A Guide to Setting Goals and Resolutions in 2022

The start of a new year is the perfect time to turn a new page as it offers a blank slate. We try to improve on the mistakes and poor choices we may have made in the previous years, reflect and inspire ourselves to start afresh and do better for the year ahead. Perhaps this is why new year’s resolutions are popular among many. HappyDot.sg’s online survey in Singapore revealed that 53% of individuals find new year’s resolutions to be meaningful.  

While making new year’s resolutions might be fun, exciting and empowering, keeping and following through with them is a different matter. How often have you started out strong in your new year’s resolutions yet slowly find yourself feeling less motivated and settling back into old habits as the year progresses? This is common for many of us and happens largely because of poor goal setting strategies. According to Harvard Business Review, only a mere 19% of people achieve their goals over the following two years.1 Here are some tips and tricks to help improve the way you set your 2022 goals!

Be Specific 

Vague goals may work at the start, but are not ideal as a long-term strategy. Over time, measuring and keeping track of your success can become a challenge, which may cause you to lose motivation. In fact, an online survey revealed that 35%2 of participants who failed their new year’s resolutions said they had unrealistic goals. Therefore, it is important to keep your goals as specific as possible. Focus on something concrete and realistic that you can set your sights on. Including numbers can be a helpful first step towards creating specific goals. For instance, rather than setting a goal to ‘lose weight’ or be ‘more productive’, try tweaking it to something along the lines of ‘go to the gym three times a week’. Similarly, instead of saying you will ‘read more’, list the number of books you plan to read every month. Being specific with your goals in this manner enables you to know exactly what you need to accomplish and how you can achieve them.

Strategise and Plan

Social Issues Planning

Creating a detailed, written plan can help you stick to your goals as it helps you to visualise and consider different, relevant tactics that would be useful in the face of challenges. 

Firstly, start by jotting down your goals – and remember to be specific with them! Next, make a list of things you can do to achieve your goals. For example, if your target is to hit the gym three times a week, some things you can do to achieve that is to either make time over the weekends or wake up earlier and exercise before going to work. 

Finally, note down potential obstacles you might face when accomplishing your goals and how to counteract them. In the case of heading to the gym 3 times a week, some obstacles may include oversleeping or last minute weekend plans. You can address such challenges by going to the gym after work instead or making up for a weekend with a weekday. By knowing exactly what you want to accomplish and the difficulties you might face, you’ll be better prepared to stick to your resolution and overcome anything that might side-track you.

Be Patient and Kind with Yourself  

While setting your goals, you may find yourself feeling overwhelmed or pressured. This is completely normal. After all, trying to make a positive change in your life is never easy and, in some instances, can even come across as intimidating. Be patient while creating your goals and remind yourself that even if mistakes are made, you can restart and continue your journey. Self-improvement is not a race but a process, so keep in mind that it will take time and be kind to yourself. Once you have made the commitment to changing a behaviour, it may be something that you continue to work on for the rest of your life.

Goal setting and resolutions may not always lead to disappointment. Following the above tips and taking the time to set your goals strategically helps you to start off well and increases the likelihood of keeping your resolutions. Ultimately, remember to also treat yourself and celebrate little victories. It is not just the end goal that matters but the journey along the way too!

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