The New Year is coming up fast, and this is the most popular time for “New Years Resolutions.” I merely bypass this tradition and go directly to create and set goals for the new year. Having goals gives our lives a sense of purpose and meaning. Setting goals point us in a direction to run toward and allows us to pay attention to where we are going.
Top New Year’s Resolutions
Resolutions are too vague. They are just ideas of what society thinks you should be doing. Gym membership enrollments skyrocket during the first of the year, and you can’t find a treadmill at 5:30 pm!
- Stop eating sugar.
- Go on a diet.
- Stop drinking wine.
- Spend less time on Facebook.
- Go to bed earlier.
- All the same things each year.
According to Business Insider, 80% of resolutions fail by February. We all know this already, right?
Why not try something a little different this year?
Goal Setting Ideas
Here is where I like to take part in a little daydreaming. Setting the environment up correctly to take part in a bit of daydreaming (if you haven’t done it in a while) could look like a walk or run without a podcast or music in your ears or a long shower. Or one of my favorites, a bath with Epsom salt and lavender essential oils from my favorite Adirondack Aromatherapy.
Allow yourself to imagine where you want to be in twenty years. Think BIG! If you could be or have or do anything you wanted, what would that look like?
Do you want to be retired? How about spending your days at a lake house or ocean or on 30 acres of property raising your food?
Do you want to be debt free?
Are you experiencing minor health problems and you want to take care of those so you can vacation with your future grandchildren?
Come up with some grand goals – BIG dreams. Former President of Libera Ellen Johnson Sirleaf said: “If your dreams don’t scare you, they are not big enough.”
Start narrowing that 20-year vision into smaller chunks. What can you do in the next ten years to achieve that dream, in the next five years? This year?
I like to pick a family goal, a personal goal, and a professional goal — set goals for the year.
Setting Goals And Objectives
The Journal Management Review in 1981 came up with the acronym S.M.A.R.T for management, but it also makes sense for goal setting.
It is not o to use an excuse that you just don’t know how to get started. With the world of information at our fingertips and like I often say to my mother in law, “Google it!” If you are a book lover, go to the library. No excuses!
Time to take all that daydreaming and reign it in. What can you do this year to make your 20-year dream a reality? It needs to be specific. A goal like “I want to pay off all consumer debt”, or “I want to sign 250 new clients”. How about “I want to lose 50 pounds”. It needs to be crystal clear. It can’t be “I want to lose weight.” It needs to be “I want to lose FIFTY POUNDS.” It could even get more specific. “I want to lose five pounds per month.”
Write it down. Writing it down reinforces the concept in your brain. I was listening to a podcast (The Life Coach School – my favorite!) last week, and there was a woman who wrote down her goal EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. Every morning in her journal, she would write that one sentence.
Get yourself a journal or notebook just for this purpose
Brooke from The Life Coach School also talks about describing your goal as you have already met it. How does it feel to be 50 pounds lighter? Are your aches and pains gone? Can you walk up the stairs without getting winded? Is the heartburn still there? Are you comfortable in your clothes? Does the movie theater seat seem to have more room? As many details as you can come up with.
Instead of “I want to lose weight,” assign the goal a number. Five pounds a week is measurable. Fifty pounds a year is measurable. Breaking it down into bite-size pieces (pun intended) helps goals to seem more achievable and seeing progress assists in motivation. Logging results will show you every time you look at those measurements what the goal is and all the possibilities within your goal.
Also, the app world is LOADED with so many possibilities to track your progress. I do not doubt that whatever your goal is, you will find an app to help you get there!
A firm believer in BIG goals, over here. But at the same time, breaking them down into bite-sized pieces makes them much more manageable and achievable. “I want to get out of debt” is HUGE!!! However, if you break that down into “I want to track my spending for one month,” it seems less daunting. Taking more off than you can chew will just cause you to choke. Take little bites and enjoy the meal! Take a look at my blog posts on a money mindset and how to create a budget for beginners.
Remember, a journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.
This step might be the most crucial step in the entire process. Here’s where your “why” come into play. Does this goal matter to you? Do you want it? I mean REALLY want it? Or is it a goal just because you think you should do it.
Do you want to put in the work to get out of debt? It will be hard, and it will disrupt your pattern and structure of everyday living. There will be sacrifices but as a result, you will be able to live the life you envisioned.
Do you want to stop eating sugar and ordering pizza on Friday nights? What will your family say when there are no cookies in the house and are you willing to face a possible fight?
You also have to be making this decision for the right reasons and not for anyone else.
My goal as of November is to lose some weight. My father passed away in 2016 from a heart attack. Three months before that, my mom had a heart attack (she’s doing ok) but needless to say, heart issues run in my family. Just about a month ago, my friend passed away from a terrible, tragic accident. She had three children and a husband. She was full of so much life. It showed me how precious life is and it made me realize that I can not take it for granted. If I can heal my body and prevent these health issues that seem to run in my family, then I am determined to put in the work. Not for anyone else but me (well, and the rest of my family of course).
Your goals must be relevant to you, and you must have a clear and precise vision of why you are doing this.
Set a time limit. Breaking down your goals into smaller, more manageable tasks and including a deadline will assist in motivation. Every goal must have a timeline. But it also needs to be realistic, too. Losing 20 pounds in two weeks may not be practical. Starting a blog and making $1000 in your first month might be over-optimistic.
Inspiration For Achieving Goals
A few more tips that I think are important when you set goals. These are the smaller concepts to goal setting that matter other than the SMART idea.
Celebrate and Reward
Remember to celebrate and reward yourself. You got the budget done so take the rest of the evening and binge watch “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” on Amazon Prime.
You lost 10 pounds so treat yourself to a pedicure with extra rubbing.
You made your first sale in that new business – don’t wait – break out the bubbly!!!
Working hard needs recognition. If you are on social media, post it and watch those ‘Atta Girl’s’ roll in!
Tweek When Necessary
Do not be afraid to look for a plan b if needed. Your strategy may be off. Maybe your weight loss has stalled and its time to add in some exercise or a different type of activity. Or you have fallen off the budgeting plan and can’t seem to make that app work for you, design your worksheets in Googe Docs.
Do not be afraid to try a new technique. The results may be the same but the path may be different and that is OK!
Create A Habit
It takes time to create a habit. But make the commitment to yourself and do not give up! When you feel yourself slipping off the wagon, find inspiration. Read a book like Girl Wash Your Face, Secrets of the Millionaire Mind or The Energy Bus!
You got this – ditch the resolutions and started creating some fearless goals!!!