How To Set Realistic And Achievable Goals

After the final pig in blanket has been eaten and the last of the Quality Streets have been finished off, we may turn our attention to the exciting prospect of goal setting for the new year. A brand new year offers 365 days worth of opportunity and the chance to live life to the fullest. Magazines promote a healthier version of you and new gym memberships are at an all time high. We feel positive and inspired and promise that 2018 will be our year.

However, despite the best of intentions, the reality is (according to one commonly cited statistic) that only 8% of people actually keep there New Years Resolutions. So, why not be part of the minority and actually set some long term healthy habits. Here are my six tips on how to set realistic and achievable goals for the New Year. (All images are from my Heidi Swapp Memory planner)

Be Reflective

Before you set yourself impulsive goals, take a look back at the year gone by. Identify your strengths and what achievements you are most proud of. We should work with what we already have and build on that instead of picking on our weaknesses and flaws. Making goals which involve drastic and dramatic changes will only be setting yourself up to fail. Focus on your interests, passions and things you enjoy doing to stand a good chance of making your goal a habit.

For example, I know I already enjoy walking so I am going to make this a daily activity. I love reading, so am going to write a list of books I would like to read in 2018.

Be Specific

A goal needs to be specific so you know exactly what you need to do in order to achieve it. Specific resolutions can be measured so we can see how we are getting on as the months go by. Avoid vague goals such as I want to be healthier and replace it with something like I am going to exercise three times a week and eat balanced nutritious meals. This way you can assess how you are doing at the end of each week and feel motivated that you are on track with your resolution.

Be Realistic

Your goals should challenge you but they shouldn’t be a daily struggle. Know your limitations and what would be practically impossible to achieve. A realistic goal should be something you know you are capable of, however you just need to stay focused and motivated in order to succeed. For example, don’t say you are going to run a marathon if you have never ran a mile. Instead, push yourself gently, one step at a time and see where it takes you.

Be Kind

Once we are ready to rock with our new goals, we need to remember that we are only human too. There will be days where we are not at our best for whatever reason and this is totally normal and expected. The trick is not to let one bad day knock you off track completely to the point you give up on your goal. Appreciate how far we have come and look at the bigger picture. Why did you set yourself this goal in the first place? A little progress each day adds up, so just do what you can and start each day a fresh.

Be Flexible

Life is ever changing and your goal is no different. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing – change can open up brand new opportunities and exciting experiences. We may need to slightly adjust our goals or perhaps make them bigger as time goes on. For example, you may resolve to go the gym three times a week, however, for some variety, you decide to try out a new fitness class and find you absolutely love it. Your new goal may now be go to the gym twice a week and go to say yoga on Fridays. Who knows where your goal may take you. Be open to the possibilities.

Be Positive

Keeping a positive attitude is so important when it comes to staying on track with your goal. By rewarding your milestones and achievements, no matter how small, we stay motivated and focused. We can look back at how far we have come and appreciate our hard work and effort. Whether your goal is fitness, blogging related or personal development every small step in the right direction takes us closer to our goal. Keep moving forward and celebrating your successes.

Have you set any goals for 2018? I would love to hear them! Whatever your New Years Resolutions are just remember – be reflective, specific, realistic, kind, flexible and positive. You can do this!

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72 Comments

  1. Huda
    December 29, 2017 / 11:12 am

    This is such a useful post, I especially liked that you mentioned to make goals specific. I often don’t know exactly what to do because my goals are so vague but by writing exactly what I need to do can make it easier to achieve it! Thanks for sharing this! ♥️

    • December 29, 2017 / 3:55 pm

      Thank you so much for your lovely encouraging comment Huda 💕 I am so glad it’s helpful. ☺️ I hope you have a fabulous 2018 and reach all of your goals 💖 xx

  2. Shaun
    December 29, 2017 / 3:24 pm

    A very well written and thoughtful post Bexa 😘. I agree that staying positive and rewarding milestones helps to maintain motivation and keep focus ☺️. I believe that working with what we already have is a great place to start when setting goals too 😄😍❤️😘 xxxx

