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GOAL SETTING THAT ACTUALLY WORKS

New Years Resolutions get a bad rep, but I think that’s because we’re going about it the wrong way. 

Here’s how to turn those aspirations into reality

Reflecting and Intention Setting

Every New Years Eve my partner and I sit down and reflect on our year.  We’ve made this a big ritual over time – this was our 8th NYE doing this – and we love it!

We use the same prompts every year.

  • Best parts of the year
  • What I’m most grateful for right now
  • Things I would like to happen next year 

We both write down our answers separately, for both ourselves and the other person (eg. I will jot down the best parts of my year and what my highlights of my partner’s year were). This is gold because we often overlook or forget things that happen. It’s so helpful to hear someone else’s take of our own lives, actions and successes, as it can help shift our own perspective.

This is the first in a mini-series of blog posts about our tradition. This first post is devoted to goal setting. Although we do this on NYE, it can be done at anytime. You can set time aside at any point to reflect, set goals and create actionable step changes to transform your life.

Goal setting that actually works

New Years Resolutions get a bad rep, but I think that’s because we’re going about it the wrong way. We often make grand plans that don’t materialise, and set ourselves up to fail as a result.

This is normally for 2 reasons.

1. You don’t account for your current state. 

If your goals feel like pressure they ain’t gonna happen. You may really want to achieve your goal, but you may need to adapt your approach if thinking about it brings up tightness in your throat or stomach or feels stressful in any way.

Where is the pressure coming from? What resources (time, money, wellbeing, energy, confidence) are limited? Think about creating progressions within your goals. It doesn’t need to be all-or-nothing, and your strategy doesn’t have to be rigid.

Take the NY resolution cliche of hitting the gym every day from 1st January. If this goal makes you feel constricted, can you step this back a notch and go to the gym 1-2x a week and train at home the rest of the time? Remember, you can always adapt plans over time.

1. A goal without a plan is just a wish. 

The amount of ‘I want to travel more’ and ‘more adventures’ I have written down in the first few years of our NY tradition makes me smile. I’ve learned to get really specific with my goal-setting (SMART goals wooo).

If you want something to happen, you’ve got to stop being vague. Being vague gives us an excuse to not commit. Now for my travel goals I write where I want to go, who I’m traveling with, when am I going, what the trip will require, what month I’ll need to prepare things like visas etc. This makes it much easier to follow through on the things I want to do!

Action!

Don’t set an exciting goal and rest on your laurels. If you want something to happen, take action on it as soon as possible. This action doesn’t have to be huge or dramatic. The idea is to set things in motion so you don’t procrastinate until December 31st.

Some ideas to get you started are :

  • Set up a savings pot/account and a direct debit to transfer funds into it every month. Make the amount affordable so you don’t need to cancel it after a couple of months! 
  • If your goal is achievable from home, decide where you’re going to do it. Make a little space in that room to make it easier to start on that goal. 
  • Make things visible. If you want to work out then grab your dumbbells out of the loft and put them somewhere you walk past regularly. In sight, on your mind. 
  • List the equipment you’ll need to purchase to achieve the goal. If you want to practice yoga every day, you’ll probably need a yoga mat and 2 blocks, and maybe invest in a bolster over time. Buy whatever is affordable to you this month so you can get started.
  • Consider what support you’ll need. Do you need a friend or partner to keep you accountable? A walking buddy? Financial advisor? Coach? If you need to invest in support then check out pricing and budget accordingly to make your goals actually happen.

If you want something to happen, you’ve got to stop being vague. Being vague gives us an excuse to not commit. Now for my travel goals I write where I want to go, who I’m traveling with, when am I going, what the trip will require, what month I’ll need to prepare things like visas etc. This makes it much easier to follow through on the things I want to do!

What are your goals for this year? How are you going to make them happen? Stay tuned for next week when I break down the most powerful way I align my mindset, lifestyle and goals so that my life feels fulfilling and successful on my terms. I can’t wait to share it with you.

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