When setting goals at the beginning of a new year we can be optimistic and set high expectations or we can lower the bar a little so we don’t disappoint ourselves. Each of us is different in the way we plan things out. Some of us like the motivation of having big goals to work towards whereas others instantly feel overwhelmed and then resist working towards them.
It’s important that the goals you set are really clear and are ones you actually want to work towards and achieve for yourself. They shouldn’t be set because you feel like you ‘should’ want something or to prove to others that you’re able to do something.
Your goals need to align with your personal values, feel good (that doesn’t mean they can’t push you outside your comfort zone!), and be realistic. The last thing you want to do is set yourself a goal you know won’t fit into your schedule once the holidays come to an end.
You also have to know WHY you want something. Simply saying ‘I want to start going to the gym’ or ‘I want to save $10,000’ isn’t enough. The best way to nut out why you truly want something is to ask yourself ‘why?’ three times.
So for the saving money example, your first reason could be that you want to have savings. Why? Because you want to have an emergency fund to call on if you need it. Why? Because you want to be financially independent and not put yourself into debt if something happens that you didn’t plan for.
Now it’s your turn to set some goals for the year ahead. Use these questions to guide you.
- What would I love to focus my time and energy on and why?
- How do I want to feel throughout the year?
- What’s one thing I’d like to start, stop, and keep doing and why?
- What difference would it make if I did these things?
- What would make me most proud?
Once you’ve got everything down on paper, choose three goals to work on throughout the year and write down why you truly want these things.
Then break each goal down into achievable steps with set timeframes so you know exactly what you need to do. You can break your goals down into monthly, weekly, or even daily steps depending on what your focus is. Popping key dates and reminders in places you check often such as, the calendar on your phone or your diary is really helpful.
The next step is to share your goals with people around you. This might feel daunting and make your goals feel more real but it will help to keep you accountable and you may even inspire them to set some goals themselves.
Finally, don’t forget to acknowledge your wins and how far you’ve come along the way, not just how far you have to go.
Just remember, we will be here on the sideline cheering you on each step of the way!