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Year-End Reflection: Manifesting Your Goals in 2021 and Sticking to Them (Updated 2021)

Recently, I’ve stumbled upon some YouTube vloggers who were doing a “Manifesting Your Goals for 2021” wherein they either write their goals in a journal-like style or curate an aesthetic moodboard for a more visual and compact style. But the general concept is to make your goals “displayed or seen” and not just simply stored in the wide realm of your mind, to turn your imagination into reality. 

After all, being adults we cannot always live in a box of imagination like Spongebob. Somehow, we need to be a boring Squidward who has set goals and lives in the chaotic world of reality. 

Personally, I have never really tried doing this especially on a year-long basis because it feels too long and too far into the future. But I realized that being present does not mean I have to compromise future plans and just let them sit until I get to them. In fact, setting realistic goals can help me become more present and take steps towards that direction. 

But before manifesting goals for 2021, let’s first take the time to assess and reflect everything that happened in 2020. First, this is to help us know where we are in our life now, what are the progress that we have made so far, and what are our shortcomings. Second, understanding these things allow us to make realistic and achievable goals for the year ahead that will save us from frustrations. 

How do I write a year-end reflection?

You would probably think that writing a year-end reflection is only for the sappy but you can also look at it this way: It’s like technical analysis of the events in your life, putting things into an objective perspective, and drawing out conclusions and recommendations based from the responses on events. That is, it also helps in clouding your reflection with emotions.

Here are a few questions that you and I will need to ask ourselves. 

1. What have I accomplished this year?

2020 has left us with paused plans and basically almost everything hanging on a balance. We even question the legitimacy of our achievements like, “Was waking up everyday trying to function amid the pandemic considered an achievement?” Truth is (and trust me on this), every accomplishment – no matter how small that is COUNTS. Especially in this situation where we are always constantly being thrown into a pit of challenges. So go and take that win!

Also, remember that accomplishments are not limited to things that you have done but also things that you have not. For example not reacting to opinions of people who don’t matter in your life. It takes maturity to walk away on things like that and that’s not easy. 

2. What were my disappointments this year?

The key to this is being truthful to yourself. There’s no point in lying because if you do, you are just basically lying to yourself. And if you tolerate that attitude to yourself, what else are you tolerating? So just list everything down. Like your accomplishments, every bit of disappointment you felt whether towards yourself or others is important. That way you can assess and reflect which ones should you be actually disappointed about and which ones are just products of life b*tching on everyone. But layout everything first before deciding which is which!

3. Take the time to reflect on those two questions then ask yourself what you have learned


Learning is not just taken from mistakes but also from achievements. What did you do to achieve those things? What were the secret ingredients to the success? What actually worked?

At the same time, take those disappointments and ask what didn’t work and why? But don’t be too hard on yourself and label all your disappointments as failures. That’s not how it works. Try and write what you think could have worked better. Remember your lessons by writing it and understanding it. 

4. What are you doing that limits yourself?

I believe that everyone has a potential in everything but the thing is the one who really limits is yourself. It can be as trivial as spending more than you make and indulging in impulsive buying or things like you always let others dictate you, you can’t stand up for yourself. Again, be true to yourself. Acknowledge what’s stopping you. Confronting these things can make it easier to tackle them and correct them. 

5. How can I improve?

Basically, it’s putting your limitations into a positive note like putting your impulsive buying on a capped amount or speaking up for yourself starting from small things that you know you can actually do. Be open to change and remember that improvement can be a slow and tedious process but being consistent and committed to it will produce lifelong rewards. 

How do I manifest my goals and make them stick?

To manifest your goals, it’s helpful to make life categories like mental health, fitness, and career and separate your goals based on category. Also, based from your year-end reflection, 

  • Look at what accomplishments you wish to continue over to the next year. For example, you have given time for your exercise regimen and you’ve been successful. To stay fit, put this again on your goals and maybe try to level it up a bit. 
  • What are your disappointments that you wish to change this year into wins?
  • What are your future plans? Do you want to try something new?

Make sure to make these goals realistic because if they’re not, the tendency is that you will be frustrated that you were not able to achieve your goals. 

Manifesting is easy but the hard work is making these resolutions stick. How?

  • Decide on goals based on what’s good for you and what will help you. Never ever put goals out of self-hate because it won’t last long. 
  • Make a habit of breaking down your goals into small, bite-size goals to motivate you. But the challenging part is to make it into an everyday to-do list for the purpose of productivity and not feeling good. So don’t write things you have already done just to make you feel good. Instead, write at least three essential tasks that you need done for the day and focus on doing those. Quantity of ticked boxes is not as “life-changing” than completing quality tasks. 
  • But don’t be afraid to go big! 
  • Measure your progress. This will keep you motivated!
  • Lastly is forgetting perfection. Life is hard as it is so don’t make it harder for yourself. There are days when you’ll feel at your best and there will be days you’re not. And that is completely okay. Treat failure as part of the process and rest as a step towards success. 


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