New Year is a time when we traditionally reflect on the past year and look forward to the coming one. Sadly most New Year’s Resolutions aren’t kept. I am not a fan of New Year resolutions. They tend to be so negative, so hard. They are usually about giving stuff up and frequently seem to be more about pleasing others than doing what you really want.
But if instead you set a New Year goal, then that might be different. A goal tends to be positive, it’s something you actually want and as such is worth working towards.
Which sounds more likely to be achieved a resolution to give up smoking or a goal to be smoke free for the whole of 2014? Giving up chocolate or a goal of eating healthily for 2014?
Most of us aren’t very good at setting goals for ourselves but it isn’t too hard to create some powerful goals that really give some momentum.
Most of us tend to focus on the immediate future and don’t pay enough attention to the long term so everyone should have a long term goal that sets a certain direction – a business might call this it’s mission statement and most businesses have one. But individuals tend not to. If this is something you have never really thought of before it can be surprisingly difficult. Ideally a good coach would help you with this, if you don’t have a coach then ask yourself ‘what do I want to be remembered for?’ Some people imagine their own memorial service – if that is a little macabre try thinking about what you would say if asked to give an inspiring speech about your life to your old school.
This long term goal may be a little fuzzy, you may not know how to achieve it and it may (should?) feel challenging. That’s good. Remember a lot can be achieved in a lifetime, we often underestimate how much. This isn’t a dream – it is something you are going to have to work hard to achieve. And you may not even know what the first steps look like. Remember this is your life, you are not seeking approval or kudos from others. When you find your True Purpose you’ll know and you’ll relish the challenge it brings.
As the timescales get shorter we are usually better at having goals. Ideally try to set a few goals over the medium to long term. You will have more one year goals, but don’t overestimate what can sensibly be achieved in the short term. Make sure that your goals cover different aspects of your life and don’t focus on just one area.
All goals must be stated positively, be things that you can control and be in tune with achieving your mission in life.
Write your mission and your goals down somewhere you will keep seeing them, put them firmly in your future (see yourself having achieved them). Review them regularly.
And then start taking action. A goal without action is just a dream. Knowing how fabulous your mission is, it will be hard to stop you from taking action.
So I’ve given up giving up, I’m resolute that I won’t be making any resolutions. I will however be reviewing my (and maybe creating some more) goals this New Year.
This New Year dare to dream, take action and be fantastic.
“She wanna move around and hold onto the dreams that she’s dreamin’
she wanna lose the frown and turn it upside down, and start livin’
Ah ah ah, don’t blame the time on your wrist
for not doing what makes you tick.
Don’t blame the clock on the wall for running round
with nothing at all”
Swim Deep – Honey