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10 tips to help you reach your goals in the new year

Grove, Oklahoma (January 30, 2024) - The beginning of a new year is a time when many of us start thinking about changes we want to make, and goals we want to achieve. Since this can be a daunting process, we want to offer some tips to help set you up for success in 2024 and beyond.

1. Write down your goals.

By putting pen to paper and recording your goals, you create a blueprint for success that you can refer back to throughout the year for encouragement.

Whether it be five-year milestones or short-term targets, setting goals is an important part of growth that allows us to track our progress from Day One. Writing down ambitions is also the first step in formulating a routine that, with discipline, can be effective in achieving your objectives.

Treat yourself to some stylish stationery for a bit of extra motivation! In addition to writing down your long-term goals, we encourage you spend some time each evening jotting down your to-do list for the next day. It definitely helps to focus the mind.

2. Plan your travel for the year.

If you know you want to go on a couple of trips this year, planning for them now can help make sure you save enough to cover the costs. Think about the trips that you’d like to make in the next couple of months – skiing is a must for all fans of winter sports. If there’s a bucket list destination that you’re keen to travel to, start saving all the articles about it that you can find online.

There are many great deals to be had if you book in advance, and some airlines offer significant discounts when you buy tickets months ahead.

Whether you prefer to use a paper planner or online calendar, we suggest inputting key dates first, like national vacations and school holidays. With careful planning, you can maximize your time away by booking your travel dates on either side of some national holidays.

Just make sure to reserve the flights and accommodation as soon as possible, since they’re likely to be expensive during these peak periods. You’ll also want to consider if there are any places that might be off limits because of political unrest or travel restrictions.

3. Learn something new.

Seize the new year by planning to learn a new skill. Whether it’s a musical instrument, language or a sporting skill, trying something new will energize you for the whole year. There may well be additional benefits, like making new friends and getting in better shape, or increasing your level of concentration.

The start of a new year is the perfect time to make positive changes in your life. Self-help books can offer lots of guidance and advice. People interested in mental health can find many beneficial texts that discuss strategies for mindfulness and self-care. And in many cases, you can learn something new without leaving the comfort of home — for example, check out this list of virtual art museum tours.

4. Get fighting fit.

Are you planning to lose weight or gain muscle in the new year? You need a plan for that, too!

It’s a popular time of year to join a gym, but first ask yourself if that’s your favorite form of exercise. You’re more likely to stick to something that you really enjoy.

Dance classes such as Zumba are another good option for getting fit, and they burn a lot of calories, too. If you like being in the great outdoors, then consider cycling, running, or a bootcamp. 

Break your goal down into small, achievable steps for the best chance of success. For example, if you’ve always dreamed of running a marathon, start by alternating walking and running over short distances before working your way up to hill sprints to build up endurance. A series of small wins adds up over time.

5. Focus on healthy habits.

Good sleep is key to achieving any weight loss goals and optimizing general health. Keep your bedroom free of any electronic devices. Try to wind down one to two hours before bedtime by reading a book, taking a warm bath, listening to music, or meditating.

If you find it hard to resist temptation when eating out, only go to restaurants that serve healthier options until you’ve achieved your ideal weight. Since alcohol has a lot of calories, try to minimize your consumption or cut it out altogether.

Are you getting your “five a day” – the minimum recommended intake of fruits and vegetables? That might sounds like a lot, but we have a few suggestions that may help.

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6. Declutter your home and office.

Getting organized is a popular goal for the new year. Declutter your home, office, or workspace and create a system that works for you. Clearing the clutter is one of the best ways to improve productivity and overall well-being.

Whether you’re clearing out physical items or digital files, organization can help make traditional and remote work easier, more pleasurable, and more efficient. Start with small steps – set aside some time each week to review and discard unwanted items, or pare down digital files so you can use them in a logical way.

Think about decluttering your closet and keeping only the most frequently worn items. It’s a similar principle for your home. If you find getting rid of things difficult, ask yourself whether an item is beautiful or useful. If it’s neither and you haven’t used it in at least six months, then let it go.

Objects that are in good condition will be welcomed by charity shops, and old CDs or books can usually be donated to a local library.

7. Stay flexible.

While it’s good to have a plan in place, it’s also important to be flexible and adapt as needed throughout the year. Life can throw unexpected challenges our way, so be prepared to adjust your plans if necessary.

Remember that progress is not always easy, and setbacks are a natural part of growth. Stay positive, and keep pushing forward toward your goals.

8. Cultivate productive habits and time management strategies.

Identify time-wasting habits and develop strategies to eliminate them. Create a schedule that prioritizes important tasks and activities. Use technology and productivity tools to improve your efficiency.

9. Take stock of relationships.

Think about your romantic and friendship goals. What do you want to achieve with the people in your life? How can you improve those relationships in the new year?

10. Prioritize self-care.

In addition to setting goals, it’s important to make time for activities that bring you joy and relaxation, such as reading, spending time with loved ones, or practicing mindfulness.

Taking care of yourself will give you the energy and motivation you need to achieve your goals!

To conclude, setting and achieving goals is a process that takes time, effort, and planning. But it’s worth it! By taking the steps outlined above, you can set yourself up for success in the new year.

About the Author: Toni Sharp is the Connected Nation Payroll Specialist. Toni is responsible for ensuring the accurate and timely processing of payroll for our employees. This role requires a strong understanding of payroll regulations, attention to detail, and excellent communication skills.