I hope the first few weeks of the New Year have been off to a fantastic start. I am so excited for the start of a new decade! Every year around this time, I take some time to reflect on what I would like to accomplish in the coming year and beyond.
Let's talk about New Year's RESOLUTIONS
In my mind, the word 'resolution' means 'rectifying a problem'. By creating a New Year's resolution, you have to think about aspects of your life that are broken and need fixing. There is no denying that we ALL have struggles, but contemplating your problems is not a positive way to spend your time. Humans are perfectly imperfect, after all. With this in mind, a long time ago I decided to start setting New Year's goals instead of resolutions.
How to set New Year's goals?
Spend time by yourself. This doesn’t mean you have to sit in a chair, in an empty room, in silence (unless you feel the most comfortable and relaxed this way). You can also go on a run by yourself, stretch, paint, listen to music, lay on your bed with your eyes closed, take a candlelit bath, sip on a tea or anything that you find most relaxing. While you are spending time by yourself, think about the most outrageous things you’ve ever wanted to accomplish in your life. Have a pen and paper nearby and write out AT LEAST 5 things you would like to achieve this year. Make at least one personal goal, one interpersonal goal and one career related goal. I also like to include some outrageous fun goals that might be on my bucket-list. Why wait any longer to check something off the list of things you want to accomplish or see in life?
A personal goal could include making a daily conscious effort to be happy or learning how to ice skate. An interpersonal goal could include being a better friend or spending more time with your family. Career goals can be either short or long-term things you would like to focus on in your job. A fun goal can be something like going skydiving, a weekend vacation or trying out a new activity for the first time (scuba-diving anyone?).
How to make your goals attainable?
Goal setting does not end here. Now you should think about HOW you will achieve these goals. List out small sub-goals you can do TODAY to achieve your big goals. This makes your big goals seem more attainable. Studies suggest that when you write out your goals you are more likely to achieve them. I list my goals in my phone (I am a millennial after all... is there an app for this?) and every now and then I will take a look at them to remind myself of what I would like to accomplish each year (this keeps my goals in the back of my mind).
Even if by January next year you pull out your list of goals from the previous year and notice that you haven’t achieved certain goals, do not worry! Simply include it on your goal list every subsequent year until you achieve it! You would be surprised that when there is a goal in the back of your mind, which you constantly remind yourself of, you are more likely to do things in your life towards achieving it (oftentimes, even when you don’t realize you are doing it). I can’t tell you how many times this has worked for me! What I’ve noticed for my bigger goals is that when I write out a big goal one year, it isn’t until the next year that I end up achieving it. Putting my goals in my mind or out into the universe facilitates my ability to eventually attain them because I'm subconsciously doing things in my daily life that shift my mind towards them.
If you’re having a hard time attaining your goals (or if you struggle with thinking about positivity in general), I highly suggest trying out The 5 Minute Journal. This journal can be purchased either as a hardcopy or you can purchase the app version for your tablet or smartphone. It can make a substantial difference on your productivity and outlook each day. If you need something tangible to kick-start your goal setting or change the outlook you have on your life, give it a try!
Happy goal setting for this year and the next decade, everyone!