Setting Goals For The New Year – Set 2024 Goals You Can Keep!

Have you thought about setting goals for the new year? At the end of the year or the beginning of a new year, it’s only natural to reflect on the past year and think about your future. Perhaps in the past year you were happy, upset, or even indifferent. The previous year wasn’t normal for…

Michelle Schroeder-Gardner

Last Updated: December 12, 2023

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Have you thought about setting goals for the new year?

At the end of the year or the beginning of a new year, it’s only natural to reflect on the past year and think about your future.

Perhaps in the past year you were happy, upset, or even indifferent. The previous year wasn’t normal for many, many people, and you can have any number of feelings about it.

But now that 2024 is almost over, if you could do anything in 2024, what would you choose? Do you want to focus on your financial life? Want to build better personal relationships? Focus on self-improvement, physical health, or your job?

There are so many different areas to focus on, and now is a great time to think about what you want for your life in the future!

Whether you want to call it a New Year’s resolution or a goal, either can be a great way to think about what’s important to you so you can create a better future.

And, setting goals for the new year is a long standing tradition. 

However, only about 8% of people actually achieve their New Year’s goals each year. And, only 75% of those who are setting goals for the new year will follow through with them after the first week of 2024. 

It’s crazy that 25% of people will stop working towards their resolutions after just the first week! And by June, more than half of the people who set 2024 resolutions will have forgotten about them.

Setting goals for the new year is something that’s very important to me, and it’s how I keep challenging myself and growing. 

I know New Year’s resolutions aren’t for everyone, but I still think it’s important to set goals for yourself. 

Because so many people struggle with setting goals and keeping them, I wanted to share some tips that will help you set goals. I do many of the things in this article when I set goals for myself.

Today, you’re going to learn about setting work or personal goals for 2024, ideas for goals, how to make sure your goals are achievable, and more.

Related content on setting goals for 2024:

Here are tips for setting goals for the new year.


Why is it important to set a goal at the beginning of a new year?

Setting goals for the new year comes with many benefits, and you’re probably well aware of that.

Setting goals can be a great thing because it can help you stay motivated to improve your life, and goals can also keep you excited about your future.

Goals can help you grow, give you motivation, learn new skills, improve yourself, and more.

For me, I enjoy setting goals. I may not reach them all, but it gives me an idea for how I’d like my life to look in the future. Setting goals helps me create some sort of plan, and honestly, the planning aspect of setting goals is something I really enjoy as well.

Now, that doesn’t mean that goals are easy to keep. Good things don’t always come easy! In fact, they usually require some hard work, but that’s what makes it feel so good when you achieve them.


What goals should I set for 2024?

There are so many different goals that you could set for 2024. I’m going to give you a list of goals to set for yourself in 2024, but this is only a small list. There are nearly endless possibilities, and there’s no way I could cover them all.

Please remember that goals and new year’s resolutions will vary from person to person, as everyone is different. You’ll want to spend time thinking about the areas of your life you want to focus on before you set a goal.

You can set a big goal, a small goal, something in-between, and so on. There is no right or wrong answer. You can set more than one goal. You can set them with your partner, a family member, friends, and so on.

You can set goals for your personal life, career goals, educational goals, money goals, and more. Below I have listed some different goals depending on what you are looking for.

Here are some ideas of financial goals:

  • Pay off your debt
  • Get rid of your credit cards
  • Improve your credit score
  • Buy a home
  • Learn about credit card hacking
  • Start a side hustle
  • Follow a budget
  • Start investing
  • Learn about advanced investing strategies
  • Create an emergency fund
  • Open a high-interest rate savings account
  • Download and start using a budgeting app
  • Find ways to cut your food budget
  • Start saving for retirement
  • Shift from a scarcity mindset to abundance mindset

Here are some ideas of personal goals:

  • Wake up early
  • Travel to a new place
  • Do something outside of your comfort zone
  • Learn a new language
  • Stop smoking
  • Start living a minimalist lifestyle
  • Take up a new craft or hobby
  • Go to the gym
  • Increase your salary
  • Eliminate bad habits
  • Take lessons on a hobby that you’re interested in
  • Use Facebook less
  • Eat more vegetables
  • Improve your self-esteem
  • Eliminate distractions in your life
  • Set daily affirmations for encouragement
  • Create a morning routine
  • Declutter your house
  • Go to bed an hour earlier 
  • Volunteer more
  • Drink more water
  • Keep in better touch with your friends
  • Spend less time on social media
  • Host a family dinner once a month
  • Start a meditation or yoga routine

Here are some ideas of work goals for 2024:

  • Take a new course or get a certification related to your job
  • Attend networking events
  • Ask for a raise
  • Gain a new skill
  • Start your own business
  • Focus on better time management skills
  • Apply for new jobs
  • Set new habits for work
  • Build your interviewing skills
  • Improve your public speaking skills
  • Be a better listener at work
  • Get a promotion
  • Create or improve your resume

Here are some ideas of new year’s educational goals:

  • Read 12 books this year
  • Don’t procrastinate with homework
  • Start keeping a planner
  • Take up an extracurricular activity
  • Speak up in class to answer or ask questions
  • Start or finish a degree
  • Look for scholarship opportunities
  • Join a study group
  • Set aside time to study each week
  • Sign up for a class you’ve been wanting to try

As you can see, there are many different goals you can set for yourself.

