Close this search box.
Reflecting On 2023 & Setting Goals For 2024 | Dean Pohlman | Better Man Podcast Ep. 076

Reflecting On 2023 & Setting Goals For 2024 | Dean Pohlman | Better Man Podcast Ep. 076

The statistics around New Year’s Resolutions are startling: 

23% of people give up on their New Year’s Resolution by the end of the first week. By the end of January, 43% of people had already quit on their resolutions. And only 9% of people actually complete their resolutions by the end of the year. 


Well, most people don’t understand how to properly reflect on the past year and set realistic, yet challenging goals for 2024. Even I have fallen into this trap in previous years, which is why I wanted to record this episode. 

In today’s show, you’ll discover… 

  • How to enter the 9% of people who actually accomplish all their 2024 goals 
  • Why juggling too many new habits at once leads to burnout (and what to do instead to accomplish a variety of personal and professional goals
  • And I reveal some of the questions I ask myself to best reflect on 2023 and prioritize my goals for 2024 

The Better Man Podcast is an exploration of our health and well-being outside of our physical fitness, exploring and redefining what it means to be better as a man; being the best version of ourselves we can be, while adopting a more comprehensive understanding of our total health and wellness. I hope it inspires you to be better!

Listen on Apple Podcasts
Listen on Spotify

Use the RSS link to find the Better Man Podcast on other apps: http://feeds.libsyn.com/404744/rss

Episode 076 Highlights

  • Why doing a yoga session before setting your 2024 goals actually makes you more likely to achieve them (1:58) 
  • How to reflect on 2023 and prepare for 2024 to make it your best year yet—with only a single piece of paper and a pen (2:24) 
  • Why only setting outcome-based goals leaves you feeling unaccomplished and burnt out at year’s end (and what to do instead to crush all your 2024 goals) (6:10) 
  • How to best prioritize your 2024 goals (14:16) 
  • The “Longer Timeline” habit-building secret that guarantees you hit more goals in 2024 than you did in 2023 (14:40) 
Episode 076: Reflecting On 2023 & Setting Goals For 2024 - Dean Pohlman - Transcript

Dean Pohlman: Hey, guys, it’s Dean. Welcome to the Better Man podcast. Today’s episode is a solo episode. And today I want to give you some tools, some ideas on how you can think about moving into 2024. So some really basic exercises, some really basic questions that I like to ask myself at the end of every year, and some things that you can ask yourself and then maybe a more effective plan for implementing changes that you want to see in 2024 rather than trying to do everything at once.

Dean Pohlman: I’m going to give you an idea that helps to figure out which are the most important changes, and you focus on making those changes, focus on making those changes in a way that is more sustainable rather than doing it for a week and then giving up because it’s too much. So first off, I’d recommend that you make sure that you set aside some time where you can really focus on this, where you are not distracted, where you’re not with family, where you’re not with other people, and you can really get into a headspace in order to think about this and be present and create clarity around your thoughts.

Dean Pohlman: Actually, a really good way to do this is to do a yoga session beforehand. So if you’re part of the mental yoga members area, do something like something from the breath series, do something from the stretch and breathe series, do something that’s going to be really grounding and and really breath focus, body awareness, not too intense. And that’s going to help put you in a good state of mind to be able to do these exercises and really think with clarity.

Dean Pohlman: So the first thing that I’m going to ask you to do is to think about 2023 and put this and put this really simply just have a have a piece of paper and have two sides of the paper draw a line down the middle of it. And on the left side of the paper, write down things that you enjoyed doing.

Dean Pohlman: Write down things that went well, and then on the right side, you’re going to write down things that you did not enjoy doing or things that you did not do. Well. Okay, so really simple. Just write those things out. And then after that, I want you to also write down what are the things that you are currently doing that are wasting time.

Dean Pohlman: One are things that you’d rather not be doing. What are the things that you you’ve been doing that just haven’t been worth their time? Things that you don’t feel good about when you finish doing them. Things that you know are not the best use of your time. Maybe things that are busy work there, things that make you feel like you’re getting something done, but they’re really not helping you get anything done.

Dean Pohlman: So I’d write that thing down, write those down as well. And you also want to be positive too. So write down. What do you think is the most what things have really brought you, Joy? What things have you finished and thought, that was a really good I should do more of that. So I want you to write those things down as well.

Dean Pohlman: Okay. So and that’s really basic reflection, right? We’re not doing anything drastic. I’m not asking you complicated questions here. So just really basic questions. You can ask yourself to create some clarity around what went well, what did not go well, what’s wasting your time and what do you want to do more of? All right. And then after you finish that, we’re going to go on to thinking about 2024.

