20 Simple Goal Ideas That Will Change Your Life In The New Year

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“If you don’t know where you are going, you will probably end up somewhere else.”
~ Lawrence J. Peter

Imagine going on a journey without having a map? Imagine using a device for the first time without reading the guiding manual? These scenarios can be compared to having a year-long journey with no goal in sight.

As we move into the new year, it is very important to have a roadmap. You should have your personal development goals all written out. Your personal development goals will give you directions as you proceed, before working on actualising them and becoming a better version of yourself.

2021 is filled with so many possibilities and you must tap into them by aligning your goals with them.
When your goals are aligned to the possibilities that are on the way, you’ll live through the year with no stress at all.

To experience a significant change in your life, you must set personal development goals and work towards achieving them.

You might be wondering if there are many benefits of setting personal development goals and these benefits are;

  •  It helps you align your focus and promotes a sense of mastery.
  • It helps you trigger new behaviors.
  • It guides your focus and helps you gain momentum in life.
  •  Personal development goals stretch your mind and make you think bigger

It’s time to stop procrastinating and start making a change in your life by applying these personal development goals.

One thing you have to know, first of all, is that your goals have to be SMART. I was at a meeting recently, and I made mention of the SMART technique of setting goals.

To my shock, almost everyone seemed lost in the room. I was even more disappointed by the fact that 90% of the people in the room were conversant with the formal world, and so were expected to know more about the SMART goals.

For a moment, I reflected on the effect of this knowledge gap and decided that it is probably one of the reasons why people get to forget their goals after about two months into the year. When writing out your goals, it is important that you ensure that they are:

Specific: Have goals that are specific and not ambiguous. You are not a robot, and you can only do one thing at a time. As much as you can, please ensure that your personal development goals are well laid out to avoid ambiguity, and allow for ease in direction and understanding.

Get a pen and paper, or/and you could do it on your electronic gadget too. Ensure that the goals are properly spelled out with straight-to-the-point details on how you intend to achieve them.

You can also get the brand’s planner Goal Chaser for a proper goal setting technique that has worked for so many of my clients

Measurable: Do you have a time span for the attainment of your goals? How well can you measure your goals? Do you have a yardstick for them? This is what it means for your personal development goals to be measurable.

Achievable: Set goals that you can achieve. You should be sure that you can achieve them and push harder for them. Setting goals higher than your capability can be suicidal.

It is best that you look inward and be honest enough to admit to goals that you can accomplish, and the ones that you cannot.

Realistic: It is important that you set realistic goals. If you are well aware that your earning power would not be enough to achieve certain goals, then set goals within your earning bracket.

Consider the time range you are giving the goals; can you still achieve them? This is what it means for your goals to be realistic.

Timely: Ensure that there is a timeline to the goals.


personal and professional goals

Your personal and professional goals are very important in your journey for 2021. As a manager, what are your goals? As leaders, what are your goals? This article is laced with examples of personal development goals you can adopt for the year 2021.


1.  Set Aside One-Hour-A-Day To Achieve Your Dreams

The likely reason you didn’t achieve your personal development goals in 2020 must have been procrastination or constantly laying off important activities to take you closer to your dream life.

There’s never enough time; even if we have 100 hours per day. Whatever your dreams are for 2021, if you devote one hour per day to its achievement you would have something to show at the end of the year.

An hour a day is enough time to start seeing results in a few weeks and is small enough to fit into your schedule. It also helps you ease into your personal development goals instead of upheaving your entire life to go after your dreams.

For instance, if you dedicated an hour to learning the piano per day, it is easier than having to take a 6-month course where you might have to spend more than an hour.


2.  Maintain A Regular Sleep Schedule

Keeping a regular sleep schedule helps maintain the timing of the body’s internal clock and can help you fall asleep and wake up more easily. Follow these tips to maintain a healthier sleep routine:

  • Get up at the same time every day, even on weekends or during vacations.
  • Use your bed only for sleep
  •  Don’t go to bed unless you are sleepy.
  •  Turn off electronic devices at least 30 minutes before bedtime
  •  Make your bedroom quiet, comfortable and relaxing.
  •  Don’t eat heavy meals before bedtime.
  • Avoid caffeine or alcohol before bedtime.
  • Reduce your fluid intake before bedtime.


3.  Maintain A Healthier Diet

Only a healthy person can set personal development goals and achieve them.

This is why you must not take issues with your health with levity. A popular saying goes ‘you are what you eat’. To maintain a healthy diet, eat food high in nutrients, and avoid high-calorie food that provides few nutrients.

Eat food rich in fiber, including vegetables and fruits, whole grains and legumes and most importantly, drink plenty of water to keep your digestive system healthy. A healthy diet keeps your immune system strong and sharpens your mind.


4. Declutter Your Home

Do not give through the journey of the year with a decluttered home! One principle that I always work with is that an organized environment is a great enabler of an organized mind.

And to increase your productivity, it is essential for you to take steps to declutter your home as often as you can. 2021 should not be recorded as a year of decluttering in your career and personal life.


5. Nurture New And Healthier Relationships

personal development goals examples

One of the greatest gifts you can give to yourself in 2021 is the opportunity to share life’s joys with someone else. Strong and healthy relationships take work and self-awareness.

Toxic relationships drain all of the positive energy out of you so if you are presently in one, it’s time to end it and move on. Devote a portion of your day towards relationship building.

When problems arise, attack the problem and not the person. Communicate candidly and honestly. Good communication has to be developed and the process takes effort. The key to a successful relationship is honesty, communication, and service. Be selfless.


6. Improve Your Reading Culture

Reading keeps the mind sharp and improves your knowledge of the world. If you don’t like to read books you can try listening to audiobooks or joining a book club.

Reading keeps your vocabulary sharp, improves your writing skills, and improves your reasoning thereby making you a better problem solver.

Reading relieves stress even more than common methods like listening to music or going for a walk.

Research shows that reading for just six minutes can reduce stress by much as 68%. Cognitive neuropsychologist Dr. David Lewis who conducted this research on reading said ‘Losing yourself in a book is the ultimate relaxation.’ I personally think it’s exciting to detox and relieve stress while still gaining profound knowledge.

If you have no ideas on books to read, no worries as I have carefully compiled a list of transformational self-improvement books that can help you take your life to the next level.


7. Complete A  30-Day Challenge

Create a 30-day challenge for yourself as part of your self-improvement personal development goals. A 30-day challenge is an interesting thing to be a part of because it programs your mind to form a new habit.

The idea of a 30-day challenge is to do something new every day and this is simply the idea of a change you can incorporate into your life each day for the next 30 days.

Choose a habit that you hope to inculcate or remove from your life and work on it daily till it becomes a part of your life. Some ideas for 30-day challenges are;

  • Drink a cup of water immediately you wake up for the next 30 days.
  • Walking 10,000 steps each day
  • Read a chapter of a book each day
  • Dedicate an hour to self-development each day
  • Practice and master a hobby like knitting, baking, or playing an instrument.
  • Write in a journal each day.
  • Actively practice gratitude

The list is endless. It just depends on what aspect of your life you need a change.

I have created a 30 day transformational challenge you can indulge in that will massively improve your life and set you on the tracks of success all through 2021. 

The 30-day challenge is all about your habits. Being aware of what habits you have, good or bad, and what habits you’re lacking or want to improve on. By focusing on a single habit every day, bringing it to the forefront of your mind and attention, you’re giving it a specific time in the spotlight.

So why not start today! To get the 30-day challenge, simply put your email in the form at the end of the article and viola! It will be sent to your email immediately and you can embark on this life-changing journey!


8. Practice Self-Care

It is important that you take care of your body, mind, and soul. Most of us are so engrossed in our daily business that the time for ourselves is usually last on our agenda or not there at all.

Find a detox routine that works best for you. It could be walking, reading, or yoga. The important thing is to create a routine that works for you. Also, learn to say no to others when you feel overwhelmed.

It’s not easy to say no when your friends or loved ones need you but when you are stressed it might lead to irritability. When you learn to politely say no, you’ll start to feel more self-confident and you’ll have more time for your self-care.


9. Learn A New Skill

What’s that skill you have always wanted to learn? Play an instrument, learn to code, learn to bake or sew. Take advantage of this New Year to learn those skills. Register for the course now.

Take action quickly and reach the end of 2021 with a couple of new skills under your belt.


10. Start A Meditation Practice

Meditation helps you gain a newer perspective in stressful situations. This new year, you cannot successfully change your life if your mind is not balanced.

Meditation is a very effective way of getting your dreams actualized. If you have not already started meditation, here are some practical steps to take;

  • Set a time and the day you want to begin meditation.
  • Write down how long you want to meditate.
  • Write down how frequently you want to meditate. Either twice a day or once in two days.
  • Set a reminder for your meditation time.
  • Start anyway. No matter how many times you forget to follow up it should not stop you.

Meditation plays a major role in building skills to manage your stress, it helps you increase self-awareness, increases patience, tolerance, and creativity. Begin meditation today.


11. Get Your Finances In Order

personal development goals for mangers

Getting your finances in order is always a good thing and you do not have to wait till you are motivated by a major event before you do so. You just need to commit to getting your finances in order and be ready to follow through with it.

Read books about personal finances and create a financial goal for yourself. Break down your financial goals into quarterly, monthly, and daily plans to make things easier. 


12. Travel

Expand your horizons by traveling where you have never been before. It will help you gain independence and discover an appreciation for how other people live in this world.

