If the thought of New Year’s resolutions makes you want to go back to bed, you aren’t alone. Even those who normally set goals may be thinking “What’s the point? The pandemic will just derail my plans.” While there’s some truth in that, the reality is there are always factors beyond our control, pandemic or no. The difference is when you set goals you are more likely to achieve them. Not convinced? One word: hope. Especially if you’re feeling down or anxious about a possible loss of income, it’s important to have hope that things will get better.

Start by identifying what you want and why

Keep it simple and bite-sized, but specific enough that it’s measurable. Instead of “I want to save money” maybe it’s “I want to save $500 for emergencies.” It’s better to set one goal and achieve it than to get overwhelmed by many. When you achieve that one goal you’ll feel good and can always set another one after that.

Attach a dollar amount

Although it’s possible to have goals that won’t cost money, you may have goals that involve making money. Or maybe you’re bracing for a smaller paycheck. Identifying how much money you’ll need will help you to set a target you can reach.

Make a plan to get there

The goal is your destination, so what can you do each day to help you get closer? Break it down into smaller pieces that you know you can accomplish.

Write it down

There is real evidence to show that you are more likely to achieve your goal when you write it down and look at it regularly. So why wouldn’t you? It also helps to tell others about it so they can support you and keep you accountable.

Give yourself grace

There will be ups and downs. Things won’t always go as planned, and that’s OK. Savor the small victories and know that you can always try again tomorrow.