I love this time of year. I love reflecting on the past year and determining what it will take to make the next year better! Getting better, one day...one step at a time. Setting SMART goals (Specifiic, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Timely) are on the top of my list! We have all heard the statistics regarding New Year's resolutions - I am sad to say that I have contributed to the numbers of failed attempts - year after year. I am contributing this year to the statistics on repeat goals.
If you keep a journal, this is a good time to go back through it and pick out those things that you can build on - those good ideas, the victories. Celebrate what went right, when you see that you were on the right track.
2. Remain positive.
I am more likely to be able to come up with a SMART goal when I am feeling good about things, and about myself. Again, celebrate the wins and use them as springboards into the future!
3. Express gratitude.
Research tells us that gratitude has a measurable affect on achieving our goals so it would seem that counting our blessings is a good way to start a great year. This year I started gratitude journaling - making lists of things I'm grateful for. This year, this is on my list of daily activities - a way to close every day.
4. Focus on the essentials.
Choose only the right things to get done. There are so many people out there thinking they have to do everything. We are not made for that. Saying no, is ok. Focus on those things that make you better, for your goals - for your family, your faith, your fitness, your fun.
5. Set goals that you can emotionally connect with.
How can I organize my work and my life to do the things that cause that same smile?”
6. Break it down.
Take those compelling goals and chunk them down into manageable pieces. You may want to categorized them. So that my goals are well rounded, I am setting goals in several areas: Family, Fun, Fitness, Faith (not necessarily in that order). Big goals - maybe one in each category. Smaller goals (quarterly) - no more than 6-7 in each category. and remember:
“Every day is an opportunity to move forward"
7. Say When.
Once you know what your goals are, and why. It's time to say when.
What gets scheduled gets done. Write them down on your calendar or a dry erase board... Schedule the time to work toward those goals, schedule time to evaluate.
8. Retreat. Abandon. Recharge.
I had a mentor who recommended Retreating daily, Abandoning Annually. Recharging monthly.
This is good practice. Taking time to recharge - get away from it all - will keep you energized for the work of moving forward consistently and getting where you want to go.
The art of unplugging for a time creates a margin in life - a place for unexpected life events, time for reconnecting with loved ones, time for remembering what is truly important.
We are all very different, unique. For some of us, goal setting is very exciting. For some of us - it is just more work that seems unnecessary. I have to say that I really have never met the person who does not have something that they want to do in life - and can get there accidentally on a consistent basis. It all takes some sort of planning. Find a way to make it fun. Vision boards are fun way to goal set.
Try some of these things in your dreaming about the next year. Share your tips in the comment section - making it purposeful doesn't mean that it can't be fun - get creative and try it out!
Get ready to have the Best Year Ever!
Wellness Advocate, BSN,RN