2019- the year to make it happen!
Has January been somewhat of a write-off for you?
Don’t worry if you said yes- you’re not the only one. Coming off the back off the Christmas break, celebrating the new year, catching up with friends for the first time this year and trying to settle in pulls us away from routine. While it’s refreshing and an exciting way to start the year, once the end of January starts looming, we can feel like we haven’t actually got started on what we said we would do. It’s said that on average, people lose sight of their goals and intentions by mid-February. They fall back into old patterns and their resolutions go out the window. That’s leaves ten and a half months of going through the motions, surviving rather than thriving and perhaps being stuck in the same space as 12 months ago.
If this sounds all too familiar, don’t throw in the towel just yet. Know that you can change and that you can start right now. I’m going to take you through some steps that will help you to set goals that align with what you want and what’s most important to you.
Start by thinking about what YOU really want. Try to avoid what others expect of you and don’t fall into the comparison trap and think that you have to do what everyone else is doing (easier said than done I know!). Just because other people have travelled to more countries than you can name, have bought their own homes, have a strict gym routine, cook all organic meals or take an hour a day to do something for themselves, doesn’t mean that you have to as well.
So, let’s get started.
Get a blank piece of paper and write down everything you’d like to make possible for yourself in 2019. This is your chance to dream and put your fears of failure and judgement to the side. Think about the ‘what’ and the ‘why’ behind what you jot down. If it’s a new job, what would it be? What would you love most about it? How would it make you feel? If it’s to feel energised and have stamina, what difference would it make to your life? What would you be able to do that you haven’t been able to do in the past?
Looking at the list you’ve just made, choose the three things that are most important to you and that you think would have the greatest impact on your life if you were to achieve them. It can be tricky to narrow it down but now I want you to go a step further and choose one. You can come back and choose another goal to workshop and refine, but let’s begin with one. With the one goal you’ve chosen, give yourself time to work through the following steps.
Write down how you want to feel, or how you think you will feel when you achieve this goal. Maybe you’d like to feel energised, content, at ease, strong, resilient or independent. These feelings help to shape the ‘why’ behind your chosen goal.
Be as specific as possible rather than setting a broad goal that will be too hard to measure. For example, instead of saying “I’ll stop eating junk food” you might say “I’ll eat home-cooked meals 5 nights a week” or “I’ll have x amount of different colours with every meal”.
Decide if your goal is going to be a ‘by when’ goal or a continuous goal. A ‘by when’ goal means that you essentially have a deadline, such as, in 3 months or by the end of the year. This may provide incentive and motivation or it could add pressure so think about what works best for you. A continuous goal means that it’s something you’ll keep working on with no set end date.
Commit to your goal by making it a priority. Start by choosing one action that’s realistic for you to do each day. Using the example of eating 5 home-cooked meals a week, you might start with meal planning for next week or making a meal that you can freeze and have ready to go when you get home late or can’t be bothered cooking. I have some yummy recipes and tips here if your goal is similar to this example.
As you move along, start adding to your action plan with realistic steps so you keep progressing and getting closer to achieving and sustaining your goal. Schedule time to do what you’ve said you’ll do by setting reminders in your phone or putting a note in your diary.
Chat to people about your goal and keep them updated on your progress. It might make going after your goal more real and scary, especially if you don’t like being held accountable, but tell those close to you. They’ll be there when you need them and they can be the ones you celebrate your milestones with.
Keep reflecting on your progress and celebrating all the small wins along the way! It’s great to write down your milestones, changes and challenges so you can look back and fully appreciate all you’ve done to get to where you’d hoped to be.
Take time to celebrate when you achieve your goal rather than shifting the goals posts and moving onto your next goal straight away. Do something you love to do and be proud of yourself.
It’s inevitable that there’ll be bumps in the road. When things get challenging, when self-doubt creeps in or you come up with every excuse under the sun to talk yourself out of sticking to your goal, keep believing in yourself. Tell yourself that it’s possible and remember to be kind to yourself. If the goal you’ve set doesn’t actually feel right and you’re not excited by it, sit down and reassess. Finally, a big part of the process is living as if you’ve already achieved your goal. This process of visualisation helps you to manifest, or bring to life, what you actually want, so make space to do this every day.
If you find that you’ve tried to work through setting a goal but you’re not quite there, that’s ok. Sit with it for a few more days and write down everything that comes up. If by this time next week, you’re still overwhelmed with where to start or unsure of what you need to do to bridge the gap from where you are to where you want to be, then reach out. Chat to those close to you and even people you don’t know as well. I’m right here if you need me and would love to guide you.
I’d also love for you to share your goal with me below.
Here’s to 2019 being one of your best years yet.
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