Reaching Your Goals

10 Coach-Approved Tips For Reaching Your Goals In The New Year And Beyond

December 18, 2023

With the holiday season in full-swing and 2023 coming to a close, our never-ending to-do lists seem to grow exponentially. As our minds swirl with all the details of holiday planning, we tend to reflect on the year gone by and begin to look forward to the new year ahead. We vow to do things differently once the first of January arrives. But, without proper goal-setting, our resolutions will be nothing more than fantasies that chip away at our self-esteem when not achieved.

Each year, a new statistic comes out regarding how many resolutioners fail to keep their resolutions. Since this is a hard thing to quantify anyway, I will just say the number is always very high. In fact, the majority of those surveyed report that they did not keep their resolutions and many do not even recall what their resolutions were in the first place!

What, then, can be done differently as 2024 unfolds? After all, we’ll be just as busy as we were last month and the months before that. 

Without a plan to make gradual progress to your well-constructed goals, it will be very difficult to make lasting change merely because we flipped the calendar to January. In order to make lasting behavioral changes, we need to do more than practice wishful thinking. It is necessary to modify the ways we think and behave.   

To that end, below are some tips to achieve new year’s progress.


Set S.M.A.R.T. Goals

Make sure your goals are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timely. Vague or fuzzy goals will not do much to motivate you or keep you on track.  You need a target date (i.e., Timely) to work toward, even if you have to change the date down the line. Consider if the time is right to pursue your goal in addition to all your other responsibilities and commitments. 


Change Your Mindset

Resist the temptation to practice all-or-nothing thinking. Celebrate gradual progress, not perfection. Reward yourself for small wins. Practice viewing setbacks and challenges as opportunities to learn and grow.


Create Structure and Systems

Consider how, when, and why to move toward your goals. Set up a process to record your progress. What gets recorded gets repeated!


Think Small

Break major goals down into smaller, more manageable steps. Make small changes daily. Shifting habits gradually results in big changes over time.


Consider Your Choices

Learn to be aware of all the choices you make throughout each day. Think about the consequences of your choices before making decisions. 


Pair New Habits With Existing Ones

Adding a new habit to something you already do serves as a reminder to perform the new act and feels less overwhelming.


Envision How You Will Feel When You Reach Your Goals

This will serve as motivation when you encounter challenges and setbacks. Plus, your subconscious mind will look for ways to move you toward your desired outcome.


Ongoing Review

Continually evaluate each goal. Is it still worthy of your effort? Why would you like to achieve it? What is and isn’t working? Can anything be tweaked?


Work With a Coach

A coach will provide feedback, support, and accountability.  Knowing that someone is interested in your progress serves to motivate you more than willpower alone can.


Practice Self-Acceptance

Learn to appreciate yourself – mistakes and all. Shaming yourself for slip-ups only serves to generate guilt and reduce self-esteem. Appreciate the effort and progress you make.

Remember to aim for progress, not perfection. Little changes over time will lead to big achievements. If you can learn to be kind and patient with yourself while you reach for your goals, you’ll enjoy the process more. It is within your power to defy the statistics and achieve your goals for 2024 and beyond. Employ every effort to make it an excellent year!

Coach Jenna Nocera, MA, MFT, CLSC, CPFT is a Life & Wellness Coach, Psychotherapist, and Personal Fitness Trainer with Formula For Excellence®

Reaching Your Goals


Coach Jenna Nocera, MA, MFT, CLSC, CPFT is a Life & Wellness Coach, Psychotherapist, and Personal Fitness Trainer with advanced degrees in Behavioral Science, Psychology, and Marriage and Family Therapy. She works with clients to redesign their lifestyle habits. Subscribe to the Formula For Excellence® newsletter to receive a Free Habit Tracker and occasional health and wellness tips.