Every year we get the chance to achieve something new; 2023 is no different. Make this new year better than last year by setting goals to achieve in 2023! Finding the right goal can be challenging, but don’t let it stop you from progressing! Choose to set a goal from this list of 50 goals for 2023.
How to Choose a Goal For Personal Growth
You’ve already got a lot going on in your life; we all have. So you need to pick goals for 2023 that will push you forward but not overwhelm you. So, rather than going through the various projects, accomplishments, hobbies, and adventures you’d like to have checked off by the end of the year, let’s start with your life.
Everyone has 7 to 15 areas of their life that we all share, and some are individual to you. Choosing one of 15 areas is much simpler than choosing from everything you’ve got going on in life. So make a quick list of your life’s areas of focus.
- This Blog
- Martial Arts
Although it may change from time to time, that’s a list of my areas of focus right now. After looking through the list, it’s easy to think of a goal I’d like to work toward for any of my areas of focus.
Don’t worry if you need help thinking of one! I have a whole list below of goal ideas!
Goal Setting – How to Set the Best Goals
I’m sure you’ve heard SMART goals
- Specific – state exactly what you want to achieve
- Measurable – Can you objectively measure your progress or completion of the goal?
- Achievable – Is this goal reasonable for someone with your skillset to complete, given the timeframe?
- Relevant – Do you have a good reason for wanting to meet this goal?
- Time Sensitive – Give yourself a deadline
Let’s look at two goal ideas
- I want to get good at piano
- I want to achieve grade 9 piano before I graduate high school
You can see why the second is a much better goal to set; it’s a smart goal. However, remember that you may need to turn the goal ideas below into smart goals before pursuing them. And not all goals need to be smart. There are many different types of goals.
Types of Goals
There are many types of goals you could set in 2023, long-term goals, short-term goals, one-off goals, and everyday goals
- Long term goals
- Pay off my mortgage in ten years
- Short term goals
- Lose 10lbs in two months
- Quantitative Goals
- Save $1000 by Christmas
- Qualitative Goals
- Have a happy Christmas
- Performance Based Goals
- Life a 315lb bench press
- Outcome-based Goals
- Be accepted into Harvard
- Process Based Goals
- Study for two hours every evening
Being healthy means a longer life, more time with your loved ones, and more energy to finish even more goals! Being healthy doesn’t have to mean endless miles on the treadmill or eating nothing but carrots! Set yourself up with a HIIT workout, or try the ketogenic diet.
1. Lose Weight
Losing weight is one of the most common goals people have. But unfortunately, people struggle with losing weight or fat (which is what they mean) because they don’t change their habits. They want to have their cake and eat it too, literally. There are a million different diets and ways to lose weight, and they all involve one thing – reducing your calories.
Find a way to eat fewer calories forever, and you will lose weight and stay thin.
2. Cut out Sugar
If you’ve eaten the way most of us have, you are undoubtedly addicted to sugar and possibly don’t even know it. Unfortunately, quitting sugar is a process of detoxing your body, and most people will experience withdrawal symptoms. There are real benefits to cutting out sugar, though.
- Decreased risk of diabetes
- Weight loss
- Reduce inflammation
- More stable energy (less low blood sugar-induced crashes)
3. 1 Year of Keto
In 2018 I decided to try keto for 30 days; I liked it so much that I stayed on the ketogenic diet for almost two years! I was in India when I finally ate my first carbs; it was naan bread, and although I enjoyed it, I returned to keto as soon as I got back home. I lost so much body fat on keto, felt great with more energy, and had much more focus at work. It’s a great health goal to try out.
4. Drink More Water Everday
It’s hard to over-emphasize the importance of staying hydrated, but few heed the advice even though everyone knows it. So why not buck the trend and become part of the hydrated minority?
5. Cook 300 Meals
Imagine the type of person you would be if, by the end of the year, you had cooked 300 meals. Healthier, for sure, but also a much better cook. Cooking at home rather than eating out every day also has another great benefit, it’s cheaper! The average meal cooked at home only costs $4, times that by 300, and see how much you could save!
