User Icon

How to Set and C.R.U.S.H. Your New Year Goals

CRUSH Your New Year Goals


The New Year is coming up fast, and if you’re anything like me, you’re getting bombarded with the question, “what New year’s Resolutions are you setting?” and “Didn’t you fail at that last year?” This article is all about five quick tips to help you never have to dodge that question again.

It's that time of year again. When everyone's asking you what goals you're setting for the New Year. It's usually around now when you may be thinking, “Goals? What's the point of setting New Year's Resolutions again when I've never actually stuck to any of them last year? Or the year before … Or the year before that.” That's a reasonable question. And I hope if you're asking that, you're asking it sincerely - actually wanting an answer to, “What's the point?”. If that's you, read on.

New Framework for Setting New Year's Goals

Most of us have no problem setting goals. Do any of these sound familiar?

  • I want to lose weight next year.
  • I want to earn more money next year.
  • I want to find that special someone next year.
  • I want to start my own business next year.
  • I want to improve my mental health in the New Year.

Honestly, who hasn't set goals like these over the years? But have you ever actually accomplished them? If you have, congratulations! That puts you in the rare few. And while this article is speaking mainly to those who set New Year's Resolutions and find themselves achieving none of them (which is nearly everyone), there's value to be found in the goal-setting framework below even for you super-achievers out there!

C for Clear-Cut

You may have noticed something in the way the goals I gave as examples up above were written. They were incredibly vague. “I want to lose weight next year” for example. Well, how much? By when? Do you want to simply lose weight or lose body fat? Is your health resolution really all about the number on the scale, or maybe you want to improve your overall physical health, BMI, blood sugar, or something else?

How about “I want to earn more money next year.” How much more? By when? A certain % more, or a flat $ amount? And more than who? You from last year? Or the person sitting next to you at the office? Or the Joneses, maybe?

Ok, ok, you get it, right? For a goal to be worth setting at all it needs to be something dialed in. More plainly, it has to be obvious that you've achieved it when you've achieved it. If I say I want to make more money next year, and my boss randomly gives the whole company a 1% increase, have I achieved my goal?

Yes. Wait. No. Well, it's hard to say, isn't it?

In order to be CLEAR-CUT about a goal, there's one more vital piece of information. You MUST know, not only where specifically you want to go, but also where you're starting from. So with all of that in mind, those two goals could be better set like this:

  • I currently weigh 200lbs. I want to weigh 150 lbs by April 1st.
  • I currently earn a set salary of $5000 per month. I want to increase my income to $7500 per month by June.

Those are a bit better, sure. But we're not done there by any means.

R for Reasonable

Take another look at those two goals above. Maybe now it's a bit more plain that they may not seem like very “reasonable” goals. Losing 40 lbs in three months probably isn't very healthy. It's likely very difficult to achieve, too. So is it reasonable? Probably not.

What about earning $7,500 per month by June? Probably a bit more reasonable, but in general people aren't typically adding 50% to their salary in 6 months. Can it be done? Sure. Is it reasonable? Probably not.

Here's the point: If you set a goal that seems to you to be unattainable, then the odds of you taking even the first step toward achieving it are very unlikely. Here's something important to remember:

Our minds are constantly looking for ways to prove ourselves right!

What does that mean, exactly? Well, it means that your ego will actually get a bit of a boost by you NOT accomplishing a goal that you subconsciously set as unattainable. “See, I knew setting a New Year's Resolution was a ridiculous idea. I was right.” That kind of thing.

So let's be REASONABLE in the New Year's Goals or New Year's resolutions for better health, finances, mental health, etc… that we're setting. Let's adjust those two from up above:

  • I currently weigh 200lbs. I want to weigh 185 lbs by April 1st.
  • I currently earn a set salary of $5000 per month. I want to increase my income to $6000 per month by June.

Better? Maybe not from the perspective of all you had wanted to accomplish at first thought. But those two goals, at very least, kick the whole “There's no way I'll ever hit that goal!” excuse to the curb.

But hold on a minute - don't you actually WANT to accomplish more than those piddly little “reasonable” goals? I bet you do! So read on!

Let's not just set goals and kind of achieve them. Let's set goals and CRUSH them!

C-R-U-S-H your goals. Let me explain a mindset toward goal setting that may take you off the beaten path a bit. We're not going to talk here about the basic “SMART” goals or whatever other overused acronym you've tried in past New year's times that led you to little results. We're going to explore a brand-new Goal-Setting model. Follow it well, and it will set you up, not only for a productive and fulfilling New Year ahead, but more likely for a productive and fulfilling life. So let's Dive into the acronym.


