Choosing the Right Goals for the New Year

I don’t know if you already know this about me but I love making lists for everything. Groceries, gift ideas, blog posts, work, hopes, dreams - you name it, and I can 99.9% guarantee you that I’ve already drafted a list for it. Ask me what kind of New Year’s resolutions I plan on accomplishing this year and I can name off at least twenty in under 5 minutes. I tend to do this most every year and have recognized something terribly awful with this strategy.

Coming up with a million and one goals, although admirable, is not only unrealistic but almost counter-productive. Anyone can make a list of goals but what about goals that actually hold value?

Originally, I had planned to post my 20+ goals for 2013 today but that was when I realized how important it is to 1) Prioritize your goals, and 2) Evaluate the value behind accomplishing that goal. As a result, I have come up with a list (go figure) of tips on how to choose the right goals that will make you happy and proud.

1. Ask yourself, ‘What have I always wanted to do but never thought was possible?’

2. Fill in the blank for the sentence below:

When I picture my life twenty years later and do not accomplish (insert goal here), then I will have major regrets. (hint: whatever goals you came up here, it’s probably really important to you and does not need to get pushed aside any longer)

3. Work backwards. Ask yourself, ‘What must I accomplish by December 31, 2013?’ and then determine the next best step (tiny goal that leads to the big goal).


Accomplishment: Publish a book for the first time ever.

Next step: If you have a friend that is a published author, set up a coffee date to pick his/her brain.

4. What area in your life needs some work and how important is that life area to you? Maybe you’re tired of the same old crowd, want more positive friends, and feel a new social network will boost your confidence. Whatever life area it may be (family, personal, health, career), if it  already has a large impact (positive or negative) on your happiness, create some goals that will improve it overall. Example: Having a strong relationship with my family members is very important to me. Some goals could be to spend at least 30 minutes on the phone with each family member, each week or creating a family photo album for each season.

5. What have you learned this past year and how can you apply it to 2013? Personally, the year 2012 taught me to not let the 'what ifs' hinder my dreams and aspirations. I plan to use this philosophy while working on my goals; essentially reminding myself that fear of failure is not a valid enough reason to not try.

I hope these tips help you create goals that make sense for you, lead you to more happiness, and most importantly, give you something to be proud of! 


  1. Cathy you know what I love about you is that your blog posts are so hell downright fulfilling. I mean they contain both problem and solution and even the way towards the solution. Keep it up! N thank you for the amazing tips. will come up with my new year resolutions soon!

    1. Aww I appreciate your support and such kind words. I'm still coming up with my new years resolutions too! You should post yours! and let me know so I can check it out too :)

  2. Hi! I love this post. I, too, am a fan of making lists about everything. I tend to be forgetful so I appreciate the organization and clarity lists provide.

    I'm a new follower! :)

    1. I'm glad you did Jen! Lists are an addiction of mine much like tea and books. I appreciate planners, calendars, and anything to help make life's priorities easy to tackle. Thanks for your comment and come back soon!

  3. Great list, Cathy. I may have to reevaluate my resolutions list to include more of those tips. Thank you!

    1. Thank you Keara! I've been working on mind as well :) You are very welcome!

  4. great post Cathy! I love tip #2. I've never thought about it like that and it totally got my mind going. Love it!
    Thanks for the congrats over on my blog. I can't comment properly from my work computer so I get home and always forget to respond in the scramble of things.

    Holistic Health Coach

  5. That's a great outline for tackling something I've been too terrified to do and yet want with all my heart. I'm going to bookmark this page and use it to inspire me to try. I'm a new reader/follower of your blog and would like to thanks you for the inspiration boost.

  6. Good tips! I"m almost all #4 and some of #5. In the end its all about being vigilant and focused.

    Do you feel like when you look back on your resolutions by the end of the year, you've accomplished them?


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