Goal setting for a New Year
Happy New Year! Can you believe it's 2015! "Where did the year go?" is pretty much how I feel about 2014.
So this blog was supposed to be a timely post, all ready for the 31st December, however my Mac Book had other ideas and got completely wiped - thanks Apple! It might be a little late but it's not too late for you to take the time for yourself and make some plans for the year ahead.
A new year equals a clean start, fresh hopes and new dreams. If you're like me it also comes with a list of resolutions to make the year ahead your most successful! For some people the idea of resolutions, aka self-improvement, is a pointless exercise that either leads to failure or is something forgotten by mid February. But I love them, they give me clarity and make me feel like I'm heading into the New Year 100% prepared.
Now I didn't always feel like this, for many years I'd set myself the same goals (exercise 5 x a week, eat healthy, reach my goal weight) and I'd pretty much fail by February - it felt like I was in a constant cycle of behaviour that was getting me nowhere fast, even though I had goals. Sound familiar? These days I finally feel like I'm making significant personal achievements and it feels so much better than being stuck in a repetitive cycle!
So here are some steps I follow when goal setting for the year ahead:
Before jumping feet first into 2015 take a little time to reflect on the previous year.
Think about your greatest achievements, the fun times you experienced and the people you're thankful for. Write a little list and keep it somewhere special. Reflecting upon your year is a wonderful trip down memory lane but it also allows you to acknowledge how much you actually achieved in one year.
Think about what is important to you in the year ahead and choose two to four categories to set goals in. This can help you focus on where you spend your time and energy. Perhaps you feel work has been hectic and your social life or family life has suffered - setting specific goals under the head of 'Relationships' will help you later on in the year when your work-life balance reaches tipping point.
In previous years I divided my goals into three categories; health, relationships and career. This year I'm focusing on just two; business and health.
3) One, six and three
If setting one year goals feel unattainable or pointless set yourself six month and three month goals. Every three months take some time to reassess what you are trying to achieve and set some new goals for the 12 weeks ahead. Three month goals are more relevant and timely, therefore more achievable - just remember to keep your end goal in mind!
4) Internal and External
Sometimes it pays to look inwards. Most of the time we look externally for things to achieve, experience or accomplish. Writing a to-do list, setting goals are all great as they help to keep our lives ticking forward. But for some of us we can be left feeling like we're running in circles; each year you set the same goals and at the end of that year you end up feeling the same way, you might have achieved things but nothings really changed - you still feel the same.
If that's you it's time to start looking inwards and switch goal setting on it's head.
Ask yourself this question "how do I want to feel?" - you can apply this to many aspects of your life e.g. about your appearance, relationships or career. Once you've figured it out that is your goal.
Clarifying with yourself how you want to feel will help you with the everyday decision-making that's previously left you running around and ending up back at square one. You'll know what to say "yes" to or "no" to in life because one of them will give you the desired feeling you're searching for.
For me this has been the most important information I've learnt. It's made me more controlled, optimistic, and more confident in the choices I make. It's not a process I do on a monthly basis, it's actually something I do on a daily basis with everyday choices I face. I still have goals and love them, but now my goals are connected to my internal feelings, not just external achievements.
I hope you're feeling excited for the year a head, I can't wait! I'd love to hear any of your New Year's goals - I'll share a few of mine over on my instagram account @thenouirishingconcept. 2015 is going to be a very hectic but exciting year for me. I have so many fun things planned for 'The Nourishing Concept' that hopefully you'll all love.
Have a wonderful start to the New Year!