    • December 29, 2017 / 4:00 pm

      Aw thank you so much for your lovely encouraging comment Shaun 💕. Positivity and rewards are always so motivating! I hope you reach all your 2018 goals – it’s going to be a very exciting year! 💖✨🎉😘 xxxx

    • December 30, 2017 / 9:19 am

      That’s so true, Jessica & James! 💖 Smaller realistic goals are so much better! ☺️ Thank you so much for your lovely comment and hope you both have a fabulous 2018! 🎉 Love your blog! 💖✨ xx

    • December 30, 2017 / 8:51 am

      Yay! 🎉✨ That’s awesome Rena! So glad my post was useful 😍. Thank you so much for your lovely comment and have a fantastic 2018! 💖 xx

  3. December 29, 2017 / 8:19 pm

    I love reading your posts Bexa! With New Year’s resolutions I tend to go with the idea of all or nothing, but I love the idea of being kind and flexible. Nobody’s perfect, but a few bad days mean nothing if you can get past them and continue making your resolutions a habit. Have an amazing 2018, wishing you all the best!
    Chloe x

    • December 30, 2017 / 8:52 am

      Thank you so much for your lovely encouraging comment Chloe! 💖 I’m so glad you enjoyed the post! Have a fabulous 2018 and hope you reach your goals! 🎉✨💕 xx

  4. December 29, 2017 / 8:22 pm

    Really helpful post, especially this time of year! Instead of yearly resolutions, next year I’m aiming to do monthly goals. I have my January goals post up on the 1st and I’m going to go through each one on the last day of the month to see how I did. They’re all fairly small and DEFINITELY achieveable. It’s great to dream big but for me, I thihk starting small will be even more beneficial! xxx

    • December 30, 2017 / 8:57 am

      Monthly resolutions are a fantastic idea Jenny! 💖 I love that you will be able to review your progress often and set new goals regularly ☺️. This sounds like a really effective way to stay on track and motivated! Thank you so much for your comment 😘. All the best for your January goals, I hope you have a fabulous 2018! 💖✨ xx

  5. December 29, 2017 / 8:33 pm

    I set myself 52 goals this year. I’m crazy, I know. So, yeah, I really need to get more realistic – so I get a chance to stay optimistic 🙂 Loved the post!

    • December 30, 2017 / 10:55 am

      Thank you so much for your lovely comment Saar 💕. That’s great you have so many ideas for goals, I sometimes struggle to think of them! 🙊 I hope you have a fabulous 2018 and achieve everything you want to! 💖✨ xx

  6. December 29, 2017 / 8:42 pm

    Great post! Definitely made me think more about the resolutions that i’ve set myself! <3

    • December 30, 2017 / 10:56 am

      Thank you so much for your lovely comment Jessica 💕 I’m so glad you found the post useful ☺️. Have an awesome 2018! 🎉✨💖 xx

  7. December 29, 2017 / 8:42 pm

    I definitely needed this when planning my goals for next year! Thank you xx

    • December 30, 2017 / 10:57 am

      I’m so glad you found the post useful Hannah 💕. Thank you so much for your comment and have an amazing 2018 ✨💖🎉 xx

  8. December 29, 2017 / 8:43 pm

    I love this post so much. I did monthly goals this year and found them so much easier to hit than the normal yearly goals. Thank you so much for sharing, I’m definitely going to bookmark this post as I know this will help me a lot! xo

    Samantha | https://believeinamiracle.co.uk

    • December 30, 2017 / 8:59 am

      Monthly goals sound fantastic Samantha! 💖 You can review your progress often and see how you are doing ☺️. This sounds like a really effective way to reach your goals! 😍 Thank you so much for your lovely comment and I hope you have an awesome 2018! 💖✨ xx

  9. December 29, 2017 / 8:45 pm

    I love the messages at the end about being kind and flexible. It’s so easy to be too hard on yourself when you fall behind or are struggling with something. I’m pretty good at setting general life goal (until it comes to setting the alarm earlier) but I’m awful at setting blog goals. I never know whether I’m being realistic or not x

