7 Small Goals To Set For Yourself In 2019, Depending On What You Want To Accomplish

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In case you forgot, the new year is less than a week away, meaning it’s time to reflect on 2018 and bid the past 12 months adieu (much to the relief of many). With 2019 comes the promise of a fresh start, and whether you’ve set your sights on lofty career ambitions or just minute changes in your daily habits, setting goals for the new year is a tradition that helps many people clarify all the ways they’d like to embrace life differently once the clock strikes midnight on 2018.

While the prospect of mulling over and writing down major goals for yourself can seem intimidating, and sometimes like an exercise in futility (understandably, sticking to these resolutions can be hard), it doesn’t have to be this way. Instead of the usual grand list of resolutions filled with sweeping proclamations of how you’re going to Maximize Your Life in 2019, why not consider the alternative: Make a shorter list of small, achievable goals and intentions.

It’s not a groundbreaking proposal, but it’s a smart one. From Harvard Business Review to Psychology Today to Forbes, experts across outlets agree that creating small goals breaks down aspirations that may otherwise seem too overwhelming, and helps gradually work towards a larger change in a more manageable way. Ahead, you’ll find seven suggestions of small goals to set for yourself for 2019 to help kickstart and inspire your own list.

1If You Want To Save More Money...

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CNBC reported earlier this year that almost 40 percent of millennials have "spent money they didn’t have and gone into debt to keep up with their peers," including overspending on experiences and evenings out.

How you set a specific goal about saving money depends on your own spending habits — does a lot of your money go into impulse online buys, or do you find yourself splurging most of your income into dining out and ordering food in several times a week? The corresponding goal could be to let non-essentials things in your online shopping cart sit for a week before you click buy to help curb your spending, or to treat yourself to only one ordered-in meal a week.

2If You Want To Be More Present...

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If you want to be more present in your daily life, but the thought of nixing social media altogether doesn't seem realistic, here's a very easy solution: Delete your most distracting apps off your phone. You can still access the accounts on other devices (or in your phone's web browser), but you'll have to put more thought into logging in each time you feel the urge to check your socials. This can help you feel a bit more in control with how often you use them (versus mindlessly opening the apps whenever you're bored).

3If You Want To Improve Your Performance At Work...

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There's no denying that your quality of sleep and your productivity at work are interconnected. A 2017 literature review of sleep and wellness at work wrote, "In the complex relationship between wellbeing, health and productivity ... sleep disturbances may be both the cause and the consequence of reduced wellbeing and may therefore set up a vicious circle with relevant consequences for productivity and, in the longer term, the safety and health of workers."

If you're a troubled sleeper, committing to small changes like improving your sleep hygiene or trying out something new like listening to a sleep podcast can help you with a goal for more productivity in your work life.

4If You Want To Learn To Manage Stress...

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Mediation, meditation, meditation! Setting a manageable goal like committing to five minutes of mediation a day, via an app or video, can help you cope with anxiety and stress, as well as help you sleep better, among myriad other benefits.

5If You Want To Focus On Self-Care...

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Wellness definitely felt like the buzzword of 2018, but it's also an incredible broad concept — what exactly is wellness, and what does achieving it look like? After you consider what benefits or changes you'd like to see in yourself, you can establish small goals that clearly define what wellness and self-care are for you. For some, that might be going for a run two times a week to achieve a personal fitness goal, while for others, that may mean finding a new skin care routine that makes you feel good.

6If You Want To Connect With People IRL...

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Anyone who's been on the dating app grind will likely tell you that dating app fatigue is very real. If you're seeking to nurture new relationships in 2019 outside the apps, one suggestion would be to set specific goals like participating in more group activities that you enjoy, like painting or exercise classes. It's a win-win situation; even if you don't end up finding ~the one~, you still got to do something you actually like and meet new people.

7If You Want To Sharpen Your Mind...

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There are tons of ways to challenge your brain if you feel like you haven't been doing that enough lately. Setting a goal to read a certain number of new books that's realistic for your schedule and reading habits is just one method. If books aren't your thing, you can subscribe to a new podcast focused on an area you'd like to learn more about, whether that's a history podcast or one about emotional intelligence.

Ultimately, when broken down into bite-sized and manageable actions, setting goals and intentions for the new year that you can actually stick to becomes a much easier process. Happy list-making!