Heading into a New Year: New Ways to Set Old Goals

About The Author

Dr. Anita Bangale is an emergency physician, certified mindset coach, and international 2x TEDx speaker. She has served as Medical Director of the Emergency Department at St. Luke’s Hospital in Houston, Texas and emphasized department wellness during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Anita Bangale, MD, FACEP
Emergency Medicine Physician

Dr. Anita Bangale currently works as a physician leader in the emergency department, where she creates true partnerships with her patients. In the ER, she focuses on effective, meaningful communication and prioritizes working under pressure with compassion and empathy. Dr. Bangale is also a certified life coach and founder and creator of Diya Coaching, a life coaching center focusing on teens, young professionals and moms. She aims to spread joy by improving and maximizing self-worth and confidence and believes in the magnificent, ignitable power of each person’s inner light. 

Dr. Bangale also works as an alumni mentor for The Jay Shetty Certification School, and as a physician leader with Brightside Health, a national telemedicine company focused on the treatment of anxiety and depression. She has given numerous talks for schools, universities, youth groups, physician groups and corporate groups. She most enjoys small group sessions with students and moms in The Woodlands, TX where she lives with her husband and 3 daughters.

4 steps to help you achieve your 2023 goals

Are you part of the over 40% of Americans who plan to set New Year’s resolutions heading into 2023? Every new year, nearly half of us tell ourselves that this next year will be different. This is going to be the year we change. In most cases, however, the new year comes to an end, and most of us have not accomplished what we set out to do, which can feel quite deflating. The data actually tells us that an overwhelming 80% of New Year’s resolutions fail by the first week of February. This statistic sounds surprising, but there is a clear reason why. Most of the resolutions we set, such as eating healthier or exercising more, are too general and vague. These blanket statements do not address what eating healthier means or why exercising more is important to us individually. These resolutions are not specific enough and do not outline steps to measure success.

The good news is that we can make small shifts in our goal setting and change our outcomes dramatically. I believe we will be much more likely to hit our target by setting SMART goals instead of resolutions. SMART goals are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time specific. 

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Create awareness

Examine all your life zones to figure out where you are and where you want to go. Think about your personal zones (relationships, health, recreation, spiritual and emotional health) and professional zones (career, education, financial) and rate each area. Imagine your ideal life and write down how you envision your life 6 months from now. 

I often find this to be a helpful exercise to do alone, while writing down why each of the goals is important. It helps me stay focused on goals that align with my values instead of writing down goals that seem popular or trendy. If the goal is not genuinely important to you, the lower the chances of achieving it. Pick your top 2 or 3 goals to get started. 

Create SMART goals based on you are committed to changing

Instead of saying you want to exercise more, a specific goal would be “I want to lift weights 3 times a week so that I can feel stronger.”

Quantify the goal so you are able to measure your success. If you are starting out with 10 pound dumbbells for bicep curls, the goal might be to increase to 15 pound weights for that exercise. Be in control of your measurements so you have clarity and control. 

Achievable. Focus on creating a realistic, achievable goal. While it is great to set out goals outside of your comfort zone, focus on taking small steps.

I believe this is the most important part of goal-setting. Figure out why that particular goal is important to you right now. Just because your neighbor ran a marathon, does not mean that setting out to run that same race is meaningful or important to you. If you don’t care about it, you will not work to accomplish it and lower your self-confidence. So instead, take time to reflect and figure out how your life will be different if you achieve this goal vs not achieving it. 

Setting a deadline for achieving the goal helps us accomplish what we set out to do. The deadline helps us get motivated to start. Break down the timeline into smaller milestones to help make sure you are on track. 

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Illuminate your goals

 I strongly believe in the power of visualization. Making copies of our written goals and posting them around the house – on a nightstand, bathroom mirror, kitchen, or work desk – help us see our goals and keep them fresh. Seeing these visual cues help us make small subtle shifts in our daily behavior, and it’s these small changes over time that create massive results. Studies confirm that visualizing our future self also helps make an impact.  So do not worry about picking out the most beautiful planner for 2023, focus on making your goals visually accessible. 

Tell a friend

Research suggests that if you share your goals with someone you trust, such as a friend, mentor, or coach, you’re more likely to achieve your goals. Part of this is linked with the power of accountability. Interestingly, if you share the plan as to how you will reach your goals and check in with that person at regular intervals, you’re even more likely to be successful.  


So over this next week, let’s work together to look inward and reflect on our own meaningful, individual goals. Let’s write them down and break them down into smaller, more manageable pieces. Finally, let’s celebrate our progress. 

For more family health and children development tips, find me on social media, Youtube and on my website!

Anita Bangale, MD, FACEP
Emergency Medicine Physician 
President, Bangale Emergency Solutions 
CEO and Founder, Diya Coaching 
Physician Leader, Brightside Health
International 2x TEDx Speaker 

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