Starting a new year is so exciting for me! It makes me feel like I did growing up when starting a new year of school – with that anticipation of the fun to come, new friends, and new adventures but most importantly a chance to set new goals and have a clean calendar and a clean slate. I love to sit down around this time of year with a brand new journal, a fabulous pen, and a great cup of coffee to start my list of goals and resolutions for the coming year.
If you’re a regular reader of my blog, you know that I believe in the transformative power of resolutions, and the importance of starting your year with a vision, a plan, and a clear intention. When I sit down to begin my goal- and resolution-setting, I always remind myself of the relationship between resolutions and goals. For the most part, this is pretty obvious, but here is a clarification, just in case:
- A goal is an endpoint you desire. This makes me think about the other common use for “goal,” and that’s in sports: it’s a score, a target, something strived-for and earned. When you set a goal, you are choosing the destination of a journey (or at least one major progress point along the way).
- A resolution is an intention that you set for your life; an invitation to the kind of energy and actions you want to manifest. You are resolving to do something (or NOT do something), either with the intention of creating a new habit forever or in order to jumpstart a big change. And many times our resolutions allow us to achieve our goals. To push our journey metaphor a little bit further, if a goal is a destination, then a resolution is a choice you make about what you want the trip to be like, how you want to live the journey you’re creating.
If you want goals and resolutions for your life to really stick and to begin to transform your life, you can’t allow your critical or negative self-talk to drown out your hopes and dreams for your life. My best advice is to give yourself the gift of not judging any of your instincts and feelings as you sit down to write your own list for the year. And let go of that inner mean girl as you move through the year and work toward your goals. These should be intentions for you and you alone – and not a reason to beat yourself up.
Also, you should never make goals and resolutions that you believe would please someone else but that you don’t really want at your core. Trust you gut. You know what goals are authentic to you and which ones you are writing down because your mom or your spouse or your children think you should. What good is setting goals others want for you going to do? NONE. So don’t give-in to the temptation to try to set the “right” intentions; these are YOURS, and feeling passionate about your goals is all you need to make them the right ones for you. Your goals will not be graded except by you. You will be the one holding yourself accountable to yourself. So let go of the A+ student inside who wants to earn praise from others and lean into to what you really want in your innermost self.
If you work or own your own business, be sure to set both business goals and personal goals. I truly believe that only by being your very best self will you achieve your ultimate potential and reach your true joy! And when you set those goals to help you be your best, each and every one of them needs to have a step-by-step plan. Later this week, I’m going to tell you what my year in review looks like (a peek back at all I accomplished and enjoyed this year), and there is no way I could have achieved any of the goals I set without a plan in place for each one of them.
For each goal and resolution, I define a series of steps, with deadlines and dates attached! If I get to one of the dates and haven’t quite gotten where I need to be with my goal – but I’ve made some progress – I don’t beat myself up. I just tweak that deadline a bit and keep plugging away at each of the steps. Any action is always better than no action and some things just take longer than we think they will. But moving towards our goals each day is the most important part.
I have done a ton of reading and studying in 2015 as I do each year. And I have learned some exciting tips and thoughts on goal setting. In fact, this year I have a couple of all new approaches to help me stay on track with my goal setting and also to help with the setbacks that we all face. I will be bringing you those new ideas in just a few days to help you have success with your goals in 2016, so be sure and check back with me in the coming days to learn these exciting new tips. But for now, start thinking about your goals and intentions for 2016 while you are relaxing and enjoying the last few days of the year. I find my best ideas and most authentic wants and goals come when I am relaxing and not forcing anything. So no pressure yet. Just dream about what 2016 will be.
If you already know your goals and resolutions for 2016, hooray! Put a few in the comments section below so we can all cheer you on! It’s always easier to achieve a goal or resolution when you put it out to the universe, right? I’ll see you back here with more goals and resolution ideas soon!