Traveling is important because it helps you get out of your daily routine and then to gain some perspective that the world is broader and varies even more than you can imagine.


13. Spend More Time With Family And Friends

Spending time with your family is the wisest investment you can make this year. Interacting with a close group of people like your family can notably reduce the possibility of anxiety and depression.

Spending time with family creates strong emotional support that can help you overcome life challenges.

During the year, there would be challenges and if you are not already on good terms with your friends, there would be no one to talk to and you might end up overwhelmed and frustrated.


14. Limit Your Social Media Time

Watching everybody else’s milestones and achievements fly through your feed can sometimes bring some form of pressure and discouragement, shoving in your face your several lack of accomplishments which can negatively affect your mental health.

In the new year instead of constantly creating ways to drag your mental health down ensure that you limit your social media time and unfollow anybody that serves as a treat rather than a motivation to your mental health.

Do not sacrifice your mental health as well as your time by overusing social media, and inflicting needless stress on yourself. As you go into 2021, make it a resolution to limit your time on social media time.


15. Learn Something New Each Day

This year, set a resolution to learn something new every day. The internet has made a whole lot of things easier for us. There are various mailing lists you can subscribe to and podcasts you can listen to.

Watch a TED talk every morning. When you learn a new thing every day, it gives your brain something to think about other than your daily worries.

The success of learning a new thing improves your confidence and ability to tackle all sorts of new tasks too and this would help in the achievement of your personal development goals and generally make a significant change in your life.


16. Start Journaling

Maintaining a journal might seem like a small thing but it is a powerful life tool and it will improve your mental health and outlook for the future. Journaling helps you organize your thoughts and how to achieve your goal

Journaling is a personal thing so you don’t have to worry about your grammar or sentence construction. You can start by putting down your thoughts daily in bullet points. Write down your plans and how you hope to achieve them too.

Lest I forget we have created our very own journal Yes! you can now get your copy of the Life Compass journal on the blog.

We have carefully created this journal to guide you on your journey to creating a fulfilling and satisfying life and keep your mental health in check as you thrive and flourish each step of the way. And there is no better time to start journaling than now! So what are you waiting for?


17. Have Time For Self-Development

A change cannot be complete without self-development. Self-development is taking conscious steps to be better, such as learning new skills or overcoming bad habits. It is an effort towards self-fulfillment and the development of your capabilities and potentials.

Read more on what you want to improve on. Find a mentor. Reflect at the end of each day. If you want to take self-development seriously, you must be constantly aware of how you can improve yourself.

The only way to know this is if you take time to reflect and know which areas of your life you have improved and where you still need to work. To make this easier, you can find others to push you and be as honest with yourself as you can.


18. Exercise More

Exercise helps in improving your mental and emotional function. Researchers show there is a strong link between regular exercise and improved mood. Aerobics exercises especially, prompt the release of mood-lifting hormones, which in turn relieves stress and promotes a sense of well-being.

The physical activities that exercise involve boosts blood flow to the brain which helps maintain brain function. I read a story online about a transgender (female to male) who spent 23 years of her life hating her body.

Till she ventured into running marathons which made a significant change in her life and now she’s proud of whom she has become. And the story of a man who through rock climbing, overcame anxiety and depression.


19. Start A New Venture/Business

2021 should be the year you stop ‘thinking’ about starting a business and actually start it. You have created the ideas in your mind long enough and in this New Year, it is time to start taking action.

No matter how small, start first. To make things easier, write out a business plan. Once you get your business ideas down a paper, you will be more motivated to take action and turn your ideas into reality.


20. Join A Club

 personal development goals for leaders

Clubs are a great way to make new friends especially those who share the same interests as you. It sharpens your skills especially your communication skills. Joining a club also gives you an opportunity to network.

Joining a club helps you to gain knowledge, skills, and experience in leadership, communication, problem-solving, group development and management, and even public speaking. After you actively join a club, you will feel the change in yourself.

So, there you have it! 20 simple goal ideas that can change your life in 2021.

You can flip through the pages of the blogs materials (links in paragraphs above), and accustom yourself with the relevant exercises that can help you achieve your goals as we move into the year 2021! I would be hopeful that by the end of the year, we would all be merry knowing that we fulfilled our goals.


Hey there! Thank you for reading this article today. I believe that you have learned a thing or two regarding ideas that you can include in your list of goals for 2021.

Remember, writing down the goals is not the ultimate, you also need to be disciplined enough to go through with it. As an aside, I would love to read your opinions about the goals for 2021.

Do you have a list already? What do you think is missing from this list? Feel free to let me know in the comment section or better still send me a message on Instagram and I would be more than willing to interact with you. From the entire AFAM UCHE team, Merry Christmas in advance.

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Author: Afam Uche

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