Have you ever made a New Year’s resolution that you ended up giving up on within the first month? Yeah, we’ve all been there. Luckily, it’s that time of year again, which means you can set some new goals you are passionate about

The key to setting achievable goals is to make them as specific as possible. With the right goal, you won’t be too intimidated to get started, and you’ll stay motivated throughout the process. But setting goals that are the perfect level of challenging is hard! That’s why we’ve compiled a list of tips that help you create goals you will actually accomplish in 2021. 

Reward Yourself Regularly

A great way to keep yourself motivated and form mindful habits is to use a habit loop. According to Charles Duhigg, the author of The Power of Habit, achieving goals is largely based on the power of your habits. Every habit has three parts to it: cue, routine, and reward. The key to forming lasting habits and hacking into this habit loop is a good reward. 

Every time you complete an aspect of your goal, give yourself a small reward to keep you motivated. For example, if your resolution is to exercise more often, every time you go for a run, reward yourself with a delicious meal when you get home. Each time you reward yourself, you’ll be more likely to complete the task again. 

Make SMART Goals

You may have heard of setting SMART goals before. This acronym breaks down the necessary components of a well-rounded and achievable goal. Unlocking these characteristics will leave you much better equipped to accomplish anything you want. Here’s exactly what each letter stands for and what it means:

  • Specific: Come up with a specific goal by answering the popular W questions: who, what, when, where, which, and why. Who needs to be involved in the process? Is it an individual goal or does it require help? What exactly do you want to accomplish? What’s the time frame? Why do you want to achieve this goal?
  • Measurable: Make your goal measurable so you can look back and see your progress. What metrics will you use to analyze your progress and success? 
  • Achievable: A goal should challenge you, but it shouldn’t be so challenging that you are likely to give up soon after setting it. Consider what tools you may need to achieve your goal and if you already have them. 
  • Relevant: Think about how your goal aligns with the values of your life. Is it something you can incorporate into your daily routine? Will it help you in other areas of your life?
  • Time bound: Give yourself a target date for when you want to have accomplished your goal. Not only will this motivate you as the deadline approaches, but you can also keep track of what you still need to do before that date.

Give Up on Perfection

The greatest barrier to achieving our goals is the idea that they have to be perfectly accomplished. Not only is this unattainable and untrue, but having this idea will often cause us to procrastinate. Those who are too stuck on perfection have lower odds of accomplishing anything because the stakes are too high. Instead of focusing on this idea of perfection, acknowledge the constant progress you’re making.

Be easy on yourself and celebrate every step along the way. Self-love is important while setting goals, too. 

New Year’s resolutions don’t have to be silly, unattainable goals we come up with only to have something to say to our loved ones when they ask about them. They can help us grow, build confidence, and inspire us to work harder. Invest in yourself by setting goals you can actually achieve by following these three tips. The new year is the perfect time! Here’s to 2021.