How to Set up Clear Goals for the New Year

How to Set up Clear Goals for the New Year

The fresh scent of fallen snow is in the air, decorative lights everywhere the eye can see, and more and more Christmas carols are being played on the radio. Many things point to it – another year is coming to an end. In all the hustle and bustle, some things get lost. Unfortunately, among the casualties is often the all-important annual reflection. Why you should not do without it this year and how you can do it, including all the important details, I explain to you in this post.

Annual reflection why?

There are some good reasons for conducting an annual reflection.

Applause applause – you deserve it!

I have often heard that for many people an annual reflection consists only of learning from mistakes and setting new goals.

But such an exercise should shine just as much spotlight on the positive. It is important to reflect once again on the successes and celebrate them. Be proud of yourself and at the end of the year highlight what you have achieved, what you have enjoyed and what you are proud of.

Goodbye – it was not nice with you guys

Yes, it’s hard – and yet it’s so important to close with memories and experiences that have a negative effect on you at the right time. It helps you feel freer and more lighthearted. If you do this regularly, you should still reflect on whether it worked and whether you still feel connected to it.

Declutter – create clarity and get rid of ballast.

A lot happens in a year and you often have so much to do that you don’t really think about it then. So one thing piles up on top of the other and many experiences get lost in this mountain. To create clarity, you therefore try to work through your year chronologically.

In addition, it is also important that you try to identify unnecessary ballast. Over time, you unconsciously or consciously load yourself with more and more things that you carry. This affects concentration, health and stress. Therefore, also during your inner flashback, pay attention to burdens that you have imposed on yourself and possibly still carry with you. Also look at what you can part with. Remove as much ballast as possible and feel lighter and more carefree again. This will help you in many areas of life.

New year new luck – seize the opportunity for a fresh start

Much has happened in the past year and a new one is upon us. However, this does not mean that one should not look back. While you should celebrate your successes, you should also take a look at bad things and mistakes. That way you can learn from them and not make the same mistake twice. It is then also easier to define goals if you pay attention to both sides.

In the new year, however, you should not also invest a lot of time in the past. Therefore, try to “work through” all the necessary points in your annual reflection, so that you can make a fresh and clear start into the new year.


Such an annual review is not done in 20min. If you want to do it right, you should consider a few points. It will be worth it.

– Come to rest

– – One of the most important steps – even if it sounds so simple. It is essential that you can look at the questions as objectively as possible. You are suddenly torn out of your everyday life and have, for example, a bad month behind you. Then it could be that you consider the recent past in answering the questions rather than the whole year.

– To avoid feeding your reflection with false statements, you could take time to calm down. A day of wellness, a long weekend or just an afternoon on the ski slopes. You know best how to relax and reset your mind.

– – Eliminate distractions

– – Take the time and block them. No smartphone – no music. Just you, a pen, a pad and your list of questions.

– Being alone

– – – Try to be alone even for the duration of the reflection and thus not be distracted by other people. In this way, you can devote yourself more thoroughly to the questions and open up fully. An unwanted look over one’s shoulder at personal notes or comments on them is also prevented.

– – – Make yourself comfortable

– The longer you spend on the questions and collect data in your mind, the better the result will be. Therefore, make sure you have a comfortable atmosphere and a pleasant place to sit. Candles, blankets, a tidy desk and a cup of your favorite tea? You know the drill.

– Implementation/questions

– Without structure, it will be difficult to do a good annual reflection. So it’s best to just follow this order. If you already have experience, you already know what works best for you.

– Visual tools

– To prepare, you can take out your photos from last year and simply review the past year in your head.

– – – If you are a visual type, the following tools may also help you:

– Timeline with events

– Draw a long line in the middle of a sheet of paper to represent your year. Now make marks and notes about specific moments/successes/failures/experiences etc. This will allow you to better include multiple things when answering the questions. This will allow you to better include multiple things when answering the questions.

– Color marking the days of the year

– Each day of the year is represented as a box and can be filled with different colors. So you can very well represent how the year has passed. Of course, it is up to you which meaning the markings have.

Answering the questions

– The main part of the annual reflection is, of course, answering questions about the past year. This also includes questions that illuminate the background and help to find the way for the future.

– The questions are divided into different areas as you will see in a moment. Try to answer the questions as well and thoroughly as possible and feel free to ask yourself deeper questions.

– Have fun with it.


Where am I? How did I get there? Where do I want to go?
What have I achieved? Why did I achieve it? What new goals do I want to set for myself?
What have I learned and what new skills have I acquired? How could I acquire these things? What do I want to learn next year?
What things have I accomplished – that I didn’t set as a goal a year ago? How did I get these opportunities that moved me forward? How would I like to be able to seize spontaneously arising opportunities even better?
In which area could I achieve the most goals – professionally, personally, or personally? What could be the reasons for this? How can I ensure that there is a balance between these three areas that is right for me?
What experiences did I find particularly great in the past year? What made these experiences special? What would I like to do next year?

What do I have to do to have these experiences?

– –

What negative experiences did I have last year? How did it come about?

What influence did I have on these things?

Insofar as I could have prevented them, how can I learn from this for next year and what steps do I need to take to do so?
What didn’t go the way I thought it would? What were the reasons for this? Where do I want to start in order to define my goals in a more achievable and realistic way?
Did I keep putting off certain things? Why did I do this consciously or unconsciously? How can I change that in the new year?
Have I given the appropriate priority, time, attention to what is important to me? Did I find it difficult to give higher priority to things that were important to me? How will I be able to allocate time to my priorities?
What major setbacks did I face? How did it come about?

How could I deal with it?

What positive aspects can I draw from this?

What new opportunities can arise from this?

What things do I want to part with? Why am I sure that I can say goodbye to it? What does this mean for my future?


What events/experiences have particularly enriched the past year? How did it come about?

Up to what point could I influence this?

Knowing this, what moments should be repeated in the new year?
Are there things I’ve come to appreciate most in the past year? Why last year in particular? How do these insights affect my future?
What was my highlight of the year? Who/what was involved in creating this highlight? Do I want to go one better in the process?
Which of the opportunities that have arisen in the past year have I taken? Why was I able to take advantage of these opportunities? How can I make sure that I will do it again next year?
What filled me with pride and joy? Why? Do I draw new strength from these memories?
What touched me in particular? How did I feel about it? What influence do such moments have on my future?
What mistakes could I have avoided? Could I really have avoided these mistakes myself? What do I learn from this?


In which quarters was I particularly active? What reasons could there be for this? What insight do I gain from it and how can I benefit from it next year?
In which quarters was I not very active? What reasons could there be for this? What insight do I gain from it and how can I benefit from it next year?
What task(s) took me a particularly long time last year? Why did I have to do these tasks?

Who was partly responsible for the successful conclusion?

What or who influenced timely completion?

How can I manage similar tasks better or more effectively in the future?
Which commitments took/have taken up a particularly large amount of my time in the past year? How did I get these? Can I or do I want to get rid of these obligations somehow?
Did I find it easy to create and stick to my schedules? Were there any difficulties in the process? What can I improve?
What did I actively take time for every day? How important was that to me? How can I create more time for myself?
What should I spend less time on? How does this assumption come about? In what places will I want to invest less time in the new year?


Which people have accompanied me? Who did I meet?

How did I get along with these people?

Who do I want to spend a lot of time with in the new year and why?
Who inspired me? Why this person of all people? Do I want to acquire certain characteristics or skills of this person myself?
Which goodbye has been particularly difficult for me in the past year? Have I already processed this farewell, or do I still need time? How can I deal with such situations in the future?
Which person(s) helped me most in the past year? How could they help me? How would I like to improve the relationship with this/these person(s)?
Are there person(s) who stood in the way of me and my goals this past year? How did I notice that?

What led to this?

How can I avoid this and similar people?

If this is not possible – How can I make sure that they do not negatively influence my path?

What 5 people have been most influential in my successes over the past year? How could you support me? What will I give back?
How else have people around me supported me? In what way? Where might I need help in the new year?
What encounter or person I have met has been a great enrichment to my life? Why is that? How would I like to make new acquaintances?
What positive effects did I have on people around me? What exactly did I do for it? How will I continue to try to positively influence my environment?

In what way do I want to do good for my friends?


Was I looking out for me? What was the reason? What can I do better?
Have I achieved my nutrition goals? What was the trigger for setting my goals in this area? What are my nutrition goals for the next few months?
Have I done enough exercise? What motivated me?

What was stopping me?

My sports goals?
Have I been to the doctor often enough? What led to this? What doctor visits do I want to schedule?
How much did I face stress and overload? How well could I handle it? How can I deal with it better in the future?
Was I able to cast off ballast and free myself from burden? What stopped me?

What turned out to be a difficulty?

What am I still carrying around that I want to free myself from in the new year?
Have I lived according to my desired values? Have I chosen my values correctly?

Can I identify with these values?

What values are important to me in the next year?
Have I been able to overcome my inner bastard more often? What helped me to do this? In which areas do I want to overcome my pig dog this year?
Did I dare to push my limits and step out of my comfort zone? What was I shying away from?

What was stopping me?

How did I do it?

How do I want to once again new venture and overcome my inner hurdles?
What situations could I handle well? How did these situations play out? What situations do I want to handle better next year?
Was I able to advance myself personally? How did I accomplish this? What steps do I want to take to continue to move forward personally?

– – Steps after

– Ideally, by answering the questions you have now already dug deep in many areas, gained many insights and defined some goals that are important to you. However, it is also about working every day in the new year to achieve these goals and to recall your latter.

– – Never lose sight of the main goals

– Write down your 4-5 main goals for the new year. Very important: think carefully about the motivations for each goal and write them down.

– Whatever your reasons, be honest and don’t be afraid to expose yourself to yourself.

– You have written down these goals and possibly prepared them graphically in some form (pictures, colors, shapes, etc.)? Perfect. Now put these goal cards where you meet them every day and automatically take a look at them.

– – Tracking/Journaling

– The very best way to better track your desired path is daily/weekly journaling and/or live tracking of your goals. For example, you can do this perfectly with our weekly planner or monthly planner.

Your motivator of the year

-Goals are nice, but something has to drive you to get closer to them. A motivator can be helpful. This is similar to writing down your goals. Find something that motivates you and remind yourself of it as often as possible. An inspiring person, a picture of your dream car, a motivational saying?

Lock and exchange for positive energy

– Now deal with 1-5 things with which you want to close this year and leave behind. Here, too, you can give free rein to your creativity. Finally, you should have a physical object, which is associated with a particular experience, a memory or negative experience. You should take your time and explore whether you are really ready to put it behind you. If you are sure, write down a positive sentence about it and destroy the object. Bury it, burn it, throw it into the river. However, keep the positive sentence. This conscious parting forces you to deal with it instead of just blocking the thought. By symbolically destroying the memory, the farewell also becomes more tangible.

– Start 2022 with new energy and clear goals.

– Make it your best year yet.

– We wish you much success!

Rob Nash
Rob Nash

Rob Nash is a tech writer with a comprehensive focus on technology, productivity, and overall success in life and business.

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