Dean Pohlman: So the first question that I asked myself is what do I want to try for 2024? So what are some things that maybe you dabbled in in 2023? And what are some things that you’ve thought about doing for a long time, but you just haven’t, you know, haven’t done them. So I want you to write out those things just to have clarity around what they are.

Dean Pohlman: And and the more clear that you can be on what those things are. So not just writing out, you know, the subject of whatever it is, but actually going into detail on writing what it is that you want to try for 2024, try to visualize what that activity looks like, visualize what the result of that is. Try to get as clear as you can with those things.

Dean Pohlman: And I find that as I’m writing these things out, the ones that are the most important are the ones that I finish writing, and I just feel something that’s like, wow, that like, that really speaks to me. So when you write out something and you notice, this is like, this is really important to me, then make a big star.

Dean Pohlman: By that one. I also wrote What are my goals for 2024? So write out your goals. So for me, a lot of this is manual yoga related. You know, we want to have more memberships. We want to have we want to have better relationships with the other brands that we work with. I want to do more in-person events.

Dean Pohlman: I want to do more retreats. I want to expand what we offer. So these are things that I’ve written down and you can write those down. And then if you want, if you want, if you’re feeling ambitious and you want to go further, then you can write out ideas that you have. What are specific? A lot of the things that I wrote here are aspiration.

Dean Pohlman: They’re not specific. They’re not specific activities or tasks. So for example, when I wrote down more membership, a more larger membership or more membership signups, that’s not an action, that’s an outcome. So what are the activities or what are the ideas? What are the initiatives that I can try to get us more members. So from there I’m going to write things like maybe I’ll start doing more live events on social media, or maybe I’ll I’ll launch a new feature within the members area that’s going to make people more likely to tell their friends, or maybe I will reach out to other communities of other communities where there are other men who would be likely to

Dean Pohlman: do manual yoga and start up conversations with them. So those are things that I wrote out. And you can take your own things, your goals, and then write out what are some different ways that you could achieve those goals. And then I also wrote out, you know, those are professional goals, but I also wrote out my personal goals.

Dean Pohlman: So for me, I wrote out things like, I want to have better emotional wellness. So for me, I’m going to try out a new therapist. I’ve been working with the same therapist for five years. I feel like I’ve stalled a little bit, so I’m going to try out a new therapist. I also wrote men’s groups or men’s events, so things where going into a person having conversation with other men in a maybe formalized setting where the expectation is to be vulnerable and to have difficult conversations.

Dean Pohlman: I wrote doing Sana more frequently. I feel great when I use my sana, but I don’t always do it as often as I’d like. So I wrote that and I wrote Code Punch on Non-live days. So I was really good about doing my code ponging from January all the way through November. And then this month I kind of fell off.

Dean Pohlman: So I want to make sure that I’m rededicating myself to that habit because I notice that I have better stress levels throughout the day and I’m just more controlled when I do my code punching. I wrote meditation practice, so I want to have a more formalized meditation practice, not just sitting and practicing gratitude and also thinking, but actually meditating, actually doing the practice of meditation, going to bed earlier.

Dean Pohlman: This is another thing that I wrote. We had a baby, we had Marley in March of 2023, so she’s about eight months old and my wife will feed me. We do what’s called a dream feed for all the dads out there. If you know the dream videos is basically you feed your baby while she or she is sleeping.

Dean Pohlman: And this happens around 10:00. And then after that, I usually do my gratitude practice and I don’t end up going to sleep until 1145 or 11. So I’m really not getting enough sleep right now. So one goal for me is to start doing my gratitude practice before I go upstairs and feed mainly and then do my reading after I feed Marley and then hopefully I can be asleep by 1030.

Dean Pohlman: So those are things that I wrote out there, not, you know, this is a really simple stuff that I wrote out. I also wrote What is your Ideal Day look like? So actually go through and write out a an ideal schedule of what your life looks like. I think there’s a couple of ways to do this. I think, number one, you could write like, what’s your ultimate like, dream version of this?

Dean Pohlman: Like if you had no rules whatsoever and no obligations, just the ones that you choose. So write what I’ll write what that looks out like to Dream Day, but also write out a realistic one that satisfies some of your personal needs and some of your values. And you look at it and you think, this is realistic, and I would feel good about doing this.

Dean Pohlman: So I think it’s a good idea to race. Also, write out your write out your your ideal day. That’s a that’s a really good thing to do. And then I would also write out what are your values for 2024? Get clear on your values and what the expression of those values look like. So for me, I’ve had a pretty solid gratitude practice for the last couple of months and I’ve gotten really clear on what my values are.

