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7 Goals You’ll Want to Set For 2023

Buy a mansion, marry a gorgeous woman, and drive a Mercedes – these were the goals of my 20-year-old self. Thirteen years later, I’ve matured slightly (I won’t give myself too much credit here)… Instead of fast cars and mammoth status symbols, I’m setting up goals that won’t just give me temporary delight, but rather, long-term happiness. Want to know what goals you need to set for the new year? This is the place, and this is the time. Let’s do it!

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7 Goals You Need to Set For The New Year

Want to succeed in life? Then you’ve got to cover all your bases…ie. the most important categories of your life.

According to Zig Ziglar, these main categories are:

  • Spiritual
  • Physical
  • Social
  • Family
  • Intellectual
  • Career
  • Financial

He often refers to this group of categories as “The Wheel of Life” and diagrams them as a wheel with seven spokes. The overarching idea is to set appropriate goals to keep your life full, yet balanced…which is honestly wayyy easier said than done… You’ll see what I mean as you keep reading and start setting goals for yourself.

goals you need to set for the new year
Diagram courtesy of

When it comes to these categories and goal setting, there are really three types of people in this world:

  1. Those that make no goals and simply go wherever the wind blows them – These people typically succeed at nothing, blame everyone else for their problems, and inevitably go nowhere because their “wheel of life” is either flat or just non-existent.
  2. Those that set (and hit) a few big goals, but ignore the other important areas on the wheel – The classic example of this is someone that has aspired to become a CEO and become wealthy all his life. He may hit his goal, but in the end he’s divorced, his kids don’t even know him, and he’s completely unhealthy after decades of office work and little-to-no exercise. His wheel was severely lob-sided and ultimately led to an unfulfilled, lonely, and short life.
  3. The few that actually consider all areas of their life and intentionally improve each spoke of the wheel – These people are rare and I aspire to be one of them. They set goals for all the categories, review them, get better, and reset them year after year. Have you ever met an amazingly positive and successful individual? I guarantee that they know about this wheel, and have probably been working it for decades.

The Meaning of the Categories and Setting Your Own Goals

So we’ve established that the categories are important and that balance among them is a must, but what do they all really mean? And what should your goals be that help you improve within each category? Great questions!

Here’s how we’ll work it. I’ll explain each of the categories below and also provide my aspirations for the upcoming new year. Then you can set your own goals and we can both kick butt in the new year!

1) Spiritual

The first spoke of the wheel is spiritual. For the most part, we all believe in something that’s bigger than ourselves – a creator, a leader, a visionary – and if we want to truly be happy, we need to get more in touch with our spiritual journey.

For me, I’m a Christian. I believe that God created the earth and continues to watch over us and love us, regardless of our repeated terrible choices. The more I know about his plan for us, the more confidence and strength I’ll have in my own life and in my everyday choices.

My goals for next year: 

  • Read a devotional every morning to learn more about God, myself, and my beliefs

2) Physical

In today’s world, it’s harder than ever to say fit. More and more jobs are requiring us to sit in front of a computer screen, work longer hours (which means more sitting and probably more fast food to save us time when we finally do get home), and our true free time is typically stolen by one of the fasted growing drugs in America — social media…which again, leaves us sedentary.

Our bodies are built to move. We’re made to lift, run, sweat, and get our heart racing once in a while. It’s good for us!

In fact, according to Mayo Clinic, there are 7 reasons we should all exercise regularly:

  • Prevents weight gain because you’re burning calories
  • Combats disease and health conditions because your body produces more HDL (good cholesterol)  with exercise
  • Improves your mood – exercise stimulates brain chemicals that leave you feeling happier and more relaxed
  • Boosts your energy – exercising increases your stamina over time and prevents you from getting tired
  • Helps you sleep – and not only that, but sleep faster and deeper!
  • Improves your sex life – with better appearance and increased energy, your chances at getting back into the sack will improve
  • It can be fun and social – I can vouch for this. In the last week, I’ve been asked to join two separate teams – one for early swimming, and another for half-Iron Man training . Since I have two young kiddos and no time as it is….I graciously declined their invitations.

