a close-up of an opened minimalistic planner for 2023 close to a pen
All photos: Jess Bailey Designs

The festive period is coming to an end just as soon as it started, and an altogether new year beckons. Many will be happy to see the back of 2022, but 2023 poses similar challenges to people across the country. More than ever, people require a good plan; goals, or even resolutions, that help to secure achievement in the coming months. But, if you were to set out some goals for 2023, how would you go about it?

#1. Be Specific


First and foremost, your 2023 goals should have formed. It is all too common that people’s new year’s resolutions do not include specific information and outcomes; without specifics, goals are ill-defined, and it is difficult to know exactly what success looks like. If someone resolves to smoke fewer cigarettes in 2023, how many fewer will they smoke? And will it be ongoing or just on balance?

Your goals should be measurable and incorporate solid end goals. Rather than ‘smoking less’, someone might instead resolve to cut down to three or fewer per day by the middle of the year and halve that by the end of the year. This is a goal that can be tracked effectively. More importantly, it can be completed successfully, delivering you the dopamine hit that could help you stay the course.

#2. Make Them Achievable


But perhaps the biggest mistake that people make when setting goals at the start of a new year is to make those goals as pie-in-the-sky as possible. Often these goals are simply unachievable, disincentivizing the goal-setter to try as hard as they might have done.

For example, someone might declare an intent to live the entirety of 2023 carbon-neutral. This is essentially impossible without serious planning and change, but more achievable iterations of the same sentiment can ensure a move in the right direction. Rather than going altogether off-grid, you might find it more accessible to switch your car for an electric car to reduce your carbon emissions. Smaller, achievable goals are much more likely to be achieved than grandiose and complex assertions.

#3. Measure Them


Some reference has already been made to the importance of making your goals measurable, but actually, actively measuring them is something else entirely. There are numerous ways you can approach this, but daily journalling or habit-tracking are simple enough ways to keep you accountable to yourself. If your goals are savings- or investments-oriented, then you may need additional tools to track your progress, such as finance spreadsheets.

a stack of three minimalistic nobooks on a white table

#4. Be Flexible


It's crucial to be flexible with your goals, as life can be unpredictable and things may not always go as planned. It's okay if you don't achieve your goals exactly as you planned. Don't feel bad to take a step back and re-think your goal. Stay confident and try a completely different approach. Use these little mistakes as an opportunity to learn something new.

#5. Ideate


Lastly, but most fundamentally of all, we come to ideating your goals, to begin with. If you find yourself coming up short on ideas for goals in the new year, why not keep things simple? Again, you are looking for a specific achievable goal with a time frame. Rather than attempting to make drastic changes to your life, try instead to keep your goals simple, straight, and to the point.

Final Thoughts

Starting a new year by planning specific goals you want to achieve is a great plan. It can be a helpful way to stay motivated and focused throughout the year. As you achieve your goals, take the time to celebrate them. Don't worry about the little mistakes on your way! As Joseph Conrad once said: 'It's only those who do nothing that makes no mistakes.' 

Lots of love,
Liz