    Sophie
    http://www.glowsteady.co.uk

    • December 30, 2017 / 9:02 am

      Thank you so much for your lovely encouraging comment Sophie! 💖 Being kind and flexible makes reaching goals much easier ☺️. I hope you have a fabulous 2018 and thank you for all the blog love and support 💖🎉✨ xx

  10. December 29, 2017 / 8:54 pm

    Love this! I love that planner – so pretty! And your goals are wonderful, especially the kindness one. I believe you can do all these things! 🙂

    • December 30, 2017 / 10:59 am

      It’s such a gorgeous planner, I’m so excited to use it 😍. Thank you so much for your lovely encouraging comment and I hope you have a fabulous 2018 💖🎉✨ xx

  11. December 29, 2017 / 8:54 pm

    Love this! I have a post coming out on goals in a couple of days, and while setting them I was trying to be realistic. I think that what you said about choosing things you already love is SO IMPORTANT and makes it a whole lot easier!
    Jas xx

    • December 30, 2017 / 9:05 am

      Thank you so much for your lovely encouraging comment Jas! 💕 I will look forward to reading your post! All the best with your goals and I hope you have an amazing 2018! 💖✨ xx

  12. Sunkissed Scribbles
    December 29, 2017 / 9:26 pm

    Brilliant post. It’s true, we do come up with some unrealistic resolutions. I usually have the same goal every year – find a job I really want to do and get my own place. But it seems like it will never happen. However, some of the smaller goals I’ve had seemed easier to manage and gave me a sense of achievement. So I guess I’ll stick to small goals 🙂

    • December 30, 2017 / 9:07 am

      Thank you so much for your lovely comment! 💖 I agree! Small goals can give you a sense of achievement and can add up to bigger changes over time ☺️. All the best with you goals and I hope you have a fantastic 2018! 💖✨ xx

  13. December 29, 2017 / 9:29 pm

    I have quite a few goals for the coming year and this year I intend to be a lot kinder to myself about them and more flexible too, it makes them more achievable if you give yourself abit of leeway. Thanks for posting I’ll be keeping this bookmarked to use for reference against my goals in future. 😊

    • December 30, 2017 / 9:09 am

      Thank you so much for your lovely encouraging comment Laura! 💖 I’m so glad you found it helpful ☺️. Being kind and flexible makes things much easier and achievable 😘. I hope you reach your goals and have a fabulous 2018! 💖✨ xx

    • December 30, 2017 / 11:01 am

      Aw thank you so much for your lovely comment Edelle, that’s so sweet of you 💕. I’m so glad you found the post useful and have an awesome 2018 🎉✨💖 xx

  14. December 29, 2017 / 9:37 pm

    I really enjoyed this blogpost!😊
    I’m so useless at keeping New Years Resolutions that I just give by mid January.
    I’m going to take your advice on board and try to be more realistic with my goals.
    Hope you have an amazing new year!

    Becky
    X

    • December 30, 2017 / 11:03 am

      Aw thank you so much for your lovely comment Becky! 💕 All the best with your goals and have a fabulous 2018 🎉✨💖 xx

  15. Alys
    December 29, 2017 / 9:44 pm

    I LOVE this post so much! I feel like there is a lot of unnecessary pressure around this time of year to achieve a lot, but for me this approach just makes me anxious. Being realistic and positive is a great combination to create goals that might actually be met. Thanks for sharing!
    Alys
    https://alysjournals.wordpress.com/

    • December 30, 2017 / 9:12 am

      Thank you so much for your lovely encouraging comment Alys! 💕 I completely agree, too much pressure can cause anxiety. Positivity and being realistic makes achieving goals so much easier! ☺️ I hope achieve everything you want and have a fabulous 2018 ✨💖 xx

  16. December 29, 2017 / 9:50 pm

    love this! Ive already set my goals for 2018, wish I’d have seen this before but will deffo be useful when I’m setting goals next year 😊

    • December 30, 2017 / 11:04 am

      Thank you so much for your lovely comment Amy! 💖 All the best with your 2018 goals and have a fabulous year! 🎉✨💕 xx

  17. December 29, 2017 / 10:03 pm

    What a great post! It can seem that the pressure people put on themselves and others with New Years resolutions, can make it harder to achieve them as it causes you to set it so high! I don’t usually set them each year, but I’m going to try set some for my blog and see how it goes!