Alright, so now that you know it’s important to exercise for more than just those killer abs you’ve always wanted (and never really believed you could get), it’s time to set some goals for yourself to get active this next year!

My goals for next year: 

  • Continue exercising four times a week – either lifting, swimming, or running
  • Run in two 5k’s to push myself in the exercise regimens

3) Social

Even the least social among us need people once in a while. We need friendships at work, at church, or around one of our favorite hobbies. Then, not only can we talk to these people about things that interest us, but we inevitably end up creating a bond with someone that can celebrate with us in the good times and care for us in the bad. People need people. That’s all there is to it.

Still not buying it? According to Simplemost, there are actually six health benefits of being social – the top benefits being:

  • You’re less likely to catch a cold
  • You’ll stave off depression
  • You’ll be less lonely and therefore get better sleep
  • Be more productive
  • Your brain stays sharper
  • And you’ll live longer!

Heck yes!! It’s time to be more social!

My goals for next year: 

  • Host at least one couple a month at our new house. This place just screams, “Put people in me! Your life will be so much better for it!”
  • Go on more lunch breaks with co-workers instead of eating at my desk. These days, I probably catch lunch twice a month with co-workers…not very good.

4) Family

According to the American Community surveys (and thanks also to FlowingData that put this chart together), nearly 3/4 of women are married by age 35 (men are slightly behind this number, but not far off), and over 96% of us are married at least once in our lifetime.

goals you need to set for the new year

In other words, if you’re reading this blog, chances are that you either have a spouse, kids, or both! ie. you have a family that you should probably pay attention to.

So what does this really mean? How do you incorporate your family in a way that’s meaningful to them? Before you can answer this question, you first have to understand what’s important to them…which means learning about their personalities and their love languages.

To do this effectively, I would recommend two books:

First, you need to learn why your loved ones act the way they do.

  • Why do they constantly want to go out and be with people? Why can’t they just relax?, OR
  • Holy analysis – are they ever NOT counting how many rotations it takes me to scrub a dish by hand? Seriously… OR
  • She went out to buy a bar of soap, and she came back with a new car…and forgot the soap. Really?

Sometimes it’s tough to understand why people do what they do, but if you learn about their personalities and try to grab a minute understanding about what makes them tick, that could make all the difference.

Second, you’ve got to learn what makes them smile – ie. what their love language is.

  • You might come home with a gift for your spouse and he/she yells at you for spending money
  • The other week, you spent 3 hours cleaning up the garage. Your wife never noticed and you got angry for not getting the admiration you expected.
  • And, just last week your husband finally blew up at you because you never want to go fishing with him anymore!

Everyone ticks differently when it comes to love, and it takes time and hours of intentionality to even begin figuring them out! The Five Love Languages is key to give the proper style of love to your family members…and in turn, eventually receiving it as well.

Looking for goals to set for the new year? This category should definitely be on it. No excuses!

My goals for next year: 

  • Re-read these two books and think about the personalities and the love languages of my wife Liz, my daughter, and my young son.
  • Be more intentional about filling my wife’s love tank with quality time (her love language). I’ve got to keep those date nights going! Oh, and the two-week vacations help too.

5) Intellectual

The average millionaire reads two or more books a month. How many are you reading? Are you improving your intellect each year and becoming a better person because of it?

Most would answer no. But you know what? Most people are broke, stagnant, and have no hope of becoming more than they are today. I challenge you to swim upstream on this one. Stay curious, search for answers, and make the ‘you of tomorrow’ better than the ‘you of today’.

My goals for next year: 

  • Read at least one non-fiction book a month – just 8-10 pages a night will get me there!

goals you need to set for the new year6) Career

What do you aspire to do in your career? Do you have a plan for moving up in the company? If you don’t, then I can guarantee that you’ll never get that promotion you’re hoping for.


Because no one else will make a development plan for you. And, rarely will you get put into a position that you haven’t already trained for or been doing actively for months.

If you’re serious about moving up in the company and advancing your career, The Muse gives a fantastic list of 13 things you should do to get noticed.

