New Year’s resolutions are not goals; they are pledges that have an unhealthy dose of the shame and guilt attached to them, and more often than not when you dig a little deeper you’ll find a silent Should lurking in the background. If you´re like most people, your New Year´s Resolutions have already been relegated to the mental drawer of broken promises, that´s if you even bothered to make any. Resolutions usually come from a sense of not being good enough and needing to improve and as if that wasn’t bad enough they end up being another stick to beat ourselves with when we don’t follow through on them, and a whooping 90% of people don’t!! So let’s not bother with resolutions and let’s start setting goals instead, goals that excite and energise you.
Goals, unlike resolutions, come from a place of acceptance. Goal setting is empowering, it says I am perfect as I am and yet I know I can want more, do more and be more and if I even don’t succeed I will learn and grow. Here are some tips to help you crush your goals this year.
Make Your Goals Meaningful
When we make promises to ourselves that are based on shame or guilt our chance of success decreases dramatically, it is diminished by the underlying feelings because as human beings we naturally avoid unpleasant emotions and move away from the source of them. But when we set goals that are personally meaningful, that are enticing and enlivening, the motivation is inherent. Of course there will be challenges, and even days when it just feels like to much effort but that
won’t signify the death toll for what we want to achieve. When we make meaningful goals we can easily reconnect with them and renew our resolve. How many people don’t even like reading and make New Year’s resolutions to read more, why?? Shame and guilt, that´s why!
What do you really want? Maybe it is read more, or maybe you want more freedom, more time or more energy, or to develop a regular exercise routine or better boundaries or improve your communcation skills, the important thing is not what your goal is, but rather what your goal means to you.
So choose goals that really mean something to you. Ask yourself what your life will be like when you reach your desire, how will it be different? What will that objective give you once you’ve achieved it? And what would your life be like if you never went for it?
Make a Plan
For you to maximise your chances of achieving your goal you need to prepare, it’s not enough just visualise it and get excited by it, you need to formulate a plan to make it happen.
The first step is to record it, in your diary, journal or on a post it somewhere you can it see all the time, wherever makes the most sense for you, but write it down.
Think about what resources you need to achieve your goal, what you already have and where you might need support. Ask for help if you need to, successful people know that asking for help is not a sign of weakness, it´s a sign of strength.
Recognise possible pitfalls and challenges, identify the things that could get in the way of you achieving your goal so you can prepare for, avoid or overcome them. Many people find an accountability partner is a great way of making sure setbacks don’t derail their dreams, and of course working with a coach is always a good bet.
If it’s a big goal, break it down into smaller, more manageable goals and choose some milestones along the way as well as some ways to celebrate those smaller wins. It will help re-enforce the new habits and behaviours you’re developing, give you a motivational boost, and it feels good.
Lastly set a date by which you want to achieve your goal, taking into consideration your current circumstances and commitments, you still have a life to live after all!
Review and Reflect Often
Now that you have done the work in picking and planning your goal, it’s important to take stock along the way. Regularly reviewing your progress, celebrating your successes and re-evaluating your timeline where necessary will help you make your dreams a reality.
What are your big goals for 2019?? Share in the comments.