Goal-setting: How to stay on track in 2021

New year means new you, right? While 2020 derailed many people’s plans, setting some targets in 2021 is still worthwhile. These tips may help.


New year means new you, right? Nobody would blame us for being wary of making too many big commitments in 2021 given how 2020 derailed many people’s plans.

But with a new year comes new hope, and goal setting will help you stay motivated and focused.

If making and sticking to a resolution seems daunting, try these tips.

Why are you setting a goal?

What do you want to achieve? Is it a new job? Better results at school or uni? Learning to drive? Washboard abs? Focus on your motivation, the reward, and then the process of how you will try to achieve your goal.

What are the obstacles?

Identify what may prevent you from getting what needs to be done, done. For instance, if you’re wanting to get fitter but lack facilities at home, or you don’t think you have the time to devote an hour each day to hitting the gym, identify alternatives. Try shorter workouts at home more often, and at a higher intensity.

Be honest with yourself

Your mum was right. If you fudge your results or take shortcuts, you’re only letting yourself down. Making change is never easy, so keep your targets manageable and achievable. You’ll get there.


Need a plan that will set you up for success? Use the SMART goal method:

  • Specific: Identify exactly what you want
  • Measurable: Make sure you can easily identify your goals
  • Achievable: Don’t over-stretch, you could overreach, fail, and give up
  • Relevant: Make sure your goal suits your lifestyle and abilities
  • Time-related: Set a realistic deadline and stick to it.

Never give up, and reward yourself

There’s a reason “Rome wasn’t built in a day” is a cliche. Because it’s true. Change takes time and effort.  Remember when you achieve a milestone, treat yourself. Maybe it’s a new piece of clothing, a special meal, or a night out.

Above all, enjoy the journey. Changing your life for the better is awesome. We all have the ability to change things. And the best time to start is now.

More advice: Five key steps to nailing your dream job