New Year, New Decade: Set Goals

As each year comes to a close, people all over the world set goals and resolutions of how they want their new year to look like. Some of the most common resolutions are financial stability, saving up more, eating and living healthy and exercising. But how many people live up to them and follow their new year resolutions with no fail? For some people however, they live by the saying, ‘‘Live one day at a time and make each day a masterpiece.’’

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg ditched making new year resolutions this year, a practice that he has carried on for the last decade. In a long Facebook post on his official page, Mark briefed his followers on some of his successes which he attributes to new year resolutions. This time however, he has set his sights on long-term focus. “This decade I’m going to take a longer-term focus. Rather than having year-to-year challenges, I’ve tried to think about what I hope the world and my life will look in 2030 so I can make sure I’m focusing on those things.”

Is it reasonable enough to set goals – short term or long term – and have a vision board to accompany them with timelines or it is incisive enough to live a day at a time?

Previously, I haven’t set my goals in writing but instead I have always had wishes in mind for the new year. This, hasn’t been the best way to do it and it has been such a challenge keeping track of expectations and following them accordingly. Some wishes have always been ‘superior’ and pressing which has always led me to forego a few of my goals which I felt weren’t of much urgency. This has led me to fail not only in the particular year but in keeping up with my long-term targets. This year, however, I have decided to do things differently.

For the first time in as far as I can remember, I have my goals set in a SMART way with high self-promise of commitment and discipline on closely following them with each passing day.

For the first time in as far as I can remember, I have my goals set in a SMART way with high self-promise of commitment and discipline on closely following them with each passing day.This change has been immensely contributed by my time as an ELF mentee. Having listened to revelations and testimonies from various members of Cohort 8 (2019) on how setting SMART goals has changed their lives, I lowered my pessimism levels and decided it’s time to give it a shot and get one or two confidants to help me keep track. As I write this, I am in the process of coming up with a vision board for the year 2020.

What exactly is needed to achieve your goals to avoid having a list of resolutions just because everyone else is doing it?

Purpose and imbue your resolutions with joy and meaning. Do not just set a goal because everyone is doing it or because it’s being talked about, set goals with a purpose to work on them and regularly check on them to assess your progress.

Many people are not framing their resolutions in ways that will motivate them over time. For example, “exercise more” is a clear directive which lacks depth and personal meaning that could help promote follow through. Overly simplified resolutions and goals, such as “exercise more” and “eat healthier” contribute to the ongoing problem that emerges as early as mid-January each year: unintentional neglect of important self-improvement goals. Such targets end up as fallacies and don’t live up to what new year resolutions were meant to stand for.

As we unwrap the year, take sometime and deeply think on what you want to achieve, change or improve this year. It is never late to set a clear plan for your success. I am looking forward to seeing how the year turns out with my new found plan which is decently clear. I pray that I get to accomplish all that I have in plan and so should you.

Cheers to a new, purpose filled year!


Andrew Kamoche is a Communications Associate at Emerging Leaders Foundation