Happy New Year! Have you set any resolutions for 2021? If you have, or even if you haven’t, the staff at Park Plaza wanted to collect some tips for setting goals that you will be likely to follow through with and achieve. If you’re like many of us, it can be hard to stick to your ambitions! So here are four tips for setting realistic and attainable goals:

Tip #1: Write It Down

Let’s say your goal is to be more organized. How will writing that down help? According to one study, writing down your goals increases your chances of achieving them.

“Writing your goals down not only forces you to get clear on what, exactly, it is that you want to accomplish, but doing so plays a part in motivating you to complete the tasks necessary for your success,” says Peter Economy at Inc. “The process of putting your goals on paper will force you to strategize, to ask questions about your current progress, and to brainstorm your plan of attack.”

Tip #2: Set Short-Term Goals

Let’s face it: Setting goals for long-term ambitions can get overwhelming and make it easier for us to give up. One way to avoid this situation is to set short-term goals.

“Short terms [sic] goals act as a milestone in your journey to reach the long term goal of your life,” according to Columbia College. “They help you gauge how far you have come and how long you still have to travel to reach your ultimate destination.”

Perhaps your ultimate goal is to run a marathon. That’s an awesome but huge goal. So break it down! Start with a race that’s closer to your comfort level, and set even smaller goals to help you get there. Even if it takes longer to get there, you’ll be more prepared for when the day of the marathon comes, and you really will be able to do it!

Tip #3: Start with Main One Goal

Another way to keep from getting overwhelmed with setting goals is to choose just one goal at a time. Chances are you’d like to be more healthy, more creative, more successful, and more fill-in-the-blank, but depending on your personality, pursuing all those goals at once can be discouraging.

“Pick one thing to double down on at the moment,” says Damon Brown, author of The Bite-Sized Entrepreneur. “Trying to do everything not only may waste your time, but also will make all the things you pursue less effective.”

So prioritize your goals. If you find that your most important goal is to connect with your family and friends more, focus on that! You’ll find it really satisfying when you see the progress that comes from doubling down on one thing at a time.

Tip #4: Choose Something You Really Want to Achieve

Have you ever set a goal you just don’t care that much about? Maybe you felt like you probably should go running a few times a week, but your heart just wasn’t in it, and you found yourself failing at your goal. How can you avoid that?

According to Mind Tools, you should “set goals that relate to the high priorities in your life. . . . To maximize the likelihood of success, you need to feel a sense of urgency and have an ‘I must do this’ attitude. When you don’t have this, you risk putting off what you need to do to make the goal a reality.”

So if your running goal didn’t work out, maybe it was because it didn’t relate to your highest priorities. Perhaps what you really care about is having an active lifestyle, and you were really only running because that’s your friends’ exercise of choice. To help you be more motivated, you could focus on an exercise you enjoy. That way, you’re still working towards your goal of being active, and you’re more likely to achieve it. 

Ready to make 2021 a great year? Work on setting goals that you’re likely to achieve by writing them down, setting short-term goals, starting with one thing at a time, and choosing something you really want to achieve. We can’t wait to see what you accomplish!