    Amy,
    https://creativenails.uk

    • December 30, 2017 / 9:14 am

      That’s so true Amy! Pressure can have a negative impact on reaching goals. Thank you so much for your lovely comment 😘 and I hope you reach all your 2018 blog goals 🎉. All the best for the new year! 💖✨ xx

  18. December 29, 2017 / 10:04 pm

    As someone who usually ends up not achieving my resolutions year in year out I found this post really useful thanks Bexa ❤️

    • December 30, 2017 / 9:15 am

      Thank you so much for your lovely encouraging comment Melanie! 💕 I’m so glad you found this post useful ☺️. All the best for the new year! 💖✨ xx

  19. December 29, 2017 / 10:06 pm

    This is such a good attitude towards it because I generally want to achieve my goals but I often can’t. Thanks for sharing x

    • December 30, 2017 / 9:15 am

      Thank you so much for your lovely encouraging comment Katie! 💖 I’m so glad you enjoyed the post! Have a fantastic 2018! 🎉💕✨ xx

  20. December 30, 2017 / 12:05 am

    I love love love this post! Has motivated to start my goals and oh my god, that notebook is so pretty! Im obsessed! Thank you for sharing xx

    • December 30, 2017 / 11:06 am

      Aw thank you so much Adriana 💕 I’m so excited to use my planner in the new year, it’s gorgeous! 😍 All the best with your 2018 goals and have an amazing year! 🎉✨💖 xx

  21. December 30, 2017 / 1:59 am

    Loved this post! I think being truly reflective (and honest with yourself) is key to settling on a Resolution that one can accomplish.

    • December 30, 2017 / 11:07 am

      That’s so true, Ryan! 💖 Thank you so much for your lovely comment and have a fabulous 2018! 🎉✨💕 xx

  22. December 30, 2017 / 8:52 am

    This is such a great post!I love that you’ve said to create specific goals, I totally agree that this is a better way of going about resolutions! Thanks for sharing- https://sophiehearts.net x

    • December 30, 2017 / 9:17 am

      Thank you so much for your lovely comment Sophie! 💖 Being specific can make things so much easier ☺️. I hope you have a fabulous 2018 and reach all your goals! 💖✨ xx

  23. December 30, 2017 / 10:42 am

    Beautiful blog aesthetic 😍

    • December 30, 2017 / 11:07 am

      Aw thank you so much Emily, that’s so lovely of you to say! 💖 xx

  24. December 30, 2017 / 11:33 am

    Your planner is so beautiful for the first point!
    Also what a great way to go about setting goals for the new year. I am one of those who has always broken my resolutions in the past, but I am determined to be different this year.
    I have given myself a few goals to work on including saving for my house deposit with my other half, we are looking to get a house around this time next year so I have a lot of hard work to do, I also want to read 50 books, try to lose some weight and to get 1,000 hits on my blog.
    Good Luck with your goals for the new year and I look forward to hearing life updates 🙂
    x

    • December 30, 2017 / 12:08 pm

      Thank you so much for your lovely thoughtful comment Emma 💕. The planner is gorgeous isn’t it, I can’t wait to use it in the new year 🌟✨. Those are great goals you have set yourself, I hope you achieve everything you want to! 💖 All the best with your saving, fitness and blogging goals! 😍 I also want to read more books 📚 I have lots but always get distracted 🙊. 50 books is amazing! Let me know if you read any good ones! ☺️ Hope you have a fabulous 2018 and looking forward to read your updates too! 🎉✨💕 xx

    • January 2, 2018 / 8:55 am

      Thank you so much Isabella! 💖 So glad you enjoyed the post and all the best for your 2018 goals! 🎉💕🌟 xx

  25. December 31, 2017 / 2:49 am

    These are all brilliantly helpful for setting achievable goals! Love it!
    “We should work with what we already have and build on that instead of picking on our weaknesses and flaws” really jumped out to me…It’s so true that’s the best way to go about it, but i never really thought about it in words. The goals meant to build up are always the ones i find myself succeeding in! If the goal has a negative bent, i just get hard on myself to the point that i panic and eventually quit.