And, they don’t have to be crazy hard! You can set small, simple goals for things that would bring a positive change to your life, such as keeping a gratitude journal. Or, you can try something much larger, like paying off your credit cards.

Creating goals for next year can help you to overcome obstacles and roadblocks, possibly have a fresh start, make achievable goals, attain personal growth goals, see the big picture, and more.


Evaluate last year’s goals.

Like I said earlier, as a new year approaches, it is only natural to think about last year’s goals.

Spending time evaluating your past goals will help you start setting goals for the new year that are more realistic, more impactful, and so on.

If you struggle to set and keep goals, evaluating last year’s goals may help you realize what may have gone wrong for you last time, what you can work on for this year’s goals, what you may want to change, and so on.

Here are some questions to ask yourself about last year’s goals before you start setting goals for the new year: 

  • Are you happy with your previous year’s goals and your progress towards them?
  • Where did you get stuck with your last goal? What issues did you have?
  • What should you shift your attention to for this year?
  • What kept you motivated? What made you lose motivation towards your goal?
  • What would you change?

By thinking about your previous annual goals, you’ll be able to set better goals for yourself in the future.


Make your 2024 goals as SMART as possible.

If you’ve never heard of setting SMART goals, this can be a really helpful tool as you start creating your goal for 2024.

SMART is an acronym for the following goal setting criteria:

  • Specific – What is your resolution? Is it specific enough or is it too broad? What needs to be done to achieve it? Why do you want to reach it?
  • Measurable – How can you measure your progress? How will you know if you’re on track?
  • Attainable – Can your 2024 goal setting actually be achieved?
  • Realistic/relevant – Can you achieve your goal? Is the resolution worth it?
  • Time – What’s your time frame for reaching your goal?

This is important to remember when setting 2024 goals because a SMART goal is one that you have spent a lot of time thinking about.

You’re more likely to succeed with your goals when you’ve spent time thinking about how they will work and planning for them.


Build your 2024 goal into your daily routine.

One thing that I feel really helps with your goals is to build them into your daily routine.

It is much easier to remember to work on your goal when it becomes a habit.

Below are a couple of examples of setting goals for the new year and building them into your daily routine: 

If your resolution is to start saving for retirement, then set a reminder on your phone that tells you to make a weekly contribution to your retirement fund. Your phone will continually remind you to do it, but you may find yourself doing it without the reminder once you’ve done it several times.

Exercising is another good example. You can start with walking 30 minutes each day, and then increase your time or activity from there. Eventually, you may start looking forward to your daily exercise routine.

Small actions repeated over time become habits, and you can build on them more and more until you achieve your 2024 goals.


Picture your goals and make them more real.

Many people benefit from visualizing their goals because it can make them seem more real. 

Visualizing your goal for 2024 is a fun step, and it’s one that will help keep you motivated.

I recommend actually putting your goal on paper, laptop, or on your phone – just somewhere you can see it.

For me, if I don’t write something down or have it in front of me on a regular basis, I tend to forget about it. This definitely goes for goals too.

If you can’t remember your resolutions, it can be much more difficult to achieve them. 

Below are a few easy ways to picture your 2024 goals:

  • Start a journal 
  • Start a personal blog to talk about your goal
  • Build a vision board (this can be a fun crafty project that you can even do with your friends)
  • Make post-its that talk about your goal
  • Set reminders on your phone, calendar, or whatever else you use for your to-do list
  • Keep a picture handy of what your goal is and what it means to you, such as on your phone


Break apart your 2024 goals into bite-sized pieces.

When you’re setting goals for the new year, it can be easy to go for really big ones. You may think you have an entire year to work on your goals, and this may cause you to forget about them or become overwhelmed with all of the work it takes to reach them.

Big goals are great, but having a huge goal can just be very overwhelming and hard to reach. That’s why it’s helpful to break your goal down into bite sized pieces.

One way to approach your 2024 goals is to think of them as 12 separate resolutions that relate to an overall goal, basically one for each month of the year. 

Breaking larger goals down into smaller ones will also help you create a realistic plan for achieving your goals.


Track your progress with your annual goals.

To stay motivated with your resolutions and to see them through, you should regularly review your progress. You may want to check in daily, weekly, or monthly, depending on what type of 2024 goals you set and what works for you.