New Year Goals


  • C - Clear-Cut (double points for Scattergories!)
  • R - Reasonable
  • U - Unreasonable (Wait, what? But you just said “Reasonable” - Hang tight!)
  • S - Sequential
  • H - Hopeful

Let's tackle each one of these in depth and flow through an example or two together to see how following this CRUSH framework can apply to you and your unique (or not so unique) New Year's Goals.

U for Unreasonable

Sure, goals should be clear-cut and reasonable. But, personally, I think goals should be awe-inspiring and ridiculous too. So why not have both? In fact, I think having both is absolutely vital. Let me fill you in on a quick personal anecdote to illustrate just this.

I remember back in college I used to work out with a buddy of mine. We were both competitive, and so we had set certain weights that we were aiming to lift for a certain exercise. A few months into our second semester or so I hit my goal weight in that lift. It was a huge accomplishment for me! And guess what I did the very next day?


I stopped going to the gym … like, entirely.

What?! Why? Great question. I didn't see it at the time, but here's exactly why - I had accomplished what I had set out to accomplish. So my brain took over and convinced me that there was no need to keep working out. Obviously. To this day (quite a number of years later) I've actually still never done better than that goal. A bit sad, I know.

But that's why setting both reasonable AND UNREASONABLE goals is so crucial. If I had already set another goal that was a ways beyond my “reasonable” goal for that exercise, my mind would've latched right onto it. It would've said, “Hey! If I can hit this goal, I bet I can hit that next one too!”

And better yet, consider this:

When you hit your “reasonable” goal, your “unreasonable” goal won't seem so unreasonable anymore.

So let's tackle those goals again with those three factors, C-R-U:

  • I currently weigh 200lbs. I want to weigh 185 lbs by April 1st and 150 lbs by next New Year's Eve..
  • I currently earn a set salary of $5000 per month. I want to increase my income to $6000 per month by June and $7500 monthly by the next New Year..

And that brings us right into the S!

S for Sequential

Let me clarify what I just said a moment ago about your unreasonable goal likely seeming less unreasonable after you hit your reasonable goal. (Sorry for the tongue twister). This is true ONLY if you set sequential goals. And by sequential goals, I mean, mainly, that accomplishing your first goal should move you closer to your next goal.

Forgive me in advance for sounding a bit ridiculous here to make my point - It wouldn't be great goal-setting or New Year's Health Resolution setting to make your reasonable goal to lose 15lbs and your unreasonable goal to gain 30.

Ridiculous example, I know. But it drives home the point.

When you hit your “reasonable” goal, your “unreasonable” goal won't seem so unreasonable anymore.

After all, we're either moving forward or regressing - maintaining is a myth. For example, remember that exercise story I told you just a bit ago? When I hit my reasonable goal and consequently stopped going to the gym? Do you think I maintained the strength I had after I hit that goal? I wish.

Do yourself a favor and throw away the idea that you're done when you hit your goal.

It'll save you some heartache along the way. Instead, if you've set your goals correctly and SEQUENTIALLY, you'll be able to slide your “unreasonable” goal right into your newly vacated “reasonable” slot.

Just don't forget to set yourself a brand-new unreasonable goal to keep your newly built momentum rolling!

Another key facet of setting sequential goals is this: Can your goals be broken down into manageable, action-oriented steps? Meaning, to lose those 15 lbs by April 1st, can you set a sequence of smaller targets to hit along the way? You sure can. Just about 1lb per week would do it. And that all the sudden seems doable, doesn't it?

Now, since the two goals We're using as examples happen to already be written sequentially, we'll jump right into our last letter. Whew!

H for Hopeful

“Hopeful?” Don't turn off your brain yet! I know this one may not necessarily sound like it's all that important when setting goals, but I'm going to argue here that it's actually the MOST important part of the whole CRUSH framework! Why?

Exactly! - WHY!

Set your goals like a brick-layer, in a sequence that continually builds upon past accomplishments.

Let me clarify as I attempt to stretch your mind a bit.

If you've set a New Year's Money Resolution, Health Resolution, Mental Health Resolution, or whatever other kind of resolution in the past and have “failed” to achieve it, I'd argue you didn't have a strong enough reason (a “why”) tied to your goal in the first place. I'll even take it a step further and argue that you, in fact, had a stronger reason why NOT to achieve your goal than you had TO achieve it.

Yeah, this is where it gets deep, I know.

