Last Updated on December 6, 2023
It’s January, which means you’re probably more revved up than ever to get back to the goal-setting grind!
While that first of the year motivation can feel awesome, we don’t want to get too carried away with it. This is where a lot of people start to overshoot and overschedule themselves; setting unrealistic goals that only leave you feeling defeated.
But that’s what we’re NOT gonna do this January! Instead, let’s focus on allowing your new year motivation to fuel you, while still being honest and practical with the goals we set for ourselves this month.
I’ve learned that the key to just about anything in life is to practice balance, and goal setting is no different! So let’s kick these January goals into high-gear, but in a way that actually works.
1. Fix What Hasn’t Worked
I know this may sound broad, but this is the first thing to ask yourself when setting goals for a new month: “what hasn’t been working for me?”
Do you keep doing the same routine, going through the same motions, but still not feeling your best? Feeling like you’re just not getting anywhere? This is a telltale sign that it’s probablyyy time for a change.
For me, I’ve noticed that the blogging strategy I’ve been using for the last couple years hasn’t been generating the same success it once did. Mostly because Google is changing the game, yada yada…and all I can do is adapt and overcome.
Maybe you have a “Google” or some external factor that’s impeding your success too. Instead of doing the same thing that clearly isn’t working, make January your era of trial and error!
2. Choose One Area of Your Life to Go Easier On
If you’re anything like me and have a bajillion things going on in every nook and cranny of your life, something’s gotta give somewhere. Instead of trying to give 110% to every area of your life (because we all know how sustainable that is!), see where you can do less.
In a perfectionist mindset where you’re always striving to do more, sometimes all that’s gonna get you is, uh, BURNOUT!
So do less, girl!
For example, maybe you can’t get away with doing less in your career. But does your house really need to be spick and span at all times? Perhaps you can cut back on some of your chores, or anything else in your life that’s not urgent.
Urgency is a fabulous litmus test. Ask yourself: “is that task really urgent, or have I just been conditioned to think it is?” Chances are, you’ll realize that not everything is an immediate priority, even if it feels like it is!
3. Dip Into a New Hobby (or Pick One Back Up!)
The last thing you want is for life to turn into an endless cycle of wake up, go to work, come home, and get ready to do it all again the next day! You need something enjoyable to break up the monotony of the daily grind.
Which is where hobbies come in!
Is there an activity you’ve always wanted to try? Or maybe you had a beloved activity that you’ve let go of? Whether the hobby is new or old, just make sure you’re doing something to sprinkle joy back into your daily routine.
These hobbies for women in their 20s is the perfect guide for this!
4. Assess Your Time Management
Ah, time management. The bane of existence for people like me who have ADHD, but honestly, it’s a bit of a struggle for everyone in our busy world.
Be honest with yourself: are you truly using your time efficiently? Are there any adjustments that can be made to make your workflow more efficient? I know we’re all dying to get more done in less time, that’s for sure!
I’m lucky enough to have a flexible schedule, but one way I’ve adjusted my time management was to do tasks in batches. I have specific days of the week that focus on doing certain tasks in bulk.
For example, Mondays are my “day job day” where I try to knock out as much work as possible for my day job. Tuesdays are blog post writing day, where I crank away at as many blog posts as my brain can manage.
While I’m doing a lot of the same task at once, this actually helps me because it takes the task switching out of the equation!
5. Start a “Personal Admin Day” Each Week
What is a personal admin day? This is where you take a day to knock out all your personal items!
I’m talking clearing your email inbox, buying groceries, getting gas, making those doctors appointments…the whole nine yards.
Instead of feeling bogged down by personal tasks on a daily basis (you know, in addition to all the other obligations you have in your life), a dedicated day will make it all feel much more manageable.
PIN THESE JANUARY GOAL IDEAS TO COME BACK LATER!
6. Drop One Bad Habit and Welcome One Good Habit
My favorite way to take an inventory of my habits is to grab a piece of blank paper, draw a line down the center, and brain dump all the habits that help me on the left side, and all the habits that hurt me on the right side.
