Every year, many of us set new year goals to get rid of bad habits and improve our lives. According to a recent Finder survey, about 189 million American adults made new year resolutions in 2020.

Setting goals for the new year may be a familiar tradition, but we've all run into problems when it comes to achieving them. Finder's survey reveals that only 55% of American adults think achieving their new year resolutions is possible. 

This is why we've gathered some top tips for achieving your 2022 new year resolutions. We'll share ideas, examples, and tips to inspire and keep you on track to achieve your personal and professional goals.

New year, new goals: Why set goals for the new year?

Setting goals for the new year dates back to early times. In many traditions, the beginning of a new year is the perfect time to reflect on the previous year and look forward to the new one. It is a gesture of self-awareness and demonstrates our desire to improve ourselves. 

The mantra “new year, new goals” helps keep you focused and actively participating in your life and environment. It's normal to doubt the possibility of our success, but even if we do not meet our main goals, we may do better than if we had no goals at all. 

This is especially true in work environments, where continuous improvement and upskilling are expected of every employee. It’s crucial to reflect on your progress, decisions, and aspirations to prepare for the new year's responsibilities and challenges.

Top workplace goal ideas for the new year

Finder's survey revealed that of all the 189 million Americans – 74% of the population – who made resolutions last year, 15.64% focused on work and career-related goals. 

Many people want to improve their job skills, change careers, or seek a promotion. Other common workplace goal ideas for the new year are:

  • Working less or within a fixed number of hours
  • Developing a daily routine to enhance productivity
  • Networking regularly and maintaining relationships
  • Gaining visibility within your industry
  • Building a strong online profile or portfolio
  • Learning new professional skills
  • Engaging in industry conversations

Great personal goal ideas for the new year

The most recurring new year resolution categories are health, self-improvement, finances, career, and family. Below are ten great personal goal ideas within these common categories:

  • Eating healthily
  • Getting fit 
  • Meeting new people
  • Reducing daily social media usage
  • Reading more books
  • Writing or journaling
  • Saving more money
  • Asking for a raise or promotion
  • Starting a new business

Top tips for achieving your new year goals

The first and most important step in achieving your new year goals is to reflect on the past year. Note what you did right and the areas you need to improve. This will help you set goals and grow in the areas most impactful to your life. 

Tips for achieving your new year goals include: 

  1. Creating approach-oriented goals: Research shows that people who set approach-oriented goals are typically more successful than those who set avoidance-oriented goals. Approach-oriented goals are positively motivated, while avoidance-oriented goals are negatively motivated. 
  2. Using the SMART approach: Achieving your new year goals requires the SMART approach. Unclear or overwhelming goals may lead to mental exhaustion, self-doubt, and procrastination. Using the SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time-bound) approach provides clarity and helps you frame your goals in an achievable way. 
  3. Adjusting your environment: Create an environment that supports your new goals. For example, stocking up on junk food is a sure path to failure for anyone with a goal of reducing sugar intake and eating healthily. Organize your environment to support your goals for a better chance of success. 
  4. Finding accountability buddies: Share your goals with people who can check up on you, give feedback, and help you stay on track.
  5. Creating interim goals: Focusing on a distant goal is tough. Interim goals provide a perfect way to work towards long-term goals by breaking them into smaller milestones. These smaller tasks help align what we do each day with our new year resolutions. Interim goals can also serve as markers for important milestones we can celebrate along the way. 
  6. Noticing what triggers you to quit: Take note of the environments that make you weak and less resolved in achieving your goals. Set countermeasures for each one so that you are prepared to face these triggering situations. 
  7. Getting smarter about your goals: Put thought into what exactly you’d like to achieve. Get more information and consider alternative approaches to achieve your goals. 
  8. Getting back up after every failure: Relapses and failures are sure to occur over the next twelve months. Getting back on track after any mishap is the best way to ensure you stay the course and maintain your progress throughout the year. 

Why new year goals and resolutions fail

Over 80% of new year resolutions fail despite our best intentions and initial progress. People fall out of their new routines and back into old habits. The most common reasons new year goals fail are: 

  • Vague goals: Without clarity, it is difficult to move forward. Vague goals keep us stuck and unsure of what moves to make next. Set clear goals and document what you want. This helps to align your daily life with your overall goals. 
  • Negative mindset: ​​Believing a goal is too difficult to achieve makes you less likely to achieve it. Reframe your mindset and trust in your abilities. Identify the thoughts and feelings associated with your new year resolutions — are you motivated by positive or negative emotions? — and remind yourself you can achieve what you’ve set out to do. 
  • Wrong environment: Willpower is no match for the wrong environment. It's vital to set up an environment that supports the goals you want to achieve in the new year. Misaligned settings make it difficult to make progress on your goals. 

How to track your new year goals with Wrike

Wrike helps to turn your new year goals into actionable results. Its collaborative workspace provides separate spaces for personal and professional goals, enabling you to keep track of all your activities on one platform. 

Wrike's software allows you to create folders for your big goals. Within these folders, you can create sub-folders and tasks to break your goal into actionable items you can execute in phases throughout the year. Want to ace your new year goals? Get started with a two-week free trial of Wrike.