6. Grow What You Eat
I recently saw a challenge on YouTube of a couple who only ate what they grew for a whole year! That’s pretty extreme and unachievable for most of us, but it is inspiring. So while you may not be able to live off the land entirely, why not decide to grow some veggies or fruits this year?
7. Wake Up Early
Waking up early is one of the best habits you can have, according to many self-help and productivity gurus, not to mention millionaires and successful people from all spheres. So there must be something to it, right? So why not find out for yourself? All you need is to know how to wake up earlier.
Are you one of those who make a fitness goal every year in the new year? Make this the year that you stick at it! Rather than creating an outcome-based goal like losing 20 lbs this year, why not make a process-based goal like going to the gym 100 times in the next year? Focus on going to the gym rather than losing weight, and it will melt off you without you even thinking about it. Here are five fitness example goals for 2023.
8. Learn to Swim
Learning to swim is a great new way to get exercise, but it’s also a fundamental skill that may save your life one day (or you might be able to save someone else), so it’s well worth learning to swim. Though most people learn to swim as children, there’s no shame if you never learned and want to take lessons as an adult. My wife learned to swim for the first time in her 30s. Go to your local pool and ask!
9. Run a Marathon
Running a marathon is a bucket list staple. Everyone has thought about but few ever actually do it. Setting a goal to run a marathon is not really about running a marathon. It’s a goal to run miles weekly; you must follow a marathon schedule to build up your endurance.
10. New 1RM
Lifting more weight on your main lifts is a worthy goal for anyone that goes to the gym. Usually, this means more weight on the bar for the big four:
- Bench Press
- Barbell Press
How much can you lift now? What’s your goal for the end of the year?
11. 100 Workouts
I wrote this as a goal many years ago and have surpassed it for ten years in a row now. One hundred workouts in a year are just two a week. A workout log will keep you consistent and give you something to reflect on and see all your hard work.
12. Gain 10 lbs of Muscle
To gain muscle, you need to work out hard and eat big! Ten pounds is a lot of muscle to pack in one year, but it is achievable, especially if you haven’t been living long. Then again, gaining 5 lbs of muscle is still a great goal!
You can never know which goals will significantly impact your life; some may improve your bank balance, while others improve your subjective well-being. It’s clear, however, that spending time with your friends and socializing has a positive effect. So it’s worth being one of your goals for the year, especially after the two years we’ve had!
13. Make Some New Friends
Making new friends as an adult can be tricky, especially if you’re an introverted type of person, but making new friends can be a way to improve your life experience. Friends make us happy, and a new friend is a new way to be satisfied. Finding friends doesn’t have to be awkward either, don’t force it; let it happen naturally.
- Go to the same place frequently, the same bar or same cafe, and you will quickly recognize some regulars.
- Join a club; see below for some examples
- Ask someone at work to grab an after-work drink
- Find a community online – it could be a video game community or something you collect.
14. Spend More Time with Your Best Friend
For the past 15 years, my best friend has lived on a different continent. So we would need to take flights to meet up with each other. There’s something about spending time with your best friend that you don’t get from doing anything else. But you need to take the time to make it happen.
15. Reconnect With an Old Friend
Nothing beats the memories of childhood years spent with friends. Of course, as you get older, it’s easy to grow apart as other priorities come into focus. But there’s still significant meaning to be found in reconnecting, reminiscing over old times, and making new memories for later life.
16. Join a Club or Society
The easiest way to meet people is to join a club or society. You always have something to talk about, and the interactions are natural to whatever the activity is. Examples of clubs you can find anywhere include:
- Book club
- Sports clubs
- Martial arts
- Games (Chess, Go, DnD, etc.)
17. Become a Mentor
Becoming a mentor is a great way to connect with someone and pass along the skills and experience you’ve gathered over the years. If you’ve had mentors, you will know how much impact they can make in someone’s life. While there are organizations that can help you become a mentor, why not see if there is anyone already in your life you could mentor?
