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Goals for the New Year – Have the Best Year of Your Life

Now is when people set New Year’s goals. Our goal at Candid Culture is to help you have a year filled with the people and things you enjoy most. Here are 12 of our best tips for creating the best year yet.

goals for the new year

Goals for the New Year #1: Do what feels good.

How many ‘friends’ do you have that after you spend time with them, you actually feel worse? How often do you eat food you know you’ll regret later? Or procrastinate on a project that leads to late nights and lots of stress? If you know something doesn’t make you feel good, stop doing it. If you know someone makes you feel worse, stop spending time with that person.

Goals for the New Year #2: Pick your battles.

There are a lot of things you could legitimately get upset about. Wait to get annoyed. Time brings clarity. Chances are that what’s upsetting today, won’t be nearly as frustrating tomorrow.

Goals for the New Year #3: Help someone else be successful.

Make time to be available for your friends, coworkers, and family, and help them get what they want. The world is better when we focus on someone other than ourselves.

Goals for the New Year #4: Ask for more. Do something that scares you.

It’s so easy to play it safe. But safe is not where the juice is. I’m not suggesting you invest your life savings in risky investments or quit your job before having another one. I am suggesting you try something you’re not sure you can do and say yes, when you’re filled with fear.

Goals for the New Year #5: Avoid drama. Reduce the gossip.

Drama is just a way to say that you need attention. And we all need attention. Just tell the people in your life you need a little love, don’t be shy about it.

Gossip is inherently negative. Avoid people who are always complaining. Spending time with them is exhausting.

Goals for the New Year #6: Wear clothes that make you feel fantastic.

We always feel better when we look good. Take the time to look good. And then periodically lie around your house in clothing that should never see the light of day. And order a pizza, or two.

Goals for the New Year #7: Sleep more. Take time off.

Everything is bigger and feels worse when we’re tired. We get more done, are more patient, and feel better about everything when we’ve had enough sleep.

This ‘thing’ in our country that it looks bad to take time off and someone can’t possibly take all of their vacation time is, forgive me for being so direct, the most stupid thing I have ever heard. People aren’t judging you for taking a vacation. And if they are, then the company shouldn’t have given you the time off in the first place. Get a passport and use it!

Goals for the New Year #8: Do one thing at a time.

Multitasking is bunk. It doesn’t exist, unless you’re driving and talking on the phone, or washing dishes and talking on the phone. Working on a project, while intermittently checking and responding to emails is why you can’t take a vacation.

Goals for the New Year #9: Ask people’s expectations. Don’t assume.

Other people don’t necessarily need, want, or expect what you do. If you’re killing yourself to do something in the way you think someone else wants, perhaps ask what the other person is expecting, and give yourself a break.

Goals for the New Year #10: Ask for feedback. Wait 24-hours before responding.

Be courageous. Ask for feedback (when you’re in a good mood and have had a full night’s sleep), and wait to respond. We’ll say crazy stuff, that we’ll surely regret later, when we’re upset.

Goals for the New Year #11: Give people the benefit of the doubt.

It’s so easy to judge, make assumptions, and jump to conclusions. It’s so much harder and more time consuming to suspend doubt, inquire, and decide later. Many careers and relationships have been damaged by assuming first and asking later, if at all.

Goals for the New Year #12: Know that you’re a rock star. Don’t let anyone tell you differently.

If you don’t think you’re great – at something –none of the nice things anyone else tells you will matter. Fill your own bucket.

Add a comment to the blog about which of the 12 practices you aim to do regularly, and we’ll enter your company into a drawing for a $1000 off your next training with us, because what makes me feel good, is working with you.

Happy New Year! Wishing you a year like no other.


Shari Harley is the founder and President of Candid Culture, a Denver-based training firm that is bringing candor back to the workplace, making it easier to give feedback at work. Shari is the author of the business communication book How to Say Anything to Anyone: A Guide to Building Business Relationships that Really Work. She is a keynote speaker at conferences and does training throughout the U.S. Learn more about Shari Harley and Candid Culture’s training programs at

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11 Responses to “Goals for the New Year – Have the Best Year of Your Life”

  1. Excellent post. Planned on reaching most of the suggestions for year 2015.

  2. Chris says:

    Give people the benefit of the doubt. It is so easy in HR, to leap to conclusions about some people. Their name crosses your desk time and time again and always in a negative context. The problem this creates is that you don’t take time to investigate thoroughly when you should. This year I plan to stop a minute when that name come up yet again, look beyond the moment to see what is really going on. Most likely it will turn out to be more of the same, but maybe, just maybe it won’t and I will have prevented a real problem.

  3. I will try to practice doing #8: Doing one thing at a time. Focusing on one thing at a time will help me get things done faster and better.

  4. Scott Correa says:

    Great suggestions Shari! I am going to try to do #9 more. I often find myself trying to meet the perceived expectations of others without first asking them what their expectations are.

  5. Nicole Dean says:

    This is fantastic!

    I plan to ask for peoples expectations. I think that I often assume what is expected and by doing so may be leading myself down a path of uncertainty and causing more work for myself in the long run.

  6. Gabrielle Spalding says:

    In 2014 I did number four (Do something that scares you), but I called it ‘try new things’ – I started the year with orange nailpolish and had so much fun doing things I wouldn’t ordinarily try. This year, I think I’ll aim to make someone else successful – but I’ll continue trying new things, because it is so much fun to live a bigger life.

  7. Lisa Zarda says:

    Love this post and will share in our e-newsletter to members! I really hope to accomplish all of these (and I’m thinking of trying to focus on one per month in 2015) but I really hope to help someone else be successful and also do something that scares me. Thank you for this great post to kick off the new year.

  8. Marissa says:

    I aim to practice focusing on one thing at a time and spend more time with my email closed, so I am not distracted by new messages.

  9. Angela says:

    I have already shared this with my co-workers and staff and have printed this list out and hung it on my wall next to my desk to remind myself daily to work on all 12 of these Goals throughout 2015 (especially #2, #7 and #8).

  10. Peg says:

    Thanks, another great article! Several years ago I challenged myself to do at least two new things every year–a little like #4… Parasailing in Mexico (don’t especially like heights), holding a tarantula (like spiders less than heights!)…a strenuous hike from my bucket list…Each activity has brought a new perspective and a greater understanding of what holds me back.

  11. Mary says:

    #3 Help someone else be successful. The consideration and success of those around me would make a fantastic year.

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