Let's say you wanted to make that extra $1000 per month, and you had set that goal last year and missed it. Well, why did you miss it?

“My boss didn't give me a raise.” Or, “COVID happened.” Or, “I had a year-long cramp in my left foot.”

Maybe those are all true and are all factors. But perhaps, just perhaps, making that extra $1000 per month would require ten extra hours of work per week. Or maybe it would require you to relocate to a bigger area with more opportunity? Or, you name it. And maybe your subconscious mind reasoned behind the scenes that doing either of those things wasn't worth the extra income.

And, guess what? Maybe either of those things really aren't worth it to you. That's ok!

And that's why the H stands for HOPEFUL. It's crucial that you really dig deep to find yourself a burning reason to achieve your goal, or more likely than not, you'll be searching around next New Year's Eve for blogs and articles on how to set New year's Resolutions in a better way. Again.

The best “why's” to attach to your goals, I've found, are the ones that paint a hopeful, bright future for yourself. (Although, sometimes it's helpful to find reasons that make it too painful NOT to achieve your goal as well.)

Let's draw out those examples a bit more:

  • I currently weigh 200lbs. I want to weigh 185 lbs by April 1st and 150 lbs by the end of the year so I can play with my two kids on the playground without having to ditch them because I'm winded.
  • I currently earn a set salary of $5000 per month. I want to increase my income to $6000 per month by June and $7500 monthly by December so I can pay off the credit card that has been a constant source of strife in my marriage and actually enjoy a night out without thinking our time together is doing nothing but adding to our debt.

Let's pull it all together.

Ask yourself these questions this year when setting your New year's Resolutions or working towards crushing your goals:


Do I know where I am starting from and where I specifically want to go?


Starting from where I am now, Do I believe I am capable of achieving my goal?


What would I love to accomplish, but is clearly beyond my reach right now?


Are my reasonable and unreasonable goals heading in the same direction? Can I break my goals down into manageable, action-oriented steps?


Do I honestly have a stronger reason TO hit this goal than a reason NOT to hit this goal. If not, can I think of a specific, emotion-tugging way that hitting this goal would improve my life?

I know, for me, I've been able to use this system to great effect (that weightlifting story excluded), and I hope that thinking about and framing your goals in this way is helpful to you as well!

You may have noticed that not once in this article did I mention a technique or way or a specific “how-to” when it comes to actually accomplishing your goals. So here's the biggest tip I can give, and my favorite-ever quote to top it all off.

The tip first - Take action. Do something! What action, exactly? What something? Well, that's where the quote comes in.

If reasons NOT to do something are actually stronger than your reasons TO do something, then it simply makes sense that you wouldn't do that something.

And I'll leave you with one last, but super-important, thing!

For many of us, simply setting and chasing after goals all on our own simply isn't going to work as well as it could with professional help. So let's be mindful that for many circumstances, partnering with a Professional Counselor or Therapist can make all the difference in setting and achieving the right goals for us. If you're interested in working with a professional therapist to help you finally stick to your New Year's Resolutions, we at Lifebulb can help! Call us today or visit us online to book a mental health therapy session. We're looking forward to working with you!

Frequently Asked Questions

Life coaches and mental health therapists can be found in a variety of places, such as online directories that list therapists by zip code, state, specialty, virtual therapy, and so on. Or websites like our own at Lifebulb often have filters that can help you find the right therapists or life coach for you based on your unique treatment goals, whether they be related to anxiety, depression, life transitions, grief, anger management, or something else.

More often than not working with a mental healthcare professional can be covered by insurance. This is because your licensed therapist can often help you identify underlying issues that may be contributing toward you wanting to set your specific goals. New year’s goals don’t need to be restricted to seemingly surface-level issues, but can go deeper to help you uncover and work on a variety of mental health issues or life coaching goals. Our therapists can help you with anxiety, depression, relationship counseling, marriage counseling, grief therapy, CBT, DBT, mindfulness and much more.

Taking on life’s many challenges alone can be daunting, and seeking help from a licensed therapist or professional counselor near you shouldn’t be looked at as a last resort. It’s often easier to tackle problems early with professional help and tailored treatment plans. Waiting for your challenges, whether they be related to life transitions or adjustments in the New Year or not, to grow larger before seeking professional mental healthcare help oftentimes can make overcoming those mental health issues more difficult than if they were handled early. When in doubt, it’s best not to delay seeking professional help. Our licensed therapists and counselors can help you through many of life’s transitions, adjustments, and challenges.

Related Blogs