The Holiday’s just came to an end which means a few inevitable things happened. We ate way too much, we listened to “all I want for Christmas” on loop and we solidified all of our New Year’s Resolutions. I’ve never been a huge fan of New Year’s Resolutions – why do we have to wait to the end of the year?! We set them, we try our best then we get side tracked. Before you know it we didn’t reach the goal, and then we feel like failures. Instead of feeling like a failure, I put together two simple steps to stick to your goals this year!
In my life I have done a lot of learning around goal setting. I was the type of person that would set a lot of goals for myself. I wouldn’t be happy with just achieving one or two, nooo! I wanted to have it all: the perfect body, the best vacation spots, the perfect job, the perfect relationship, and the tidiest, most stylish house.
Goals would be created endlessly on my quest to be perfect. There was one big problem. I didn’t actually have a solid idea of what perfect meant. It was a hazy concept and I felt sure that when I got there I would know. But what ended up happening, is that I would just be on a never ending cycle of goal setting without actually really enjoying the process of it.
Everything was set up for the momentary glory when I achieved something. But the in-between bits were often stressful & draining my energy.
I also found that I was running in circles not actually moving forward in the direction that I wanted to go. But that was because I hadn’t spent much time thinking about the bigger picture. What was it that I actually wanted to do and accomplish with my life. What did I want my life to mean. I was spending the whole time running after a hazy concept without enjoying the process and without getting anywhere.
Then, I would beat myself up with whatever I didn’t achieve. It wasn’t physically possible to fit everything I set for myself in, so inevitably some things would drop off the list. Then I would beat myself up for being a failure.
Eventually I realized that goal setting in itself is not enough. We need to set techniques in place to help us. It should be an enjoyable process that leads to a great achievement.
Since I have started to incorporate these tiny little rules into my goal setting, life has become a lot more balanced and enjoyable.
Establish your why
Have you ever noticed the things that you really, really, really want to achieve, tend to get accomplished? Think about the accomplishments you have already achieved in your life, then think about why you wanted to achieve those goals.
By achieving a goal, you validate a belief or value you have about yourself. Perhaps this goal would have caused pain if you didn’t go through with it, or pleasure from achieving it.
It’s amazing what we can achieve if our why is rooted in our core values and beliefs.
As an example for myself; in 2016 I want to reach more people and market my business. Why? Because in doing so I will have greater freedom (my core value) to work on projects I love to do.
Every time I market my business I reinforce my why. It is the best motivation I can possibly give myself.
How will you accomplish your goal?
The how is very, very important and often gets totally overlooked. Going through the action of achieving your goal is what will take the longest. The most important takeaway here is to enjoy your how!
There are numerous ways that we can achieve a goal. For example, perhaps your goal is to lose weight. Instead of just defaulting to signing up for that gym membership (which you’ve done every year and then couldn’t drag yourself to go), try something else. Maybe the gym environment just isn’t right for you. That doesn’t mean all exercise isn’t right for you! There are literally hundreds of different ways you could exercises and I can guarantee there is something that you will absolutely love.
Explore your options. Look into sports teams, hiking in nature, water sports, or even adrenaline packed mountain climbing. Spend the first 2 months of 2016 experimenting with different forms of exercise, and see what you enjoy!
You will never have to drag yourself out or motivate yourself to go, you will just want to do it.
The long term vision
This is the foundation for everything. Our long term vision will very likely move and adapt and that is fine. It is smart to have a clear understanding of what it is we want to do with our lives; what is it we want our lives to mean. What legacy do you want to leave behind when you leave this earth?
We should make sure that every goal that we set is taking us towards our big picture vision. That doesn’t mean we can’t try different things and have variety in our tactics – variety is good. But, a common mistake many of us make is setting goals based on other people, not ourselves. If we spend our whole time trying to please other people, then we are not living for ourselves. When you look back on your life, you are going to want to have achieved goals based on your values and no one else.
About the Author: Cheryl Clarke
Cheryl is the founder of City Calm. A platform with a mission to help entrepreneurs attain the energy and the mindset they need to be successful in business. You can learn more about their mission and retreats at CityCalm.org.