Tips for Setting Up New Year Goals


Allison Kim, Contributor

As 2021 is coming to an end, people are excited and worried about 2022. With all these emotions, people are starting to plan for the new year. However, some people struggle to set up goals for the new year and worry about achieving them. For those people, this article is going to provide steps to follow.

Importance of Goal Setting

Before I start the article, you need to know why goals are important. Setting goals helps trigger new behaviors, helps guide your focus, and helps you sustain the momentum in life. These benefits will help you to be organized and create a habit that can benefit your future.

What is a SMART Goal?

You may have heard of a SMART goal before. This structure is amazingly helpful and directs you to the best goal you can create. The SMART in a SMART goal stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-Bound. The SMART method helps push you further, gives you a sense of direction, and helps you organize and reach your goals using small, specific, measurable steps.


First, be specific. What exactly do you want to achieve? You don’t want your goal to be too confusing or big that you don’t even know where to start or make you burdened. You need to narrow it for more effective planning.

An example of an unspecific goal can be ‘I want to raise my grade up. This goal will not function effectively because the specific grade you want to achieve is unidentified. It can be improved to ‘I want to raise my grade to B+’.


Second, make a measurable goal. Include metrics or data targets that indicate the success of a goal. As you are working to achieve your goal, you need to track your progress. But what if it is not measurable? An untraceable goal hinders you from achieving it because you have no evidence to prove your progress so you don’t even know if you completed the goal or not.

The example goal from the last section has to be developed because it doesn’t have any metric or data target to indicate success. The progress can be traced by the score for each module. So the goal can change to ‘I want to raise my grade to B+ and it can be tracked by the number of courses with a score of 87 or above.’


Next, set a goal that is attainable. Your goal must be realistic and attainable so it is able to be accomplished. Think about how you are going to reach a goal. Do you have the skills and abilities necessary to achieve it? Make sure a goal makes you challenge yourself with your best potential but is still possible to attain.

Using the same example as before, you need to check if the goal is possible for you to achieve. For example, if your average grade is D, it may be a good idea to change your goal because it is almost impossible for you to achieve it. Also, you might want to study extra time every day to accomplish your goal. So your revised goal can be ‘I want to raise my grade to B+ by studying an extra hour everyday and it can be tracked by the number of courses with a score of 87 or above.’


Then, check if a goal is relevant to you. This step is necessary for ensuring that your goal matters to you. Why and how is achieving your goal important and meaningful to you? Your goal should be closely connected with your values and other relevant goals.

For example, the goal we set up is important because having a higher grade will open up a better future for yourself. Also, it can help you to have a study routine and develop your brain.


Finally, set up a due date for your goal. Every goal needs a deadline which can help you to put all of your efforts and focus on a goal. What is the exact timeframe that you want to accomplish a goal? A realistic, ambitious end-date helps you stay on track with inspiration and motivation.

The example goal we set up still needs a final step, which is setting up a deadline. The amount of time you’re going to spend on the goal needs to be not too long but still has enough time to accomplish it. The deadline can be until the end of the next quarter so your goal can be revised to ‘I want to raise my grade to B+ until the end of the next quarter by studying an extra hour everyday and it can be tracked by the number of courses with a score of 87 or above.’

The SMART goal is a useful and helpful format you can follow to create an effective plan for the new year. For this new year, set up a practical goal that will lead you to the right way. Use this article to successfully establish and achieve your goal!