Dean Pohlman: So for me, being present is a really important value of mine. So there’s a lot of things that come from that being present mean being in flow, being dedicated to what I’m doing, being fully immersed in what I’m doing. It also means putting myself in activities that allow myself to be present and and doing and taking care of myself both physically and mentally, so that I can be present so that my mind isn’t wandering.

Dean Pohlman: So being present is a value of mine for 2024, being grateful is a value of mine. So practicing gratitude throughout the day, having a really dedicated gratitude practice at the end of the night, but also just practicing gratitude throughout the day. Authenticity is another value of mine for 2024, and for me that means expressing truth, both in just saying what I, you know, just telling the truth.

Dean Pohlman: But going further or to not holding things in. So especially in the close relationships that I have, not holding things in, not letting things left, not letting things be left unsaid, because that leads to divides. That leads to a lack of connection. So authenticity is a value of mine for 2020. For self-care, this has always been a value of mine, but I really want to do this for 2024 as well and make sure that I am prioritizing self-care because it makes me better at everything that I do.

Dean Pohlman: It makes me better at makes me better at being with my family. It makes me better with work. I’m less stressed, I feel better. So that’s the value of mine. And I also wrote some values for my work life. So for me, I’m going to focus on creating space. For me, this is getting out of for me, this is really focusing in on the vision of man for yoga and focusing on the content creation and doing less managing within the business.

Dean Pohlman: Because we have a great team. We have people that I know can do that. For me, that’s just about letting go of control and letting the people that I’ve put into the proper places do their jobs. So what is and what is the highest and best use of my time? That’s another value that I have for work for 2024.

Dean Pohlman: So making sure that I’m doing things that are the best use of my time. Going back to the little prompt that I had before with what am I wasting time with in 2023, I realize that checking, checking social media and checking statistics and checking sales, those things aren’t actually, it doesn’t really change my behavior on a day to day basis.

Dean Pohlman: Do I want to look at those trends month, the month? Maybe every couple of weeks? Sure. But as far as going in and looking, you know, every few hours at what’s happening that’s busy work that isn’t actually leading to any sort of outcome. So that’s something that doesn’t fit into my work values of 2024. So it’s something that I want to take out.

Dean Pohlman: So that’s that’s so that’s what I that’s what I did. That’s literally all my journaling has just been that it’s just been trying to get more clear on the basic things. What was good, what was not good, what do you want to do, What is what do you not want to do? And then the final part of this is to look back at some of your goals for 2024.

Dean Pohlman: So look back at the things that you wrote down. And for some you guys that might be, you know, work out every day, eat a eat a healthy dinner four out of five nights of the week. It could be going for a walk every day for 30 minutes. And I want you to go through that and I want you to figure out just kind of numerically rank them in terms of what is going to be the most helpful and have the most impact, the most overall impact in all aspects of your life.

Dean Pohlman: So what is going to have the most benefit and rank them from most benefit to least benefit? And then I want you to only focus on one new practice or one new habit at a time. So for me going to bed earlier, that was the thing that stuck out to me as the most important thing, because if I sleep better, I have a better day, I have more energy, I have more willpower, I have energy for my workouts.

Dean Pohlman: So that’s really important to me. So for me, my first my primary goal for 2024, the first thing that I’m going to do is make sure that I’m sleeping 8 to 8 and a half hours a night, which means going to bed at 1030 so that I can wake up at 630 or seven and feel rested and feel ready to do all the things that I need to do.

Dean Pohlman: So before I go through all these other things that I wrote down, like medication, like meditation, medication, meditation, practice, sana even more, taking personal time on the weekends before I focus on any of these other things, I am going to focus on getting my sleep dialed in. And so that’s what I want you to do as well. Instead of looking at all these different things and saying, I got to do all these things at once, just choose one thing at a time, spend a week or two on that, dialing it in and then add something else, and that’s going to be way more effective and way more effective from a long term standpoint than

Dean Pohlman: is trying to add all of those things at once to your schedule. So one thing at a time. Once you have that figured out, add in something else and I think you’re going to be really happy with that. I think one thing to keep in mind with this is that you’re doing this for the rest of your life ideally, right?

Dean Pohlman: These are not things that you’re not just doing these things for a week and then quitting. So think about it from that perspective. It’s not I need to it’s it’s not I need to get all of these things figured out by next month. It is. I need to get these things somewhat implemented over the next year. So if you give yourself a longer timeline to implement these things and you do them slowly and more manageable, they’re going to stick way more than if you try to ram them all into your schedule at once.