This is why writing down your resolutions or breaking them into smaller parts is an important part of setting goals for the new year. You can check in and see where you’re at, and it helps if you make notes of your progress as you go. Finding a 2024 goals planner is a great idea!

Keeping track of your 2024 goals will tell you what you still need to do to reach them, and if you are behind, it’s easier to see what you might need to change. 

Changing your resolutions isn’t giving up on them either. It’s making sure that they are working for you.

Related: If you are setting 2024 goals that are related to your finances, then I highly recommend that you check out free Personal Capital.


Find easy ways to stay motivated.

Many people fall off track when it comes to setting goals for the new year because the steps it takes to achieve your goals can feel too big. If your goals start feeling too big to complete, you may start ignoring your resolutions, become overwhelmed, feel like you’re being lazy, lose confidence, and so on.

Unfortunately, all it takes is falling behind on one small part of your resolution to spiral out of control and completely fall off track.

To make big resolutions more achievable, think about small things you can do on a daily basis that will help you reach your goals. 

Remember, even small steps in the right direction can lead to successful 2024 goals.

Here are some examples of resolutions and how smaller steps can keep you on track:

  • If you are trying to focus on your health, start by setting smaller healthy 2024 goals like eating one healthy meal a day.
  • If your resolution is to start working out more, start with much shorter workout sessions. You can go for a 20 minute walk, a bike ride, or do strength training while you are cooking a meal, watching TV, getting ready, etc.
  • If your resolutions are related to your finances, you can start by automating as much as possible or creating a budget.

When you take small steps like this, you will find that your goals are less overwhelming and much easier to achieve. 


Find a partner to stay motivated.

Perhaps you have a friend or family member that is setting similar goals to yours. If that’s the case, use it to your advantage.

Setting goals for the new year can be much easier if you have a partner to hold you accountable and keep you motivated. Think of it as having an accountability partner, which can make things more fun.

Another idea is to turn your resolutions into a friendly competition between you and a friend, co-worker, or family member. This can be a great way to stay on track if you are driven by competition.

Setting goals for the new year can be much easier with a partner because you won’t be working on your resolutions alone. Instead, you will have a person there who is going through the same thing. You can encourage each other to succeed, talk about why you’re struggling, and more.

When you start setting your resolutions, think about who else in your life might also be trying to work towards the same things. This can be someone you know in real life, or they can even be a stranger, such as someone you met online who has a similar goal in mind.

How can I keep my 2024 goals strong all year long?

Your ability to keep and stick to your goals will first depend on the kinds of goals you set for yourself. If you’ve struggled to stick to your resolutions in the past, try setting goals for the new year that are smaller. There is nothing wrong with small, simple goals!

There are many things that can help you stick to your goals – having an accountability partner, focusing on SMART goals, journaling about your goals, and so on.

How to set goals in 2024 

I hope you enjoyed this article on setting goals for the new year.

In the end, please remember not to be upset with yourself if the year doesn’t go as you planned. 

Life is unpredictable, and you have no idea what the new year will bring for you.

Remember to reward yourself when you reach your mini goals and your overall goal.

I know some of you might be thinking that succeeding with a resolution should be enough of a reward, and while that is true, it might be helpful to think of other ways to reward yourself.

Everyone loves a reward, and rewards might give you just a little more motivation to work towards your goals. You can even write your reward next to your resolution, put it on your vision board, etc.

I hope you succeed in reaching your 2024 goals. 

Have a great year!

What are your 2024 goals? What’s your action plan for setting goals for 2024?

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Michelle Schroeder-Gardner

Author: Michelle Schroeder-Gardner

Hey! I’m Michelle Schroeder-Gardner and I am the founder of Making Sense of Cents. I’m passionate about all things personal finance, side hustles, making extra money, and online businesses. I have been featured in major publications such as Forbes, CNBC, Time, and Business Insider. Learn more here.

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  1. Stephanie James

    Michelle, thank you for this goal setting information.

  2. Fresh Life

    I spent most of this year in the divorce process, so 2022 I just want to focus on me and my work, my health, and I guess my biggest goal is to follow through on my house Renos. It’s something that was put off for years and now that I’m the boss, I’m going to get it done!

  3. Get RIGHT spiritually, lose weight, and continue moving forward in online business. 🙂

  4. New career and pay down debt

  5. John Ravi

    Hi Michelle,

    It was a great read! Since Ney Year is just around the corner, I have been thinking about my goals for 2022. I will definitely be setting up some achievable goals next year. I really appreciate you sharing great tips with the readers. I gained a lot of insights and inspiration from this article. I loved your suggestion of goals, I will definitely be stealing some of them, and will share them with my network as help to help them set good and achievable goals for 2022.