It’s the cliche “what’s your New Year’s resolution” that feels almost laughable at times, but there’s no denying that something significant does happen at this time of the year. Time to reflect, dream and plan. To take that well-earned break.
Yet, in amongst the hype of ‘goal-setting’ and dreaming for the year ahead it can be hard to know where to begin when planning for the year, AND also holding to what you say you will do.
I’ll be honest, I’m in that camp too. Especially the all too familiar – ‘this year I’ll get healthy’ (whatever that means) resolution. You see it’s one thing to set a ‘statement’ (I want to get healthy), it’s another, though, to set a goal. Goals are specific, measurable, achievable, realistic & time-bound statements we speak into our future. In other words, they are S.M.A.R.T. If you’re keen to make your dreams in 2019 a reality, here’s a step-by-step way that I’ve personally found really helpful.
Step 1 – Write down your dreams/things/actions you’d like to achieve in 2019. Aim for 20 or more – really stretch your thinking and get creative. Here’s some helpful prompts:
Step 2 – Of those 20+ statements, now choose 5 that will become your top priorities for 2019. Highlight those 5.
Step 3 – Take the first statement (of these 5 you’ve highlighted). Now imagine it’s December 2019 (end of this year) and you’ve achieved this statement. How do you feel? Write down 5 ‘feeling’ based words that come to mind (here’s a helpful chart of ‘feelings’ to make it a wee bit easier!) Of these 5 feelings, choose 1 that best captures how you want to feel, and write it next to your statement. Repeat for the other 4 statements.
Step 4 – Now it’s time to funnel your statements through the SMART filter. Download these questions to morph your statement into a goal here.
As you look forward to this year and activating your goals and dreams, be encouraged. It is natural to have moments of deep motivation (like right now) and then to feel it drop off. In the times when that motivation does decrease, take time to stop, pause and reflect back on these 5 SMART goals you’ve set. Be reminded of why you set these goals. Allow yourself to visualise the feeling you articulated before. Embody it for a moment. Imagine the sensation you’ll feel when completing it.
A few years ago, I set a goal to have no chocolate for a whole year. For someone who LOVED chocolate that was ambitious. But, I did it. There were times that made it difficult (eg: Easter) but what I learnt in the entirety of the process wasn’t that chocolate was bad, it was the process of trusting myself. Trusting that I could walk the talk. Displaying discipline, and also teaching myself about the power of work and reward. Who would’ve thought simply cutting out chocolate would have that effect, right?
So, while soaking up the joy this summer season has to offer, don’t forget to take some time for you. Reflect, pause and refresh. Pull out those old, long-held dreams, wrap them up with tangible SMART goals and celebrate every small step in their activation. I look forward to hearing more about what this year looks like for you!
Want more? Check out these great books/audiobooks: