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Setting Goals for the New Year
General Wellness

Setting Goals for the New Year

By Allison White, LCSW
Posted: January 1, 2022

“I’m actually feeling pretty good about not accomplishing anything this year. Hooray!”


While this quote is humorous, the fact is that this past year, like 2020, was a year of survival for many. Surviving uncertainty, loss, restrictions, the political climate, social injustice, natural disasters, etc. Some people are used to having to feel productive at all times. Still, during the pandemic, they have learned to not put so much pressure on themselves and value the important things. It is okay if you need to applaud yourself for getting up and being functional for the day. After how 2021 has gone, many will set much more intentional goals in the New Year.  


Most Americans feel that having New Year’s resolutions are more important now than ever and are more intentional than years past. VeryWellmind conducted a survey in December 2020 that noted this change: The top three resolutions were physical health (83%), Mental Health (40%), and Relationships with family and friends (39%). 


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Whatever your goals may be, most of us struggle to reach them. If you struggle, here are some strategies that VeryWellmind suggests: 

State Goals with a Positive Tone

Avoid the temptation to state your desire negatively and keep it positive. For example, instead of “I will not look at life negatively.” say, “I will write down at least three moments from my day to remember the positives throughout it.”

Focus on the Process, Not the Outcome

One of the most challenging parts of achieving a goal is focusing on the process it takes to achieve a goal. More often than not, people start with the end in mind. But it’s the steps you take in the process to get there that matter the most. Say the outcome you want is to run 5 miles. That’s the goal you have set. But in working towards this goal, you discover that your limit is running 3 miles before you are completely exhausted. Did you fail at achieving this goal? Not if you believe in the power process and focus on your progress from when you began working towards your goal.

Visualize What You Want

Visualizing what you want to achieve at the end helps you purposefully and intentionally imagine your goals coming to fruition.

Make a Specific Plan

List your goals and then break them into small, attainable steps with realistic deadlines.

Reward Yourself

As you accomplish steps toward your goal, make sure to reward yourself along the way. Rewards should be simple, consistent, easy to acquire, and healthy.

If you need help setting your personal goals for the New Year, give Methodist EAP a call at 901-683-5658 and set up your free and confidential session. All sessions are currently conducted via telehealth.

Allison White

Allison White, LCSW

Living Well Network Supervisor

Allison White received her bachelor’s degree in social work from Mississippi State University and her master’s degree in social work from Jackson State University. She is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with over fifteen years of experience working with children and adults in various settings, including community mental health, school-based counseling, adult and juvenile justice, and therapeutic foster care. She enjoys spending time with her family, baking and crafting in her spare time.