Call it cheesy, call it a cliche…but the start of the New Year always inspires me. It’s a time for reflection of the year prior, a fresh start, a reset button, and a new beginning. You have 365 day of uncapped possibility and potential ahead, what is there not to get excited about?
Like many of you, I make resolutions or goals every year.
Like many of you, I ditch those goals after the first month, forget about them, or push them off. Suddenly it’s December, and I’ve just lived another version of the same year.
But last year, I decided to make a change. Long story short, I was not happy with where/who I was a year ago, and I desperately wanted a fresh start. So I thought about what I didn’t like, and what made me unhappy, where I wanted to go, and how I wanted to feel by the end of 2017. After writing down everything I wanted to do, I came up with a system to make sure I would carry out all of those things. And I did! When I pulled up my list of 2017 goals in December, I was pretty proud to check off almost every single item!
Goals and resolutions have been getting a bit of a bad rap over the past few years. I’ve seen it all over social media, in advertisements, heard it on podcasts, read it in magazines..that we don’t need to and maybe shouldn’t set resolutions. Every argument against them comes down to the feeling of failure for not achieving those goals or the fact that it implies that you need to change, that you aren’t perfect the way you are. And while I recognize that not meeting your goals can lead to negative feelings or stress and anxiety, I do not agree with abandoning the practice all together. I believe we just need to get smarter about our goal setting.
Because setting goals in life is important! It’s about taking control of your life and putting intention behind the things you do. Goals give you purpose. They motivate you to push through tough times. And that feeling you experience when you finally get there…How incredible does that feel? Don’t give that up.
So how do you set yourself up for success? How do you meet all your goals for the year? On New Years Eve this year, I led a vision board and goal setting workshop. I had a ton of fun sharing my tips with an awesome group, and now I want to extend those tips to all of you! So read below and CLICK HERE FOR THE MAKE IT HAPPEN: GOAL SETTING AND VISION BOARD GUIDE to set yourself up right for 2018!
It’s important to look back on the year prior so you can grow and learn from those experiences. What worked? What didn’t? Look at how far you’ve come, or maybe how far you did not come. Think about the times where you were the happiest. What were you doing? Who was surrounding you? Were there things that you thought would happen last year that you didn’t get to? Why didn’t you?
Now that you went over the past year, use that information to start thinking of things you can do to make this year even better. Maybe you roll some things over to this year that were working well for you. Add in anything you didn’t get to. Write down how you want to feel, your dreams, what you want people to say about you. This brainstorm session is meant to get everything and anything out. Write down whatever comes to mind, and keep the ideas flowing. Don’t worry about being realistic. Don’t worry about timelines. You aren’t committing just yet.
Okay, now you’re committing. Out of everything you wrote down in your brainstorm, choose which ones you want to focus on this year. There is no magic number. But you do need to think about what you can handle. You don’t want to end up with a bunch of obligations. That’s setting yourself up to fail. Choose a few things that you can implement every day, or every month. Then there can be one offs (like a trip). Keep in mind that if something seems too big, you can choose a resolution for this year that will help you get closer to that big goal. For example, if you want to start your own business, this year’s goal might be to write a business plan, save money, or start networking. And make these measurable. Instead of saying eat more veggies, say I will eat veggies at least once a day. And lastly, do not make a goal that you do not have control of. Keep the power in your own hands.
Did I lose you? This part might seem like a bit much, but visualizing the life that you want is all part of the process. Make this your own. You can create it on a computer or you can do it big with poster boards, magazines, scissors, glue sticks..you get it. Either way, fill your blank space with words and images that describe the type of year you want to have. Once you’re finished, put it in a place that you will see often. This way, you are constantly reminded of your goals.
Break it out by month
It’s easy to lose track of time or to put off some of the bigger goals of the year. I found it helps a lot to break things out into months. Each month, write down a few of the goals from your big list that you will work towards. Then write down all the small steps you need to take to accomplish those goals. For example, I wanted to launch my blog in November last year, so my smaller steps that month were: buy domain, create content, create social media pages.
Get an accountability partner
Once you have everything set, show your goal to someone. Telling someone else makes it real, and makes you less likely to make up an excuse to put it off.
So there you have it. I think we all can accomplish anything we set our minds to. I hope my guide helps you reach a few of your big goals this year. And if you miss a few in 2018, do not get down on yourself, there is always next year.
Enjoy, and let me know what you think!