Setting Goals That Stick

Tips for setting goals that will stick with you throughout the new year.

Article by Krissy Nevero | December 30, 2022

It’s that time again for New Year’s resolutions. And, you’ve likely heard, studies show that most people that set New Year’s resolutions don’t achieve them. In fact, many people give up on their resolutions before the end of January.

So, should you even make them?

Personally, I’m a big fan of goal setting—when done right. However, most resolutions aren’t thought out very well. You hear things like, “I want to do better this year”, “I’m going to get healthier this year”, “I need to figure out my life this year”—but what do these things even mean? Without clarity, achievement will be tough, for sure.

I think goal setting can be an excellent way to visualize your future. That said, it doesn’t have to be done for the new year only. You can set goals anytime you like so if you’re not feeling it right now, don’t feel pressured to come up with something only to be disappointed in yourself when you don’t succeed.

But if you’re ready, I’ve got some thoughts for you. One of the most powerful ways to accomplish a goal is by visualizing that you’ve already achieved the outcome. Your actions greatly depend on your thoughts and this visualization can actually help to shift your behaviors and thoughts to train your subconscious mind. So, tap into your imagination, visualize your life as if you accomplished your goals and get planning. I like to use the SMART goal method to develop a plan.

What’s a SMART goal?

Here’s an example of a goal using the SMART method:

I want to run a 5K—specific. I will run 3x per week and track the increase in mileage each week—measurable. I feel good running 1 mile so I think if I increase my mileage gradually I can do it—achievable. I’ve been improving my fitness level and this goal will help me continue to do that—relevance. There is a local 5K 3-months from now so I will sign up and create a training schedule to be ready by then—timely.

OK so you’ve got your goal spelled out clearly, you’re done, right? Not exactly! A clearly spelled out goal is great but if you want to succeed and make it past January, you may need to go a bit further.

Shout your goal from the rooftop!

OK, that may be dramatic. How about you just share your goal with others? I’m a huge advocate of accountability. Oftentimes, when left to our own devices, we’ll quit when the going gets tough. Ask a friend or family member to help hold you accountable in achieving your goal. Maybe you can do the same for them.

Speak with conviction when talking about your goal.

Instead of saying “I wish” or “I want” or “I hope”  say “I will” or “I am”.  There is so much power in words and in repetition. Tell yourself (and others) that you will attain your goal. You can do anything. You’re strong. You’re capable. Never stop affirming yourself and never stop working towards what you want!

Celebrate along the way. 

We already talked about being able to measure progress and each breakthrough is worthy of acknowledgment for your effort and accomplishment. Celebrating your accomplishments can boost your confidence, help to stave off burnout, and fuel your continued success.

Whether big or small, setting goals can:

So, if you’re looking to set a goal for the new year, or at a later date, use these tips and you’ll be off to a good start. Happy New Year!

Krissy Nevero is a Functional Diagnostic Nutrition Practitioner and Integrative Nutrition Health Coach based in Sonoma, California. To learn more about Krissy and her services, please visit her website:

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