within each of us that is afraid of growth, and the unknown. It tries to hold you back by screaming “I don’t feel like it today”, or “I’ll start tomorrow. Excuses such are these are just your mind’s way of keeping you from your goals. If you want to set goals and actually achieve them, you have to push past the mental resistance. It is also effective to speak to a mental health professional that can give you that extra layer of support. Online counseling is a great tool that can help you work through whatever’s on your mind. If the blocks you need to face are more physical than mental, make visiting your medical health professional a priority. Some people find it difficult to find time to visit the doctor, especially about hair loss or sexual health issues. Your physical and mental health are important and should be an important part of your goals for the new year.



Believe in yourself.

A big part of achieving goals is believing in yourself. This part often gets looked past because we are conditioned to believe that we just have to work hard to get what we want. At the human level, action is necessary. But in order to truly achieve a life that is aligned with your goals, you’ll want to carry a belief in yourself and trust that everything will work out. If we are working towards goals but deep down believe that we won’t actually be able to achieve them, then we are basically just setting out on a mission to prove ourselves right. Rewire the part of you that doesn’t believe you can achieve your goals. Starting with smaller actionable steps, as discussed in step 3 will rebuild your trust in yourself and show yourself that you are capable of achieving what you put your mind to. This removes the self-sabotage and keeps you motivated even when you don’t feel like taking action! Another great way to set yourself up for success while goal setting, is to do affirmations like “I am capable”, “I am strong”, “I believe in myself and my abilities”, and “I am committed to making my goals a reality”. These statements will cut through the resistance that may hold you back from taking consistent action toward your goals. 


There are many strategies for setting goals for the new year. The simplest way to set goals and achieve them is to get clarity on what it is that you want and what steps you have to take to get there. Pair that with an unshakable belief in yourself, and watch as you effortlessly accomplish your desires. Once you have an ideal self in mind, you can start to set goals for yourself in those areas, that will eventually lead you to that ideal version of yourself. Whatever your goal might be, decide what action you’re going to take that will get you there and set yourself up for success by using affirmations to push yourself past any mental resistance. The key to achieving your goals is believing that you are worthy of accomplishing them!


Catalina McFarland

Catalina McFarland holds a B.S. in Communication from Arizona State University. She is a holistic health coach and blogger at where she loves sharing her passion for wellness. Outside of writing, she loves traveling, doing yoga, and reading.