With the end of the holiday season and the beginning of a new year, it’s to kick off your New Year’s resolutions. But if you haven’t set any resolutions for 2023, then you’re not alone, as according to a recent survey, 63% of Americans skip resolutions altogether.
So, why are we not motivated to set goals?
“setting long-term goals and striving for quick achievements,”
One of the main reasons for this is that many of us are “setting long-term goals and striving for quick achievements,” says Olga Shapovalova, Strategic Management Expert, B2B & Partnerships Director at Headway self-growth app ( a mobile product that helps people feel more motivated to achieve their goals)
In this interview, Olga shares her best tips on how we can accomplish our New Year’s resolutions this year and achieve more of our long-term goals in the future.
1. When setting goals, what’s the most important thing we need to remember?
Practice tiny steps and a bite-sized approach, whether it is personal or professional goals: The idea is that you transform your major ambitions into small positive habits and make your efforts consistent. Try spending 15 minutes each day on the activity that will bring you closer to the goal. For example, I resolve to read 24 books in 2023 and will move toward it by spending 10-20 minutes daily.
Make a plan to achieve your goal: It is easier to keep the resolution when seeing the whole picture of your journey. Write a step-by-step plan, and define milestones that will be important for you. I prepared the list of 24 books I’d like to read in 2023. I already know which two titles I will read each month starting in January. The 12th book is my essential milestone. After reading it, I’ll set up a book club meeting for my friends.
2. How do you stick to your goals during challenging times?
When you go through challenging times and want to maintain focus, divide your long-term goals into smaller tasks. For instance, you decided to read 24 books per year. To achieve this goal, you need to read two books each month. You must read 15-20 minutes daily to complete two monthly books. Such a bite-sized approach will make your efforts consistent. Tiny steps help us avoid decision fatigue and feel the results daily.
Also, it is important to praise yourself to enhance your positive thinking and self-esteem. I do it by keeping a diary where I note my wins. When feeling overwhelmed, I re-read my journal. It works as self-therapy.
When I can’t make a decision, it takes a lot of energy, so I, write down all the pros and cons, do the framework of choices and finally get it. It helps to have a plan B and feel more confident.
3. What’s your best advice for achieving big career goals?
My advice is simple. Define your goal -> Make a plan -> Improve your skills.
Define your goal: Write down all the career goals you want to achieve within a particular time (1, 2, 5 years, whatever) and choose the most important one.
If you still need to figure out what you want to do, write down what you do, the best and the worst. Keep what you enjoy in your daily routine and match it with the position’s opportunities.
It’s really simple; you just need to start writing.
Make a plan: It is easier to keep the resolution when seeing the whole picture of your journey. Write a step-by-step plan, and define milestones that will be important for you. Remember to celebrate each milestone. Even if it seems minor, it is your accomplishment.
Improve your skills: Think about what skills — both hard and soft — you need to boost to achieve your career goals. Don’t worry if the list is long. A bite-sized approach will come in handy.
4. What habits or routines do you have to help you succeed and stick to long-term goals?
I usually do different types of sports activities.
Jogging is an incredible routine that helps keep my body and mind in shape. I run 30 minutes in the morning to set myself up for the day. If the weather is bad, an indoor workout works well too.
Boxing 2-3 times a week is also a great idea to put effort into your mental and physical condition.
Swimming is the most challenging, especially in the morning, but I feel full of energy and motivation for the rest of my day; it’s fantastic.
I start my work with a to-do list. In my experience, there should be two major daily tasks and 3-4 minor ones. I always cross off finished tasks. It gives me a sense of fulfillment. It sounds trivial, but it works in the long run.
5. How do you plan your days to ensure you achieve your goals?
Focus is the key element of my successful goal achievement. Therefore, I usually plan my day this way: the first half of the day goes for tasks requiring maximum concentration; for the rest of the day, I schedule meetings, calls, and minor assignments. Also, I set aside two working days per week without calls. Usually, I spend this time on strategic tasks and activities I need to engage in fully.
With these actionable tips, hopefully, you now feel ready to set some challenging, yet achievable goals for this year.
Thanks to Olga Shapovalova, B2B & Partnerships Director, Strategic Management Expert at Headway EdTech startup.
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