Dean Pohlman: So and this is this is the exact same thing that I’m doing. And I also I will say, I admit I fall into the trap of thinking like, I’m a disciplined person. I’m, you know, I’m above average at implementing this stuff. So I’m going to do three things at once. And whenever I do that, I fail because I already have so many other things going on.

Dean Pohlman: So so I just I’m just saying I fall into this trap as well. And you might be falling into the trap of thinking, I can do three things at once, three new things at once, and maybe you can, but it’s going to be a lot easier if you don’t. So just do one thing at a time. And then I also I think the last thing I recommend here is creating space, doing less.

Dean Pohlman: This is the this is the topic of my last solo podcast. Go check that out. And I think it might be helpful for you to think about how you can do less and what you can take away, because that’s the only way that you’re going to be able to add more and do it in a way that feels sustainable.

Dean Pohlman: So I hope you guys had a happy holidays. Happy New Year. Thank you for being part of the Betterment podcast. Thanks for listening. I’m really grateful for all of you guys. I love getting emails. I love getting messages from people who commend me for, you know, the topics that I put out or for my vulnerability in these podcast.

Dean Pohlman: And I hope it I sincerely hope it’s helping you with your own life, even if it’s just helping you to relate to somebody who’s going through the same things. I hope that’s helpful and I hope that you’re using some of these strategies and tools. And if you’re listening to this and you know you’re not getting much out of it, then I hope you find another podcast that that goes really well for you.

Dean Pohlman: But I think what’s been really helpful for the majority of people that I get messages from about the podcast is that it’s helping to create some sort of sense of, I’m not the only person going through this. And that really helps make these struggles a lot easier to go through. And I hope that is the case for you as well.

Dean Pohlman: So if you’re not already doing mental yoga, we are doing a New Year’s challenge starting Monday, January 8th. We’re doing a program called The Better Day Series. It’s a really solid program that combines overall fitness, strength, flexibility, balance with body awareness and breathing. And it’s just a really good way for you to put yourself into a good physically and mentally positive state to start the day and have a better day.

Dean Pohlman: Hence the name Better Day series. We’ll be doing that as a community in The Man for Yoga Members area. You can sign up at Mansell yoga dot com slash join and get on our email list if you want to know about promotions when those go live, you should get on the emails pretty quick here. You might be able to get in for the tail end of a special deal that we’re running, specifically only to our email list.

Dean Pohlman: I won’t talk about it publicly, but that’s going to be happening now through the second January 2nd. So jump on the email list at the link in the description of the show notes and you’ll get on. Hopefully you’ll get an email for that deal going on now and that’s it. So guys, thanks for watching. Lastly, I do plan on doing a live broadcast on the mental yoga YouTube channel, so that should be on New Year’s Day sometime.

Dean Pohlman: I haven’t picked a time it honestly but youtube.com slash man flow yoga and it should show it should pop up somewhere in the live section there. So make sure to subscribe there if you haven’t already. All right, that’s it, guys. I hope you’re having a great time off if you do have time off. Happy holidays. Happy New Year.

Dean Pohlman: I’ll see you guys in the next episode. Bye.


Resources mentioned in this episode:

  • Better Day Series Challenge: Starting January 8th, the Man Flow Yoga Community is participating in a community-wide challenge where we’ll do the Better Day Series—a program that combines overall fitness, strength, flexibility, body awareness, and breathing to have a better day, physically and mentally. If you want to join the community challenge, you’ll need a Man Flow Yoga Membership, which you can get here: https://manflowyoga.com/join 

Related Episode: Subtract; Don’t Add (Creating Space to Create Change for 2024) | Better Man Podcast Ep. 075 

Want to improve your sexual wellness, get stronger erections, and last longer in bed? Then join the FREE 7-Day Sexual Wellness Challenge here: https://shrtlnk.co/uA27H 

Want to unlock more flexibility and strength, reduce your risk of injury, and feel your absolute best over the next 7 days? Then join the FREE 7-Day Beginner’s Yoga for Men Challenge here: https://ManFlowYoga.com/7dc

Tired of doing a form of yoga that causes more injuries than it helps prevent? The cold, hard truth is men need yoga specifically designed for them. Well, here’s some good news: You can start your 7-day free trial to Man Flow Yoga by visiting https://ManFlowYoga.com/join.

Like what you’re hearing? Sign up for the mailing list:

Rate & Review

If you enjoyed today’s episode of The Better Man Podcast, hit the subscribe button on Apple, Spotify, or wherever you listen, so future episodes are automatically downloaded directly to your device.

You can also help by providing an honest rating & review over on Apple Podcasts. Reviews go a long way in helping us build awareness so that we can impact even more people. THANK YOU!

More Podcast Content

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top
Copy link