As we approach the end of the year, it’s time to start reflecting on what we did this past year and the goals we hope to set in 2023. We’ve done this every year since 2017 (catch 2022, 2021, 2020, 2019, 2018, and 2017, here.)
At this point, you might even call us goal setting experts over here at GenTwenty. Through doing this practice annually, we have learned a lot about what goals are worth setting and how to achieve the goals you set for yourself.
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Why We Prefer Goals Over New Year’s Resolutions
Usually when you “resolve” to make a change, you don’t put any plan behind it. And when you fail to plan, you fail to take action.
When you make New Year’s resolutions, you are generally setting yourself up for burnout and discouragement as well.
It can be difficult to stay motivated if you haven’t set realistic micro goals along the way. When you make a resolution, you not only not committing to yourself but not committing to your goals.
Setting Your Goals
Research has shown time and time again that you are more likely to achieve your goals if you write them down.
Drawing from that, if you want to truly reach your goals, it’s important to set yourself up for success.
That means having a method of planning that allows you to track your progress in the right way, stay motivated, and encourages you to be both consistent and disciplined.
For this purpose, I highly recommend the Day Designer for this as it gives you space to not only design your day as the name suggests but to also effectively plan for and execute your goals.
The Daily Mini Planner is pictured here but they also have undated planner options that make a great choice for longevity’s sake.
What I like about the Day Designer is that you can name you top priorities, list our your daily schedule, jot notes on the side for your important goals, and write down your dinner.
There’s also a handy notes section at the bottom if you need to expand on anything. I also like that there is a space for “due” so you can remember any important due dates and a “dollars” section so you can focus on your financial goals.
It’s a wonderfully useful planner that blends together a daily schedule with effective goal setting. Check out Day Designer here.
So without further ado, let’s dive into the goal setting.
23 Goals To Set In 2023
1. Focus more on yourself.
Some months my calendar gets absolutely overwhelmed with appointments, to-dos, and expectations. And a lot of the times it usually involves spending a significant amount of my time and resources on other people.
I’m not saying that being with or doing other things for other people is a bad thing. But let’s consider the opposite – is it bad to spend those resources on our own lives?
If you’re looking at your calendar and more than 50% of it is dedicated to doing things for others, consider which areas you can pull back in.
How will you focus on yourself?
2. Read 50 books.
This might seem like a little goal or it might seem like a big goal, depending what your normal reading schedule is like.
Reading for just 20 minutes per day, though, can help you reach this goal by the end of the year.
What will you read first?
3. Go on a real vacation.
I’m guilty of going on “trips” not “vacations.”
I tend to plan a lot and try to pack many activities into the week as possible.
What this does, though, is neglect taking time to just rest. Instead of booking your calendar up with trips, take some actual PTO to REST!
Where would you vacation?
4. Be more active.
Most of us aren’t as active as we’d like to be, myself included. I try to get at least 20 minutes of exercise in everyday but it doesn’t always happen.
In 2023, I’d like to track 30 minutes of exercise per day. This includes walks and any separate workouts I do too! Let’s hold ourselves accountable.
What’s your favorite kind of physical activity?
5. Spend 1,000 hours outside.
1,000 Hours Outside is both a challenge and a movement. They are dedicated to getting families outside for 1,000 hours per year.
There are trackers available for download on their website to track your own hours!
Will you start today?
6. Pay off a debt.
This is easier said than done, sure, but it’s something that needs to be done.
Holding debt, especially once you’re in your late 20s, is holding you back. You have less freedom in your choices when you owe money to someone else.
If you have a lot of debt, it can feel overwhelming to pay off. But when you think about it, there are three ways to start:
- the debt snowball: paying off your smallest debt first
- debt avalanche: paying the highest interest rate debt first
- consolidate: turning all of your debt into one single loan
Which is best for you depends on a variety of factors so you’ll want to take a course like Debt Defeater.
What method will you take?
7. Go somewhere new.
Visiting somewhere new can awaken both creativity and joy within us.
We notice more when we are not somewhere we’ve been before. We see new things and open ourselves up to new experiences.
Going somewhere new doesn’t have to be a big trip – it can be a day trip or even just somewhere new in your town.
Where will you explore first?
8. Donate to something you care about.
Last year was the first year I personally set up a recurring donation. This year I was able to do more larger one off donations as well.
It feels good to financially prioritize donating funds to something I care about.
Where will you donate to?
9. Take a class.
Continuing your education is worthwhile goal – even if it’s not a traditional “academic” class.
Take a cooking class or learn to crochet. New skills will aid you in all areas of your life!
And it doesn’t have to be for work or the sake of learning either.
Just take a class in something you enjoy!
What will you take a class in?
10. Make some non-toxic swaps.
In 2021, I started to deep dive into the quality of our food and personal care products.
In my early 20s, this wasn’t something I much paid attention to, but as I’ve gotten older I’ve come to realize so much of the quality of ingredients matters so much.
