Every new year is an opportunity to reexamine your plans, goals, and priorities. It’s a time to reflect on the year that has passed, how you’ve grown as a person, and how you want to spend the next 12 months with intention and purpose.
Goal-setting for 2021 may be a little different from preceding years. After all, we’re still living amidst a global pandemic, which has thrown many 2020 resolutions off-balance and left us all in limbo. It’s tricky to imagine how 2021 might be any different, especially when we don’t have an end date for this pandemic. You might wonder: how can we set goals when the future looks so unclear?
Despite all the uncertainty, a new year presents a fresh start. Goals can be a vital anchor to help us press the “reset” button, and take control of what this year lies ahead for us. So it’s time to say goodbye to the year that has passed, and lead 2021 with confidence and resolution.
Start with patience and kindness
In 2020, all of us must have dealt with the frustration of having our lives put on pause. Disrupted plans, unaccomplished goals – these have no doubt caused disappointment in one way or another. However, the first step to resetting your goals this year is to recognise that it’s okay to fall short of your expectations in 2020.
Use your 2020 goals as a starting point for 2021. Take stock of what were accomplished (and reward yourself for them!), and what had to be put on hold because of the pandemic.
Then, consider how they can be tweaked to something more actionable and achievable in 2021.
Don’t forget to be kind to yourself as you revise these goals. Whether it’s a stage in your life or career that you want to be in, or a skill you aim to master, have patience and trust in your journey towards achieving your goal.
Break it down, then build it up
Long-term or lofty goals can be daunting, especially during a year when unexpected curveballs could come your way anytime. But why not break them down into shorter-term, smaller goals?
Make plans for each week and month, instead of setting a one-year timeline. This can help to impose a regular structure that takes away some of the uncertainty that the pandemic brings, while relieving the pressure of accomplishing an ambitious goal right now. With every micro goal checked, you may notice that it gets easier and easier to cross the finish line.
Evaluate your goals throughout the year
As the world around us evolves every day, it’s normal for our goals to follow suit. Your values and priorities may change depending on how the year unfolds, so it’s a good practice to keep track of your ambitions as you progress through them. Be adaptable to your circumstances, and don’t be afraid to make adjustments to our goals without losing sight of the bigger picture.
What goals should I be setting now?
Right now, the best goals to set will be those that have a positive impact on your physical and mental health. So yes, if one of your goals is to make more time for self-care – whether it’s exercising for at least 30 minutes per week, or carving time out for bubble baths or reading – then you have our solid stamp of approval!
To emerge from 2021 a stronger, wiser, and more positive person, do also keep your goals realistic to the current situation. So yes, travel goals may need to be put on the backburner (until further notice), but why not replace going abroad with discovering what your beautiful hometown has to offer? Extroverts may be aching to return to large parties and events, but it helps to consider virtual alternatives to reach out to new social circles.
Be creative and flexible with your 2021 goals, and think of ones that will lift your spirits. It may be a long road ahead till the end of the pandemic, but it’s never too late to plan resolutions that will set you up for this extraordinary new year.