Financial goals are often the starting point for accomplishments later on in life. The side gig you start this year may be your life’s work or the key to your retirement. The index funds you begin investing in in 2023 might be why you can retire early. So make finance one of your goals for 2023.
18. Save $1000
A great way to end the year is by looking at your savings account and comparing it with how much you had at the start of the year. Whether saving up for a new house or car or just a rainy day, you can’t beat having money in the bank or $1,000 for an emergency fund.
19. Pay off your Mortgage
There are few feelings in life more satisfying than paying off your mortgage. Imagine the feeling that you own your house and never need to make payments on it again. Imagine what you would do with all that extra money each month! Paying off a mortgage is no small feat, and depending on how much you have to pay, it can be tough to do it in one year, but if you wanted to, you could pay off a considerable chunk. Could you reduce your spending by half? Could you get a side hustle to help pay for it?
20. Start a Side Hustle
There are ways to make extra money everywhere now online. Apps like Fiverr and Upwork make it super easy to sell your services, but there are so many more options:
- Lift Sharing
- Food Delivery
- Affiliate Marketing
21. Create a Passive Income Stream
Passive income is the holy grail of the 2020s. Of course, everyone wants to make money while they sleep so they can live the life they want without work getting in the way. However, if you’re willing to put in the time upfront, it is possible to build a passive income stream to support you.
22. Get Rid of Your Debt
Reducing your debt is the first advice financial advisors give their clients, especially regarding high-interest debt.
- Credit cards
- Short term loans
Tackling these types of debt is the first step to becoming financially stable. In addition, mortgages and student loan debt usually have much lower interest rates, so they are less of a problem.
Personal goals are goals that positively affect your life. They are essential to achieve for you and the people around you, but others might not get them. So don’t worry about what others want to achieve; these life goals are for you.
23. Start a Weekly Date Night
It’s a little corny, but spending time each week with your partner is an investment in keeping the relationship healthy and fun. So arrange something you like to do – bowling or watching a UFC fight; it doesn’t have to be dinner and drinks every time!
Traveling the world is on everyone’s bucket list, but how many people do it? So don’t wait till you’re too old to enjoy it; make 2023 the year you finally go on that lifetime trip.
25. Spend More Time Doing Things That Make You Happy
None of us get enough time to do those things we love; there are work, family commitments, and other responsibilities, but you can hold the world back every so often to do something for yourself.
26. Get Therapy
Have you been thinking about getting therapy for a while? Working through those issues and becoming a better person are worthwhile goals and will pay off for the rest of your life. However, you may be worried about the cost or if it will even do anything for you. Why not commit to trying one session, then decide whether it’s for you?
27. Spend More Time With Your Kids
Every year they get a little older and closer to the day they fly the nest. So when you’ve got that project to finish or that important appointment, it can seem like there’s always later, but the truth is, there isn’t.
28. Spend More Time With Your Parents
My parents always seem the same age in my mind, but they’re the age I think of my grandparents now. If we don’t make an effort to spend more time with them, we wake up one day and realize it’s too late.
Intellectual & Academic Goals
Most people think that education ends when you graduate and get a job, but the truth is that if you want to, you can get smarter every day for the rest of your life. Why would you want to? Informed people make better decisions, and since everything you have in life is due to a decision you made, you’d have a better life if you had made better decisions. It’s true for the past, but it’s true for the future too.
29. Learn a New Language
I love language learning; although I was hopeless as a child, as an adult, I’ve become fluent in Chinese and Tibetan, I also learned to read Latin, and I’m working on French next. Although it seems like a mountainous task, learning a language is not hard, it just takes time. If you start this year, you could be a fluent speaker by 2025.
30. Read the Classics
There are lots of opinions on what constitutes the ‘classics,’ but most agree that they include:
- The Bible
Reading the classics is more than simply reading a story; it’s also taking part in a great line of intellectual thinking that started long ago. A reading habit can be a way to engage with our ancestors.
31. See a Shakespeare Play
If you read Shakespeare at school, you might not know that watching it on stage is actually enjoyable. It’s a play, after all. The pageantry, costumes, and atmosphere make watching Shakespeare a memorable and sophisticated night out.