Want a sneak peak of the list? Here are my favorites:

  • Make your boss’s job obsolete so he can focus on moving up in the company, thereby making room for you
  • Let your boss know you’re working toward a promotion – they’ll likely cheer you on and help you get there
  • Make money for your company. If you can prove that you’re earning the company way more than you’re getting paid, they’ll likely give you more authority (ie. a promotion) so you can earn them even more.

Looking for a list of goals you need to set for the new year? Career should be one of the items on your list, but just be sure it’s not the only item.

My goals for next year: 

  • Improve my visual communication skills. If I can effectively solve a complex problem and show a visual that explains the solution to leadership in under a minute, I’ll be going places in a hurry.
  • Find a couple weak areas in the company and prepare well-thought-out solutions to leadership.

7) Financial

If you have no financial goals, then chances are that you have no money. Either you don’t make much or you just spend everything you have (or both), but at the end of each year, you end up saving absolutely nothing and you’re left wondering where it all went…and then you do the exact some thing next year.

…and that’s the definition of insanity – doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.

If you want to improve your financial picture, here’s what you have to do:

  • Think about what you want to achieve financially over the next year, 5 years, 10 years, and 20+ years
  • Write them down on a piece of paper
  • Then, post that paper in a place where you’ll see it every day
  • Finally, keep your mind open to how to achieve those goals (ie. extra jobs, different work, side hustles, reducing expenses, etc. etc. etc.)

Here are the goals I wrote down earlier this year:

goals you need to set for the new year

And you know what happened since I wrote these goals down? My brain never forgot them and I’ve actually achieved many of them already!

  • We moved out to the country just a couple weeks ago
  • My wife is ecstatic about where we live and what she does each day (she’s at home with kids, we’re living in the country, and she’s starting horse riding lessons today!)
  • Our two-week vacation is coming up in January

…And all the other goals are very much on track. We’re killing it! Not because we’re something special, but because we took the time to think about what we actually wanted, and then we wrote down those goals so we could start figuring out how to make them happen. That’s it.

My goals for next year: 

  • Make sure we’re tracking to save for the kids’ private schooling and college education (since we recently added the second kiddo)
  • Add detail to my financial freedom target by age 45. I have an idea of how we get there, but it could definitely be clearer…

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Goals You Need to Set For The New Year – What Are Yours??

Without goals, great feats would never be achieved. New worlds would never be explored, the automobile would still be part of science fiction novels, and the moon would remain a distant uncertainty. We’d never invent, discover, or challenge the status quo.

Someone, somewhere, needs to draw the line in the sand and say, “I’m going to do this.” And that’s where real progress begins.

If you were looking for goals you need to set for the new year, you found them. And now that you found them, it’s time to set them, achieve them, and transform your life forever.

I’ve challenged you with 7 goals you need to set for the new year. Will you accept the challenge??

Battle of the Mind Money

AUTHOR Derek Sall

Derek has a Bachelor's degree in Finance and a Master's in Business. As a finance manager in the corporate world, he regularly identified and solved problems at the C-suite level. Today, Derek isn't interested in helping big companies. Instead, he's helping individuals win financially--one email, one article, one person at a time.


  1. This is great! Every year, I buy myself a brand new journal. On the first page, I write down a list of my goals for the year. And then every single day (I really do this every morning!), I will write the date and list 5 things that I want to accomplish that day that will take me 1 step closer to achieving those goals! Trust me. This works!

    • Dang, yeah, I BET that would work! Do you do this with your full-time job mainly? Or do you really have personal goals that you work to accomplish each day?

      • It does work! And I do it with both; I keep a work book and personal book. For my full time job, I obviously have my running list of tasks I need to accomplish. But for my personal goals, the daily accomplishment could be something as simple as reading a personal finance blog, listening to a good podcast, or meeting with a good friend! Because that will take me one step closer towards achieving my financial goal or any of my other goals for the year.

        It’s also really interesting to go back from entries from earlier on in the year and see how far you have progressed.

        • I think you may have inspired me to do something similar! 😉

  2. This is a great list of goals. Having a clear set of goals that are meaningful to you is only part of the battle. Having a strategy to achieve them is the other part that many people lack. There is a strategy to setting and achieving goals that many people don’t understand, but once they do it makes achieving all Things in life easier.

    • Great point, DT! Thanks for reading and commenting!

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