As hard as it may be, it’s very important not to judge yourself during this activity. We all have habits we aren’t so proud of. You’re only human. What matters is that you care enough to assess and redirect yourself, just like you’re doing right now!
And to prevent yourself from being overwhelmed, pick out just one bad habit to overcome and one good habit to pick up this month!
7. Start a “Master To-Do List”
Is your to-do list forever piling up and getting a little out of control? Then you, my friend, could benefit from keeping a master to-do list.
This is a giant list of all the things you intend to do, but can’t get around to right now. Never forget a future project again!
January is also the perfect time to set the goal of creating a master to-do list because you can record all of the year’s tasks! Think about the dreams you’re dying to accomplish, as well as the pesky little things you keep pushing off, and organize them all in one convenient list.
8. Have a Weekly Self Care Activity
Does this sound familiar? You do a little meditation one day, get too busy the next three days, try to journal the following day, and then forget about self care altogether for the next month?
Yeah, been there, done that!
The truth is that self care won’t just come to you. You have to be intentional with it if you truly want it to become part of your routine.
So let’s make it simple: choose just ONE self care activity to perform at the SAME time each week.
Maybe it’s doing a brain dump every Wednesday night at 8pm. Maybe it’s having an “everything shower” each Sunday morning at 10am. Doesn’t matter what it is as long as it feels good and is done consistently.
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9. Make a Rough Plan of This Year’s Events
There’s that concert you have in September, that trip to Cancun this summer, and your mom coming into town in the spring. Instead of losing track of time and letting these events creep up on you out of nowhere, map out your year!
You can literally just make a list of all 12 months with space to write each month’s events. Looking at an overview of your year “at a glance” can also help it feel less overwhelming! It’s really that simple.
10. Reduce Your Screen Time by 25%
If I had to make a bet, I’d feel confident betting on the fact that you wish your screen time was lower!
I don’t know a single person who’s satisfied with the amount of time they spend on their devices. My screen time averages about 4-5 hours per day, which is…yikes! Think of how much of that time could be spent on hobbies or things that provide real value to my life. It hurts, doesn’t it?
But since we’re all about realistic, practical goals over here…aim to reduce your screen time in January by just 25%. I almost wrote 50%, but cutting 4 hours down to 2 is quite the jump! 25% is pretty reasonable and can absolutely be accomplished with the right self-discipline.
11. Make a Game Plan for a Raise
This January goal is a must whether you work a traditional job or if you’re an entrepreneur.
As entrepreneurs, we can give ourselves “raises” in the form of raising our prices. This is best case scenario, since we don’t need a boss’s approval to do it!
As a traditional employee, you’re gonna have to put in a bit more brain work. But that’s okay, because you deserve a yearly raise.
The cost of living is only getting more freaking insane with each passing year. So if you haven’t been asking for yearly raises, stop being shy! Ahhhh! I mean it y’all, this is so important. You are allowed to ask for what you’re worth.
Show your boss your performance metrics. Look up the median salary for professionals in your field. Make a solid case for yourself and shoot your shot!
The worst they can say is no, in which case, you can still get the raise you deserve by looking elsewhere for a company that recognizes your worth 💁♀️
How do you set goals you can actually stick to?
If there’s anything you take away from these January goals, let it be this: start small, be realistic, and don’t bite off more than you can chew.
It took me years to finally realize this, but once I did, it made it ten times easier to finally reach my goals! These are the tips I followed for my goal-getter success:
- Be very specific. You aren’t going to “exercise more.” But you will “hit the gym three times a week.” Gotta go into your goals with a game plan!
- Break them into bite-sized pieces. Think about it: “write a book” sounds like an impossible, scary task all on its own, right?! But “research book writing skills,” and “write 2 chapters a month” sounds a little more digestible, don’tcha think?
- Have a system for measuring your goals. You’re going to lose motivation real fast if you have no way to tell if you’re making progress! You’ve always gotta make your goals measurable. This means logging the pages you’ve written and tracking the days you’ve practiced your habits.
And with that, you should be off to a good start with reaching your January goals! Best of luck, besties!