New year goals: make plans for the short term instead of the year

This is the time of the year when most of us start to think about goals for 2023. Maybe it’s a cliché but entering a new year it just feels right to reset our minds and start something new. So how do we do it right?

Knowing where you want to go next year is the first step towards achieving your goal. That is, knowing exactly what you want to achieve and how it can be done by using the SMART goal system or something similar. (SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time Bound).

But setting a plan for a whole year (and accomplishing it) can be challenging.

“12 months is an incredibly long time and while it’s good to have an idea of where you want the year to end, the most important thing right now is to have an idea of where you want it to start” – says Tom Bainbridge, head tutor of BTN Academy.

Usually, our brains process short term goals more easily. If we set goals for March, we have healthy time pressure. 3 months is a good chunk of time. We can do A LOT in 3 months, but it is also not so long that we can put things off. Every day starts to matter because having things done by March doesn’t give us too much time.

If you set a 12-month goal, January doesn’t matter because there is such a long time to go until next December and that’s how next year’s big goals fail.

“I know this from my own experience. When I was a competitive athlete if I had a competition in 3 months, I could 100% focus on the training and diet because I saw the end of the project and I knew if I wanted to be in my best shape in 3 months I had to make the maximum effort every single day to make that happen… there was no time to rest or cheat. I couldn’t have focused that much if the show was 6 months away because I would have still felt like I had plenty of time” – says Bella Trost, world champion fitness athlete.

Summarizing that here is simple advice. Don’t worry about December and what you’ll have achieved by then. Set a goal that makes you think about January because it’s almost here and if you want to achieve something in the near future you have to start to work on it now because you don’t have that much time. No excuse!

Happy New Year everyone!

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