32. Become a Self-Help Guru (read 50 self-help books)
I’ve loved the self-help genre since I bought Mega Memory as a child in the 90’s. Since then, some of the most life-changing books I’ve read have been packed with self-improvement tips. So reading self-help, especially in the subgenres you feel you need most, is a worthy goal for 2023. By next year you could be a different person if you put them to use.
33. Write a Book
Someone said that everyone has a book in them. I don’t know if that’s true, but I do know that if I can write a book, you can! A year is an excellent timeframe to write a book. After that, you can publish it and sell copies by 2024!
Some people say that there are the physical, the mental, and the spiritual. I don’t know if that’s true, but if it is, we should spend a little time on the spiritual side of our lives. If you feel that setting a big goal would improve your life, then look at these spiritual goals you can attain.
34. Go to Church Every Week
Some people find this harder than others; they work hard during the week and want that Sunday all to themselves; I don’t blame them; the Lord made Sundays for resting. But if it’s something that you want to do, make this the year that you go to Church on Sundays.
35. Start Meditating
The benefits of meditating are well established, and taking time off to relax can only help you if you have a hectic life. However, you can download an app like Headspace and follow along if you’re unsure how to get started, or you can sit down and focus on your breathing; that’s all it takes.
36. Charity Work
There are opportunities to do charity work all around you. But first, you need to look for them; a quick Google search is all it takes.
37. Practice Gratitude
We live in an amazing world, and if you’re reading this article, you certainly have much to be grateful for. Practicing gratitude is a daily focus on the positive things in your life and feeling thankful for them. It makes you appreciate what you have instead of focusing on what you don’t and may make you a happier, more fulfilled person.
38. Read the Bible
The Bible is the foundation of western civilization and the Judeo-Christian worldview. Its influence affects how people think in ways we’ll never fully understand. But few of us have read the entire Bible. It’s a big book. It’s a collection of books, so although reading the Bible may seem like an enormous undertaking, reading one book of the Bible doesn’t.
We spend so much of our lives working that a more fulfilling career means a better life. Likewise, professional development makes your life more meaningful.
If you’re in a job you hate, your career goal may be to find a new job, but if you’re not, you could use your job for some personal development. Are there skills you could learn at work that would help the other areas of your life? Project management, rapport building, negotiating, and time management.
These could start as career goals, and your boss may even offer to pay for the training or time, but they could help every aspect of your life.
39. Start a New Business
Most people wait far too long between thinking about starting a business and doing it. Don’t make that mistake. This year can be the year you finally turn that idea into a reality.
40. Get a Promotion
The key to getting a promotion is to make it ridiculous for your boss to refuse. So how do you do this? Work harder? Network more? Stay late after work? No.
You need to become overqualified for the job above yours. Start by asking yourself what new skills, qualifications, or ways to make the company more profitable you have learned since you got the job you’re in.
Suppose you’re in a tech support role and want a promotion to the database team. Don’t think you’ll learn SQL and database management when you get the job. Instead, learn SQL first (which you need for the job), not just SQL; learn server admin, your company’s ERP system backend, and the company’s business intelligence analytics software (which you’d need if you were a team leader or manager.)
Then when you ask for a promotion to the database team, it would be insane for them not to give it to you.
41. Find a Job You Love
Doing a job you don’t like is a valuable experience, but doing it too long and it’s a tragedy. But there’s always a way to turn your life around. Although it may seem impossible from where you are, you can change careers and find a job you love. Of course, you have to be smart about it, and you may need to be patient while you build the funds and skills required, but you can do it!
42. Learn to Use GTD
GTD is, without a doubt, the most highly sophisticated time management tool ever created. I don’t think anyone who has tried using it can deny that, but it’s a steep learning curve. Even after understanding and implementing the system, building the habits to stay consistently engaged with your system takes time and effort. However, this goal, if you achieve it, will make all your other goals easier.