Swapping to non-toxic products doesn’t have to be an overwhelming thing. You can swap one product at a time as you use things up. It’s that simple.
What non-toxic swap will you make next?
11. Learn a new recipe every month.
In the past few years, I’ve been cooking at lot more. I’ve learned a lot of more about food (from some cooking classes that I’ve taken) that have taught me new methods when it comes to cooking.
Growing up, I was always told I was “bad” at cooking. But you know what, that’s actually not true. I know my way around the kitchen and quite a few dishes.
One easy way to lean more into cooking your own food is to learn a new recipe every month.
Save a board on Pinterest for recipes you’d like to try and get cooking!
What recipe will you make first?
12. Shop with more small businesses.
Your impact when shopping small is much larger than when shopping with big companies.
Any time you can support small businesses instead of larger corporations you are more directly sending more of your hard earned dollars to people who do the making, creating, and selling.
Small businesses tend to invest more personal resources into their products as well.
When you shop small, you’re supporting ballet lessons, not a CEO’s fifth house.
How can you shop small?
13. Use affirmations.
Every week pick a new affirmation of the week (an affirmation card deck is great for this!) and try to use it daily.
I write my affirmations on my to-list and in my planner. They are always a strong reminder to me of my worth and value when I am feeling low.
What’s your affirmation of the day?
14. Add a new stream of income.
Whether you are an entrepreneur or employed traditionally, adding an additional stream of income is not a bad thing to do.
Bringing more income in every month can help you pay off debt, save for goals faster, take more trips, upgrade your home – truly the possibilities are endless.
I have always tried to increase my income year over year. It’s challenging, yes, but it’s so worth it.
How can you earn an extra $1k per month?
15. Do whatever health thing you’ve been putting off.
Look, we all have these things. And it’s okay. I have needed a small surgery for many years and this year I’ve finally started taking steps towards getting it.
Health things can be hard and scary, but it doesn’t benefit us to continue to wait.
I have a friend who is finally getting off of hormonal birth control. She’s put if off because it’s such a transition, but it is time.
How can you take your health in your hands?
16. Don’t watch TV.
A year ago when I wrote my 2022 goals list, I put this on there.
And you know what? I still don’t really watch TV. In the past year I’ve watched maybe 2 or 3 shows. It’s not that I don’t want to watch TV or enjoy it, it’s just that when I sink hours per week into TV shows, I don’t have time for my other goals.
What would you do if you couldn’t watch TV?
17. Practice daily or weekly gratitude.
Practicing gratitude has such a positive impact on our mental wellbeing.
Focusing on the positives over the negatives, or at least making en effort to highlight the positives, can truly impact the whole way you look at your life.
I love that the Day Designer has a place for daily gratitude too on every page. It makes it easy to prioritize.
What are you grateful for today?
18. Take a mental health day every month.
Consider this part of your self-care. Taking a day off to do things you want to do (even if you can’t take a full day off and just a few hours, it’s worth it).
I started scheduling a service for myself every month – so far either a facial or a massage – and it’s been truly wonderful. If these are out of your budget for the time being, don’t be afraid to still take time off to rest.
How will you prioritize your mental health?
19. Upgrade something in your life.
I often tend to use something until it’s almost dead and gone.
Sometimes that serves me and other times by the time I upgrade something (like my bedding or cookware), I am left wondering why I didn’t do it sooner.
20. Prioritize your health.
We talked about being more active but what about your overall health and wellbeing?
How do you prioritize what you eat? How much time you spend outside? How you balance work and play? Do you check your blood pressure regularly?
As we get older, unfortunately this are all serious things we need to start thinking about.
How will your prioritize your health?
21. Enforce your boundaries more often.
Marina and I talk a lot about boundaries on the podcast so it’s a topic we’re quite familiar with.
Throughout our 20s, we’ve really started figuring out what our personal boundaries are. And that’s the first step – to define them!
After that, it takes a lot of practice to enforce them. Especially with people who push back.
But every time you enforce a boundary, you strengthen it. And then it will be easier and easier to say no to what (and who) doesn’t serve you, and yes to what and who does.
22. Call your friends and family.
If there’s anything the past few years have taught us, it’s that life is short. Shorter than we’d like, honestly.
The most important thing in life is the people you love and spending time with them.
Call your friends and family more often. Make plans. Hang out. Make memories.
Who can you call today?
23. Keep yourself accountable.
And the final thing on our list is to keep yourself accountable.
It’s hard to stay on track of your goals when the days and weeks go by so fast and blur together.
It’s especially why I recommend a planner like the Day Designer, that I’ve come to love so much over the past two years.
It gives you space to write down your top 3 priorities, covers important notes like what’s due, finances, don’t forget, and dinner. It breaks down the day hour by hour, has space for a to-do list, as well as a place for daily gratitude and affirmations. It’s all I need in a planner! Get your Day Designer here.
Is there any perfect set of goals to set for the year? No, there’s not. This list is made to inspire you to be the person you want to be and lead the life you want to live.
Let me know in the comments what goals you are setting or feel free to email me.