Top 10 Tips For Setting New Year's Goals

Top 10 Tips For Setting New Year's Goals

It’s that time of year again when it seems everyone is setting their new year’s resolutions and goals for next year, which is great. The problem is most people will stop pursuing their goals before they reach them. Out of everyone who sets goals for the new year, a whopping 92% of people will quit and fail to reach their goals.

When we talk about goals and new years resolutions, we want more than just to lose a few pounds or bulk up. We want concrete, specific, achievable goals that you can get done. The way you approach setting your goals effects how likely you are to reach them.

Below, we’ve created a guide with our top 10 tips to help you set actionable goals that you can crush in the new year.


When picking your goals, make sure they are SMART!

Smart is a simple acronym for goal setting that helps develop goals that are doable and attainable. These goals are action-oriented and more likely to be followed and achieved.

S = Specific or Significant
M = Measurable or Motivational or Meaningful
A = Achievable or Attainable
R = Realistic or Relevant or Results Oriented
T = Time Oriented or Trackable

Simply setting your 2018 goals with statements like:

“I want to get stronger.” Or “I want to lose a lot of weight.” Or “I will be more positive.” Just does not cut it! These types of general, unspecific goals are quickly forgotten, are not actionable and usually result in the goal setter feeling like a failure.

A more specific goal that is actionable is more likely to lead to adherence and long-term success.


1. I will make it to 3 workout sessions per week, without fail.
This is a goal that speaks to habit. This goal is a step in the direction of a bigger goal or many other goals. Things like getting stronger, losing weight, being more fit and other general goals can be broken down into several actionable goals like making it to 3 workout sessions per week. The wording of this goal also makes it SMART or Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Trackable

2. I will practice 3 new lifts twice a week and master their technique by years end.
This is another actionable goal that is a part of a bigger effort to improve mental state for training. It also reminds you that you don’t have to be perfect to be better! Again, this goal follows the SMART format.

3. I will squat 400 lbs. before the end of the year.
Depending on your current level of fitness you might be inclined to set concrete weight-based goals. Research on weight loss and psychology shows us that setting performance-based goals leads to more adherence to fitness programs compared to physical appearance goals. Setting a goal like squatting 400 lbs. is a specific and measurable goal vs a goal like squatting more or squatting double my bodyweight which can change.  

4. I will finish Fran in under 5 minutes
This is a great way to measure progress. Fran in 5 minutes is just an example that could be applied to any other benchmark WOD. It is also a WOD you can revisit as often as you’d like, or work on improving the two elements of Fran independently.

5. I will get good enough with double-unders to perform 60 unbroken repetitions.
This is a great goal when it comes to specificity. Rather practicing complete double-unders, this goal is a deliberate and specific goal related to performance. With the number 60 in mind, you’ll know how well you are progressing towards it.

6. I will recognize and manage stress with healthy behaviors like getting up and moving around or mediation.
This behavior-based goal is a good way to maintain healthy habits in your day-to-day. With most people reporting daily-stress gets them down, learning to manage your day-to-day stress in a positive way is sure to improve overall health.

7. I will learn to cook one new healthy meal per week.
This lifestyle goal can easily contribute to a weight-loss goal that you might have in mind. Learning to cook new healthy meals that are fun and interesting lead to better long-term health.

8. I will keep a training journal documenting my training habits, highlights my good days, and acknowledges the tough ones.
This goal can be linked to all training goals you might have. Acknowledging how training makes you feel is a great way to reflect on your daily and weekly training progress. All athletes who track weekly and monthly performance, use a training journal. This helps analyze progress, regressions and tendencies that you could use to tweak training to achieve better outcomes.

9. I will improve my back squat by 5% by squatting three times per week.
This is another performance goal. It is specific, attainable, realistic, measurable, and also describes a realistic and specific method to achieving it.

10. I will focus on how food makes me feel rather than the number on the scale.
This final example speaks to mindset for the new year. Though it is hard to quantify and measure this one, it can be a step in the right direction towards body-positive attitudes.

You can make the new year your opportunity to become the best version of yourself. Simply work on creating a few unique SMART goals that suit your body, your mind and the overall direction you want to move this year!

Cardio Surge Energy

Christie Leclair
Christie Leclair - Author

FD Bulsara, BSc is a competitive athlete in Olympic weightlifting and a student in Osteopathy. She coaches private and group fitness classes and freelance writing about her passions: fitness, health, sport, nutrition, weightlifting, CrossFit, injury prevention, pain relief, injury rehabilitation, and the latest research on all these topics! She is a dog person and spends free time training at the lake. Find her at

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