With each new year comes a sense of starting fresh and that anything is possible. The month of January can literally feel like it is bursting with new beginnings and chances to achieve the things that we’ve been wanting most like finding a new job, taking that certification course, or training for that virtual 10k.

Yet sometimes after we write that shiny new list of goals for the new year it can be discouraging or even downright difficult to stick with your goals long term with what can feel like endless distractions and demands entering your life every single day. Come February, it can feel all too easy to lose track of your goals and move on to the next flashy thing taking up your attention.

As a public service announcement, please do not be so hard on yourself and do not be discouraged by this. You have more control than you think.

Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash

To help you reach your goals and prevent everyday pressures from creeping in, I’ve compiled a list of techniques that could help you reach your goals this year.

Make a plan

Just saying you’ll do something is a lot easier than actually getting it done. To make your goals a reality come up with a plan and start scheduling time for it on your calendar regularly to make it happen. Set the schedule for longer than just the 1st month.

Turn your BIG goal into smaller goals

If your goal is to read more in 2021, that could feel so general and not really help in your day to day with achieving your goal. Instead what I recommend doing is break your big goals into smaller more achievable goals. For example, your smaller goals can be to read a chapter every day and create a running list of new books you want to read.

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Get an accountability partner

If finding an accountability partner who you can check in with from time to time sounds like your style, it can be a huge help for you sticking with your goal. This kind of partnership could be even more mutually beneficial if you have the same or similar goals because you can learn from and motivate each other. For example, if you’re both working on that virtual 10k you can both commit to wake up and run at the same time before work or share a post-run sweaty selfie for encouragement.

Extra tip: I suggest asking a friend or family member  – someone other than your partner/spouse as it can be a slippery slope to rely on your spouse to be *everything* for you. Your spouse might be your best friend, intimate partner, and Sunday morning pancake chef but you shouldn’t expect them to also be your running coach, therapist, and goal keeper. Let your spouse support you on his or her own terms and use this as an opportunity to grow your friendship with someone else in your circle.

Photo by Maddi Bazzocco on Unsplash

Write out your goals every week

Block off time on your calendar every Sunday to write your goals for the week. That’s right, literally schedule time into the beginning of your week to get organized. This will set you up for success and prevent you from that feeling at the end of the week “what did I even accomplish?” feeling.

Don’t let your day run you

It’s easy to watch the news these days and let your whole day get away from you, but what you want to do is tell yourself this is okay to spend my time doing this for a little while (or set an actual time to turn it off) but I will bring my attention right back to where it needs to be. And if that doesn’t work – unplug, turn off your notifications, silence your phone, or whatever you need to do to feel focused. Personally, I have found it very freeing to disable the majority of my phone notifications after realizing how often it was disrupting my day. 

Photo by Ava Sol on Unsplash

Be kind to yourself

We’ve all been there with one off day here or there, but don’t give up that easily on your goals. If you missed one day, get back to it. Don’t give up. It will be worth it!

Sending lots of positive vibes your way for the new year. Remember to keep going and that we all shine when it’s our time. Focus on your goals and don’t compare yourself to anyone else’s journey.

If you want to share one of your 2021 goals with The Jersey Shore, please tag us at #thejerseytour and tell us what you’re working on this year.

About the Author

Allison Calabrese is a Contributor at The Jersey Tour, Marketing Consultant and Founder of Careerkeeper. She grew up in Morris County, New Jersey and enjoys hiking, cycling, mediation, and learning about the history around NJ. To reach out to her, please email allison@thejerseytour.com.