New Year Goal Setting: How To Make Goals That Stick

How many of us find ourselves giving up on our goals in the first couple of months of the year? 

Most people give up on their new year resolutions even before the first month of the year comes to a close. 

According to a study conducted by the University of Scranton, just 8 percent of people achieve their New Year’s goals. That is rather grim.

Why do so many people fail to achieve the goals the set out for themselves. There are two main reasons:

First, their goals aren’t realistic. Many people use the New Year as an opportunity to list down their hearts desires. While there is a time and a place for those kind of bucket list goals, it is also important that your new year goals be grounded in reality. 

Second, their motivation fades. This is where your vision board helps. This is why my process doesn’t stop with goals. I create a vision board and also an overarching word of the year.

The Goal Setting Process 

I wrote this post in the beginning of 2019 when I was setting out my goals for the year. It is now Dec 2019.

Which means that it is time to do a similar exercise for 2020. If you are here reading this now, my guess is that you are looking at inspiration for your own vision board and goal setting exercise. 

The good part is that this process still holds. Let me summarize it for you:

Step 1: Start by evaluating the year gone by. Look at the different facets of your life – your family, work, health & fitness, work.

Step 2: Take time to think of how you feel. What are your worries and fears. What do you feel good about.

Step 3. Acknowledge your successes of the year gone by.

Step 4. Write down things where you could have done better.

Step 5: What is it that fires you up? – these are the things that you look forward to. I went creative and used pictures to create a collage to pin up in front of my desk for inspiration.

Step 6. Next imagine your life in your golden years. These are the things that are truly important for you, what you are working towards today.

Step 7. Now it is time to see how you visualize your year. Think about where you see yourself at the end of the year and how you will feel when you achieve that. Then think of what you need to do to have your year go the way you would like it. Use this to come up with your goals.

This is where you create your vision board

Step 8: Finish your goal setting with your word of the year. This is the cherry on the top.

To see this in work, look at how I set my goals and created my vision board for 2019. Hope you find it useful. 

Looking Back at 2018


My daughter is my raison d’etre. She makes each day extra special and gives me a sense of purpose.

There has been a sea-change in my relationship with my husband over the last year. All credit to him – for being so patient and learning how to reign in his anger.

My parents, my brother and sister-in-law, as always, were so supportive of me.


Our family is doing good. We have no debt, own a house and two cars. In 2018 too, we continued to be frugal. Our biggest expense was paying our daughter’s tuition – an investment in our daughter’s future. Wish we had taken a family holiday, though.


This is the one area in my life where maximum growth is needed. 2018 was the year where I laid the foundation stone of the kind of work that I want to do. Need to build on this foundation and take my work to the next level.

Health and Fitness

I stopped taking my daily preventive Migraine pill. Both the frequency of my headaches or their intensity haven’t worsened. This was the biggest positive that came out of 2018.

How I Feel At The End Of 2018

Worried: I am anxious about my daughter and what life has is store for her. I wonder if we are being good parents, making the right choices and providing her with the opportunities she needs and enabling her to be able to meet the challenges that life brings along.

Confident: That we are doing our best and things will turn out right, for there is that ultimate power who sees everything and know everything.

Loved: I feel loved by my family and grateful to be have them in my life.

Things That Worked In 2018

  • I learnt so much more about blogging and the various aspects of it – be it selecting a name or a theme, selecting a host to setting up my blog.
  • Developing a system for pinning without using a paid scheduler
  • Our family dynamic improved
  • I stopped taking daily meds for migraine.
  • Keeping track of expenses and developing a budget helped me get a grip of my finances.

Things That Didn’t Work In 2018

  • Being inconsistent with my blogging and related social media activities,
  • Not having a plan on how to take my blogging to the next level.
  • Communication with my husband could do with some improvement.
  • Being more efficient with my time.
  • No family vacation.

What Fires Me Up?

Reading, good food, music, live events – theatre, dance, concerts, movies and most of all my family.

Visualizing My Golden Years

How do I imagine my life to be when I retire? I see myself healthy and active, surrounded by my grandchildren, my husband and my family, Each day is full of laughter and celebrations. My husband and I enjoy our evenings both with each other or with our friends. Books, music, arts and culture and heritage remain a big part of my life.

My 2019 Vision Board

Now that I have envisioned where I want to be, next is how do I get there. What should I be doing this year to get me one step closer to my ideal life.

My Goals For The Year

This is what I want my 2019 to be filled up with

Growth – In every front be it work, self, finances, relationships. At the end of 2019 I want to be able to unambiguously identify what I built on in each of these areas.

Care – of my mind and my body.

Memories – with family and friends

Study – My daughter is starting a crucial exam year at her school. Helping her form and stick to good studying techniques is going to be crucial.

Risk taking – So I am a conservative person. I think of things but hesitate to say them. Girl, it is okay to be wrong. Let that fear not hold you back. You go ahead and do what you think. Take that risk, okay!

Finish Strong – I tend to start strong, with great enthusiasm. However, somewhere down the line my energy dies. I don’t take things to their logical conclusion. This is where having strong visual board would help.

My word for the year 2019 is

hand with pencil doing calligraphy with text setting goals envisioning your best year

Images from Unsplash and Pexels.

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