It’s that time of the year again! Where the streets are filled with Christmas lights and Netflix starts recommending movies like ‘Love Actually’ and ‘The Holiday’. With the end of the year insight, if you are anything like me you will look back at the year and assess what went well and what didn’t exactly go to plan!

Now I must admit, 2020 was one of the hardest years of my life so far. I had high expectations and when I wasn’t able to reach most of the goals I made for myself, I gave up! Coming into this year I struggled to make goals, as I thought that there was no point. I still made a few, but not with the same energy I had in previous years. To my surprise, 2021 exceeded my expectations and I reached new heights in every single area of my life. This is due to many reasons, most of them to do with the Grace of God, but also to do with the fact that I set goals that I was passionate about.

My aim is to encourage you to set those goals, dream those dreams and aim higher than you ever have before, but also give tips as to how you can make the most of your goals for the new year.

Last year, there were a few articles that came out, with most of them saying something along the lines of ‘The secret to life is to set low expectations, with their argument being that if you have low expectations, you can never be disappointed. The articles were very persuasive, and I was almost convinced that the secret to life was to simply have low expectations. I then very quickly realised that this was not the way to live as I felt like I was coasting through life and not living properly. Because of this, I set some achievable goals that pushed me to want more for myself. I’m going to share three tips on how to set them below!

1) Don’t be afraid to be flexible

If there’s one thing the past two years have taught us is that things don’t always go to plan. Life happens, and situations change every single day. This means that you have to adapt your goals accordingly. An example of this would be the popular new year’s resolution of ‘going to the gym more’ or ‘getting fit. However, 2020 meant that we couldn’t always leave the house. Being adaptable would mean changing ‘going to the gym’ → home workouts. This ensures that you’re still achieving the same goal, but just using a different route.

2) Be accountable to people

Sometimes it’s to keep up with all the goals you make, but telling people that you trust such as your family and close friends helps to keep you in line. Earlier this year, I made a goal to finish a report that I had started months ago! At first, I found it hard to complete, but as soon as I told my friends they sent me messages every few days to see if I had finished it! This just shows that telling people works!

3) Aim high, but be realistic

As much as it is important to aim high, we must also be realistic with where we are at and where we can get to. For example, I would love to be a millionaire one day, but setting the goal ‘Have a million by the end of the year’ is NOT a realistic goal, (not with my student finance, anyway!). Making a smaller, more attainable goal would prove to be more useful such as ‘Save £20 a month’. This goal is more achievable but is still working towards a much bigger goal.

Goal setting is essential to living a fulfilled life as it helps you align your focus and motivates you to do better and achieve more. These tips will hopefully help you set more effective goals and assist you in making 2022 your best year yet!

Have a great holiday!

Love Esther Atkinn x