43. Get Qualified
What qualification or certificate could you get to help you achieve your goals or prove your skills? You may work as a freelance web designer and feel that you don’t need a qualification “I’m doing fine without it.” But a qualification or certificate may open up new revenue streams or promotions for you. For example, a Tech blog may quote or feature your site because they want an expert opinion. Clients may be more inclined to spend more when they trust your expertise.
44. Create a Dream CV
This is a great exercise that will keep you motivated toward several goals. First, write the CV you wished you had or the CV you think you’ll have in 10 years if you were highly successful.
Write the skills you’d have, the experience you’d have, and the things you’d have achieved by then. Then, look over this CV or resume from time to time and use it as motivation to make it come true.
45. Create a Blog
Even if you have no dreams of quitting your job to become a full-time blogger, building a blog can add credibility and significantly impact your career. Whatever it is you do for work, a related blog where you post about ideas unique to your business helps you build a name for yourself as an expert in the industry. In addition, a website will help when clients google you or when you change jobs or want a promotion.
46. Learn to Play Go
Go is an ancient game that predates chess and is so complex that it wasn’t until 2015 that Google’s supercomputer finally beat a professional human player. Compare this with chess’ Kasparov getting beaten in 1997 by IBM’s Deepblue, and you can see that it took another 18 years for computing to get sophisticated enough to win the game of go.
Go is a strategy game of placing stones on a board; the rules are straightforward, and anyone can learn them in minutes, but the game is deep enough to keep you learning and enjoying it for a lifetime.
47. Learn to Juggle
Everyone has picked up three balls, three balled-up socks, or three pieces of fruit and tried to juggle them at some time. So inevitably, you found out it wasn’t as easy as it looked (and bruised the fruit.) But you can learn to juggle! And it probably will take you less time than you might think. Most people can learn the basics of juggling in about 40 minutes. So you could learn to juggle four or maybe even five in a year!
48. Learn to Do a Backflip
Don’t blame me if you break your neck trying this one! Seriously though, find a gymnastics coach with all the safety equipment you need before trying this. Most people are physically able to do a backflip, but are you mentally capable of conquering your fear?
49. Learn to Code
Ever since learning BASIC at school, I’ve loved coding. Building something entirely from scratch, whether a program, app or website, is still as satisfying as writing those go-to statements years ago.
50. Paint or Draw
So many people wish they could paint or draw but count themselves out simply because they don’t have any natural talent. Most of us aren’t naturally talented chefs or cleaners, yet we cook and clean every day, and over the years, we’ve even gotten good at them. Artistic skills are the same, sure, it would be nice to be naturally talented, but if you work at it, you can be an artist yet.
Tips for setting goals
Don’t Set Too Many Goals
I get over-ambitious and set too many goals. For example, when I started this website, I created three sites simultaneously, thinking I could grow them all at once, but I couldn’t. Working on too many goals at once will mean less time and energy for each purpose and may mean a lot of added stress.
Action is the Engine to Achieving Goals
Don’t think that goal setting is all-important; it isn’t. Action is all-important in anything you want to do. Goal setting isn’t enough if you don’t do anything.
That’s why we face the dragon of inaction, not the dragon of goal-setting! Set your goals, but the goal-setting process doesn’t need to be long; while you’re still motivated by it, move quickly into action!
Review Your Goals Regularly
Spend time every day or whenever you can to look over your goals. It reminds you of what’s essential and motivates you to act. I keep my short-term goals on the first page of my planner, so I see them every time I pick them up.
Work Towards Your Goals with Others
Find other people working on similar goals, they will help you stay motivated, and you can do the same for them. Check social media groups to find people working on the same goals or set goals with them. Competition can be a great motivator!
Break the Goal Down into Actionable Steps
Remember, you can’t actually do your goals, only the actionable steps that take you toward them. You can’t learn to juggle; you can only practice your throws and try a five-ball flash. Break your goal down into the actions you need to take; you can do those.
Write Down Your Goals
Writing your goals down is essential to your success. If you’re not writing down your goals, you’ll forget them or disregard them. Writing them down is like making a contract, or a promise, saying, “These are the goals I will work towards.” There’s no going back. Use Obsidian to organize your goals, keep track of them and check them off.