Practical tips on how to achieve New Year’s goals

As we step into the new year, many of us embark on a journey of self-improvement, setting fresh goals to bring positive changes. However, these aspirations often lose momentum and fade away after a few weeks. In this month’s article, we present practical and straightforward tips to make achieving your goals a bit easier.

Before delving into the tricks, let’s shift our perspective on goals. Consider them as opportunities to learn and develop, acknowledging that setbacks are stepping stones to personal growth. Remember, “It’s not the destination but the journey that matters.” When setting goals, reflect on why they matter to you and what the pursuit will bring, not just the result.

Break down big goals into manageable steps

Tackling a significant goal or one with a distant deadline can be daunting. To make it more manageable and motivating, break it down into smaller steps. You can follow these steps to break down the big goals:

  1. Identify specific checkpoints crucial to achieving the big goal.
  2. Establish smaller goals for each checkpoint, achievable within 1-4 weeks.
  3. Outline daily or weekly activities aligned with these smaller goals.

Share your goals with others

Accountability plays a vital role in goal achievement. Share your goals with friends, colleagues, or family to make it harder to compromise. Discussing progress regularly with someone who cares about your success adds a layer of commitment. For work-related goals, consider sharing them with a colleague and reviewing progress monthly.

Balance logic and emotion

Consider the “elephant and rider” theory to balance your logical and emotional sides. The rider represents the rational brain, and the elephant symbolises the emotional brain. Even though it looks like the rider is in charge, the strong elephant tends to take over when there’s a disagreement, making it challenging for the rider to keep things on track. This can make it difficult to reach our goals. Our emotional side wants quick satisfaction and positive feelings, which clashes with our rational side that likes to plan for the long term. To make sure our goals work for both sides, keep the following in mind when setting them:

  • Direct the rider by setting clear goals and creating a detailed action plan.
  • Motivate the elephant by cultivating positive emotions, celebrating small victories, and breaking big goals into smaller, more achievable ones.

Learn more about the theory of the elephant and the rider here.


If the earlier tips focused on longer goals, then visualization is a handy technique for shorter ones. Visualization boosts self-confidence and allows you to “practice” success. Let’s take a look at how you can use visualization for a crucial job interview:

  1. Select a particular goal to visualize, such as successfully navigating a job interview.
  2. Picture the details as vividly as you can: imagine the interview setting, the number of people present, and even what you’re wearing.
  3. Now, walk through each step needed to achieve your goal. Envision how you arrive at the interview, how you introduce yourself, and how you handle various questions. Imagine the entire process, rehearsing it in your mind for a smoother experience when the actual day arrives.

We hope you discovered some exciting new strategies in this article, and we encourage you to experiment with all the tips to find the most suitable technique for you. If you feel you could use support in discovering, setting, or achieving new goals, we recommend checking out our coaching service here.

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