How To Set Realistic Goals You’ll Stick To This New Year + My Goals


2018 is in full swing, and with that begins the planning. With every new year we all like to brainstorm what we’d like to accomplish and achieve, but it can be overwhelming and confusing knowing where to start. So to help I put together 5 things to do to help you set realistic goals this new year that you’ll actually stick to! And at the end of the post I’ll be sharing some of my goals this year, so keep on reading ->.

Goals Instead Of Resolutions

Instead of creating resolutions this year, set yourself some goals. A resolution is a decision to do or not do something, and often most people don’t complete them. Having some goals you want to accomplish will make achieving them more doable, and they tend to be less daunting than resolutions.

Be Realistic And Measurable

Just like I talked about in my 5 ways to prepare for a productive new year post, you always want to be ambitious with your goals but still be realistic. Chances are you’re not going to be able to walk on water this year, but still be sure to reach for the stars. Set goals that you can achieve, but will take work. If you live in a place where it only gets as low as 85 degrees, maybe the goal of wearing all your sweaters is not the best choice.

It’s also important that you can actually be able to measure your goals. Instead of saying “I want to increase my Instagram following”, say “I want to increase my Instagram following by 1,000 followers by summer 2018”. This will allow you to see your progress and give you a better idea of how you can meet the goal completely.

Write them down

This may seem obvious, but it’s important that you actually write your goals down on a piece of paper. Then you want to keep it either in your daily planner, on your bedside table, or even tape it to the wall. You want it in a spot where you will look at it each day and remember what you have to do to reach them.

Start With Small Steps

Once you’ve set your measurable goals, it’s time to figure out how exactly you’re going to accomplish them. This is where creating smaller goals and steps is helpful. Take each goal and make 5-10 smaller goals that will be the stepping stones to reaching the big goal. By breaking it down it will make it seem less daunting and impossible, and more doable.

Don’t Be Hard On Yourself

A lot of people don’t complete their goals for the new year because of the fear of failing. It’s important not to be hard on yourself if you don’t complete things. Life happens and any progress is progress. After all, you miss 100% of the chances you never take. It’s better to learn from a failure than to not fail at all. Also get in the mindset that there really is no such thing as “failing”, if you learned from the experience.

My Goals For 2018

Burn Candles At Least Twice A Week– This may seem like an odd goal, but at the end of 2017 I discovered how much I love having a candle burning when I’m working or relaxing. It really does help calm me and give my space a cozy vibe. So this year I plan to burn the candles I already own at least twice a week. I can now finally put those Bath & Body Works candles to good use!

Read 5o + Books This Year– I never kept track last year of how many books I read, so this year I’ve made it a goal to read at least 50 books.

Start A Business (or Two) – Since this year I will be (hopefully) graduating college, I plan to finally start at least one of the business ideas I’ve had for awhile. It will take lots of time and work, but I’m excited to put my plan into action!

Use What I Already Have – Last year I made it a goal of mine to start being more conscious of what I was spending my money on, and to only buy items I needed or loved. This year my goal is to use more of what I already have. Although the excitement of buying something new is great, I want to use and appreciate what I already own.

Graduate College – After quite a few years of studying, I can finally say that this year should be the year I graduate college! If all goes to plan, this spring I will be a college graduate.

Be More Present & Put Phone Away for at Least an Hour Each Evening – Although I love watching videos and going through social media on my phone, I’ve made it a goal of mine to do it less in the evenings. The end of the day is when I spend most of my time with my family, and being on my phone ruins that. So this year I plan to finish going through social media earlier and put my phone away an hour before heading to bed. It will take some work and small steps, but I’m hopeful I can stick to this goal.

Wake Up 30 Minutes to an Hour Earlier – For the first half of 2017 I was getting up earlier and going to bed earlier. But then life happened and I slowly got back to my night owl schedule. So for 2018 I’ve made it a goal to wake up 30 minutes to an hour earlier than I have been. I’ve realized that if I do it too drastically at the start I won’t stick to it as long.

WEARING: Coat: Gap | Sweater: Urban Outfitters | Jeans: ASOS | Beanie: Forever 21 | Sneakers: Vans

And those are 5 tips to help you set reasonable goals for 2018! I hope you all have the best, most productive year yet, and remember to take care of yourself along the way. I’d also love to know what some of your goals for this year are!

10 responses to “How To Set Realistic Goals You’ll Stick To This New Year + My Goals”

  1. Angie says:

    I have tried to set some realistic goals for 2018. I have alreday managed to book myself into one after work activity singing in a choir and then take up some studies in order to get into a course at Uni. Although I am 36 I feel like its never to late to study!! I am also trying to live by quality before quantity this year as regards to my shopping! I also loved your reading more books goals. That is also something I want to do! Hope you had a lovely New year and is having a great start to 2018!! 💕

    • Kara Callahan says:

      That’s amazing Angie! I love that you’re trying new things, and you’re right- it’s never to late to study! I hope you had an amazing start to 2018 x

  2. Sakuranko says:

    Oh very cute style
    Happy new Year 2018!

  3. E. says:

    You are totally right! We have to be realistic with our resolutions and turn them into goals! I use to be a bit hard with myselft but I am trying to change it so this new year I just set two goals: to practise more sport and to pass my german course. I can add to my list one yours: to wake up earlier because I am running every morning but, being honest, I think it is a impossible mission.
    I am so happy you want to create a bussines! I am sure you can do everything you want!!

    • Kara Callahan says:

      Thank you so much E! I always love reading your comments. And I’m glad you agree! I think those two goals are great, and I know you can achieve anything you want x

  4. Stacey says:

    I totally get you on the creating goals instead of resolutions. I think it’s a lot more realistic in the long run as well. And I love how you mentioned to be more specific with goals since that is something I need to work on. I literally have “grow my blog and content” in my goals page LOL. I will for sure work on that better! I’ve always been trying to make it a goal to wake up earlier than usual. I think the holidays through me off and I’ve still been waking up an hour later than I should!

    • Kara Callahan says:

      I’m so glad you agree! I had the same goal for my blog for 2017, and when I looked back at it at the end of the year I was like “how do I even tell if I did that?” haha. The holidays through me off too with waking up early! I hope you get back to your normal schedule and reach all your goals this year x

  5. Kim says:

    Agreed! I never make new years resolutions. Instead, I focus on continuous weekly/monthly goals. When I think in terms of baby steps, it’s less overwhelming! Best of luck on starting your business! I am looking forward to hearing about it on your blog (if you share).

    • Kara Callahan says:

      Thank you Kim! I definitely will be sharing it on my blog in the future. And best of luck with all of your goals for 2018!

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Hi there! Kara'sCloset is a lifestyle blog where I sharing my adventure through my twenties, life's simple moments, and blogging tips with lots of outfits in between. I'm glad you're here, and I hope you find some inspiration!



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Hi there! Kara'sCloset is a lifestyle blog where I share my adventure through my twenties, life's simple moments, and blogging tips with lots of outfits in between. I'm glad you're here, and I hope you find some inspiration!