    💕Alissa, https://StoryBehindTheCloth.com

    • January 2, 2018 / 8:58 am

      Thank you so much for your lovely thoughtful comment Alissa 💕. I agree, its so easy to focus on the negative and give ourselves a hard time if we fail. I hope you achieve everything you want to this year and have an amazing 2018! 🎉💖✨🌟 xx

  26. December 31, 2017 / 8:52 am

    This is some really great advice! I always make New Year’s Resolutions but I always fail at them! Hopefully these tips will help me more successsful this year! Fab post! xx

    • January 2, 2018 / 8:59 am

      Thank you so much Emily! 💕 I am so glad my post was helpful ☺️. Have a fabulous 2018 and I hope you achieve everything you want to! 🌟🎉✨ xx

  27. December 31, 2017 / 9:11 am

    This is a really useful post, it’ll definitely come in handy as i rarely keep up with new year resolutions! X

    • January 2, 2018 / 9:00 am

      Aw thank you so much Ashleigh! 💕 I’m so glad you found the post useful ☺️. Have an amazing 2018 and I hope you succeed in all your resolutions ✨🎉🌟 xx

  28. Lisa Dimaline
    December 31, 2017 / 9:20 am

    You are so right Bexa you’ve got to be realistic for it to be achievable great post as always those pictures are gorgeous what a fabulous planner 😍

    • January 2, 2018 / 8:45 am

      Aw thank you so much Lisa! It’s a gorgeous planner isn’t it 😍 I’m glad you enjoyed the post and have a fabulous 2018 🥂🎉 xx

  29. December 31, 2017 / 11:12 am

    Bexa, this is such an epic post. All of the points you’ve mentioned are so useful and important to remember when setting goals and shafting resolutions. I myself do have some goals for 2018 including taking my blog self hosted, doing 2-3 sponsored posts a month and losing 30kgs 🙈 That seems a bit out there but I’ve given myself a year to do it so here’s hoping 😂😂😂 Happy New Year!

    • January 2, 2018 / 8:47 am

      Thank you so much Shevy for your lovely encouraging comment 💕. Those are great fitness & blogging goals! All the best for 2018 and hope you achieve everything you want to! 💕✨🌟 xx

  30. December 31, 2017 / 12:51 pm

    I’m definitely very excited for next year and all of my goals are going to be hard but I know I can do it if I just put my mind to it!

    Love, Amie ❤
    The Curvaceous Vegan

    • January 2, 2018 / 9:02 am

      Thank you so much for your lovely comment Amie! 💕 A new year can be so exciting with unlimited potential and opportunities 😍. All the best for 2018, have a fabulous year and I hope you achieve everything you want to! ✨🎉💖🌟 xx

  31. January 3, 2018 / 5:07 pm

    I love absolutely every point that you made, I agree so much! I decided not to make any New Years Resolutions this year as I truly do never keep them, and it’s best for me to just make a change in general, and not force it! Also, loving the planner in the photos.
    jenny x | http://www.jennyrosee.com

    • January 4, 2018 / 7:45 am

      Thank you so much Jenny! 💖 The planner is gorgeous isn’t it 😍. It sounds like you have the right attitude towards New Years resolutions! All the best with 2018 and hope you achieve everything you want to! 🎉💖 xx

  32. January 6, 2018 / 9:19 pm

    Such a great post Bexa! I totally agree with setting yourself realistic long-term ‘goals’ because people get so caught up with New Years resolutions and are constantly feeling defeated when they haven’t achieved them!

    Loved this post!

    Love, Cally x

    http://www.lovecally.com

    • January 7, 2018 / 7:18 am

      Thanks so much Cally! 💖 I’m so glad you enjoyed my post, that’s lovely to hear ☺️. So true, realistic long term goals are much better than New Years Resolutions 😍 xx

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