Happy New Year! It's 2020 and I'm up and at it ... but this is due to the fact that I fell asleep on the couch around 9:30pm after an incredibly long, delayed and frustrating day of travel from the UK to Toronto. I sure am grateful for the sleep and being reunited with my sweet cats :-) I'm also happy to be writing a blog today, as it's one of my goals for the New Year - to keep consistent!
The truth is, we can set goals and resolutions whenever we want to. There's a difference between goals and resolutions as well. A goal is something specific that we want to work toward and has elements and layers to it. A goal is measurable, attainable, time-specific and incorporates our values and beliefs, and typically aligns with who we are (I encourage that, anyway!). Whereas a resolution is an all or nothing mentality. We've certainly ALL done this. "I won't eat chocolate anymore; I won't have ___", etc. Resolutions almost always fail. That's because we aren't focusing on what we do what, we're focusing on what we don't want. While it's always good to have an idea of what we don't want, when we only focus on that, it becomes so black and white. We then beat ourselves up even more for it when it doesn't work out. It's unrealistic - plain and simple.
Instead of resolutions this year, try to set goals instead! Goals are way more complex and invite more positive thinking into your life. You can focus on the solutions instead of the problems and you can get super creative with goal-setting. Incorporating how you'll feel and tying in methods to keep accountable and strive forward when a setback occurs is a great way to set goals, instead of a black and white sentence on what you won't do this year. Goals can leave wiggle room and space in case stuff comes up. Because let's be real, this is life - stuff will come up, whether we like it or not. So tie in some self-compassion with your goals as well!
Anyway, now let's get on with what this blog post is about! I decided to write out my goals on the plane from UK to Toronto, taking a lot of time as we flew over the Atlantic to really get into what I want to achieve this year and what I want my year to look like. I tied in a lot of emotion and feeling with it, so that I could truly know how it'll all feel when it works out (acknowledging that if it doesn't work out, there's other ways to try or other plans I can work on instead). I also asked myself a ton of questions when I was writing out my goals, so I want to share some of the questions that came up for me. I used these questions to hold myself accountable, to be realistic and to also confirm this is something authentic to me. Here they are!
1) What do I really want?
2) What areas in my life need a little love this year? - For example, is it finances? Relationships? Career? Education?
3) If everything were to work out the way I want it to, what would that look like and how would it make me feel? - Incorporate some future visioning into this!
4) Is this something I can measure? - If so, how? If not, that's not a problem at all! Instead, you can ask how you can keep track of it.
5) How realistic is this?
- Be honest with this. For example, making a million dollars your first year of business may not be realistic, so be completely true and honest to yourself here.
6) Does this align with my values? - A great place to start with this, is to acknowledge and note down what your values are in the first place. For example, some of mine are: connection, creativity, helping the community... get curious about what yours are and see how your goal aligns with that.
7) Does this goal align with my beliefs? - A good follow up question to your values.
8) Is this a goal that will truly help me? - Is this goal something that will guide you forward, help you grow?
9) What is the timeline for this goal? - Get really specific on this one. It helps to keep track of your progress. You can then set the end-date and work backwards to get a feel of when you should be plugging in certain action steps.
10) Is this timeline realistic? - A follow-up to the last question and a reality check. Can you leave wiggle room in this goal?
11) What would achieving this goal mean for me? - How might this make a difference in your life for the better?
12) Does this goal make me feel excited? - I hope so :)
13) Is this goal something I really want to work toward? - Do it for YOU.
14) Is this my own goal or am I comparing myself to others?
- Getting caught up in the comparison game is a real thing. Make sure your goal is authentic to you, as I have said many times I know :) You don't have to have the same goals as others!
15) Does this goal align with my "why"?
- What's your why? Think on this often, especially in times of doubt or setbacks!
16) How can I enjoy the journey with this goal?
- When we rush toward the goal, we forget about enjoying the moments along the way. The journey is a great part, slow down and enjoy it :)
17) When my goal works out, how will that make me feel?
18) If I fall off track with this goal, how can I get back on and keep moving forward?
- This is overcoming obstacles and setbacks
19) How can I track my progress?
- Maybe you have a journal, a daily habit tracker, an accountability buddy
20) If something doesn't work out, how can I be kind to myself? What lessons can I pull from it?
There you go! I hope these questions help spark some ideas for you and help you feel aligned with what you're setting out. Goal-setting is a great process and like I said, can be done at any time of the year. Sometimes setting goals may be a bit tough for some, and that's completely normal. Hiring a coach can be a great way to explore your life, gather main themes, understand your values and beliefs, know your strengths and an awesome source of accountability. If you're interested in hiring a coach or want to learn more about it, send me a message! We can set up a free consultation and answer any questions you may have about the life coaching process :)
Wishing you all the very best in 2020!!