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Do This BEFORE You Set Your Goals for 2024

If you want to have a transformative year, but you’re already overwhelmed at all the talk about New Year’s resolutions, setting goals and everything like that… You’re going to want to read this before you set your goals for 2024.

Hi, my name is Dr. Karin Nordin and I am a PhD level behavior change expert. I’m here as the CEO and founder of Body Brain Alliance to help bring you the real science behind self-help. 

Today I’m going to teach you about a little experiment that I do in my life every single year in the month of December.

Prefer to learn on video? Watch here:  

Now, I can tell you firsthand this experiment has truly changed my relationship with goal setting. 

It’s made my resolutions the next year far more accomplishable and far more aligned with my identity and my values. So I highly suggest you read this whole blog and definitely try out this experiment.

Now, this Goal Setting experiment is going to have four steps… 

Stage 1: Idea Generation

This is where you get to have fun and play. I want you to take out a piece of paper right now, and I want you to write down all the goals you could possibly think of for this year. 

Think of the different areas of your life as a way to kind of spark some ideas. 

  • What might your financial goals be? 
  • Health and fitness goals? 

I want you to truly give yourself 10 or 15 minutes to brainstorm as many goals as possible and put them on that sheet of paper. 

Now remember, you are not committing to these things. You are not saying you’re going to do all of these goals next year. 

You’re just generating a whole bunch of ideas (no pressure). 

Pro Tip: 

If you have trouble brainstorming and generating ideas, one little psychological hack for you is to try to generate bad ideas first.

So for example, a terrible goal for next year would be that I want to get stung by a thousand bees. When we start by setting ridiculous or bad goals, that can sometimes generate the thought and creativity that we need in order to actually come up with meaningful ones. 

Once you’re done with the generation step, you’re going to move into step number two. 

Stage 2: Prototyping

In the prototype stage, you’re going to narrow down that list of goals to probably your top six to eight, and then you’re going to ask yourself: 

“How might I actually test this out?” 

So for example, let’s say that you are thinking about running a half marathon or a marathon next year. In that case, you’re going to probably test it out by going for a run or downloading a half marathon training plan and trying the first workout. 

You’re going to come up with a prototype activity for every single one of those goals that exist. 

Step 3: Action 

During the month of December (or any month that you need a reset), what you’re going to do is actually do those six to eight prototyped actions. 

You’re going to actually go for a run, attend that pottery class, try something out that is related to the goal that you might want to set. 

Here’s why this works so well. 

A lot of us set goals from a place of “should.” We set goals because other people think we should. We set goals because society tells us we should and not because we actually want to. 

A lot of us also set goals and we want the results of the goal, but there’s no part of us that actually wants to do the work.

So maybe in your head, it’s all glamorous and fun to think about competing at a CrossFit competition, but when you actually go and do that first CrossFit workout, you realize you hate that style of exercise because most of us don’t prototype our goals in advance.

We jump in and commit to something without ever having tried it, which is essentially like saying, “I will eat a whole pie without taking a single bite of it first in December.”

Every single year, you’re going to use it as an experimentation time. 

You’re going to try out those different goals, and that’s going to give you some initial data that can help move you into that new year with a bigger sense of clarity. 

Step 4: Reflection 

At the end of December after Christmas, when everything has died down, when you’re cozied up on your couch on New Year’s Eve… I want you to reflect on the month of December. 

Ask yourself: 

  • Which of these prototyped actions brought me the most joy? 
  • Which one of them aligns with my values in the most meaningful way?

You’re going to think and reflect very critically on your experience in those last 30 days, and that is what you’re actually going to use come January 1st to commit to 1-w goals for the new year. 

Now, if you want to know how to actually structure and follow through on those goals, I highly suggest you check out THIS blog that talks about exactly that subject matter: How to Set Goals You’ll Actually Stick With

This is just a process that you can use to actually generate those goals that you might want to be engaging with in the first place. 

So what do you say? Are you going to try it out? 

Join The Discussion: 

I would love to hear from you in the comments section below. What goal are you actually going full force with in 2024? 

Thank you for reading, see you in the next one! 


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Hi, I'm Karin

I’m a funfetti flavor super-fan, a loving dog mom, a PhD expert in mindset and behavior change… and I’m here to help make personal development and transformation a process that’s actually fun.


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