A common theme discussed around New Year’s is how tricky it can be for us to uphold our own self-made resolutions. It seems to have become the accepted comedic content of the late festive season, hasn’t it? In the past, I used to get pretty blue if I let myself down on a promise, so I made an effort to learn about goal setting because ‘Goal Setting 101’ simply isn’t taught in school.
If you are also familiar with those feelings of disappointment, we can avoid them together by taking a quick refresher course in how to create strong goals that we can stick to this resolution season! Let’s agree right now to start 2017 by keeping all the promises we make to the one that matters most: our self.
Step One: Finding your Passion
To begin with, the most critical part to setting goals is to invest proper time and energy in yourself to consider your passions. This involves quiet time alone, away from phone and computer (yes, you can set goals without the inspiration of Instagram and Pinterest!) to reflect on what matters to you in key areas of your life. To get started, you may go through these key areas and ask yourself ‘am I okay with where this is at?’ You can dream large and think freely.
Personally, I have a journal that I love and I start each year by writing notes, thoughts, and any draft goals that come to mind. I do tend to collect cuttings and all kinds of odds and ends inside the pages as the year goes on, but it always starts off as a blank canvas.
I also like to surround myself or adorn myself with gemstones that can help me with my brainstorming (try it – the new year is a great time to try new things!).
For example, some good ones include:
Diamond, for purity, clarity of the Higher Self, faithfulness
Labradorite, for strength, personal growth, life changes
Citrine, for prosperity, abundance, joy, manifestation of your visions
Cat’s Eye, for intuition, confidence, happiness, good luck
Quartz Crystal, (regarded as a master healer) which magnifies energy/intentions.
Step Two: Goal Writing
Now it is time to review your notes and decide on what you would like your goals to be. You can decide on what is feasible to include from your dreamtime musings, and remember it is alright to include a big, daunting, longreaching goal if you are passionate about it! When writing your goals down, use empowering language like ‘I will’ not ‘I would like to’.
It is also good practice to structure your goals so they are SMART:
Specific, meaning defined and clear so you have good direction.
Measurable, so you know when you have achieved your goal.
Attainable, so you have a chance of actually achieving this goal and succeeding.
Relevant, so your collective goals are moving your life in a consistent direction.
Time-Bound, so you have a time frame in which to achieve your goal.
Step Three: Create an Action Plan
Develop an action plan for each goal that requires one. This is a checklist of smaller steps you will need to take in order to achieve your goal. You may even need to form smaller SMART goals underneath it as part of your action plan. This plan acts as a list of directions to reach the final destination, or a list of ingredients one must find in order to bake a cake: follow the list and you will reach your final goal soon enough! You can also celebrate these smaller milestones, which keeps you feeling motivated on the way towards your larger goal.
I also love to decorate my space to help motivate me for my new goals each year (or each quarter, even). If you are a visual person, you might find this especially invigorating and encouraging as well. Again, I tend to introduce helpful crystals into my space, I move furniture for optimal feng shui, I pull out reference books on relevant topics and make sure they are close at hand, and I make my workspace and living space feel reinvigorated for the new goals at hand.
Decide Whether to Share
There are arguments both for and against sharing goals. I think you can decide for yourself whether you are someone who is very self motivated, or who prefers to have the encouragement and support of others. But if you do choose to share, choose a close ally. I say an ‘ally’ and not just a partner or friend, because not all partners and friends or family are supportive; some can be very negative or sabotaging, even without meaning to be. Confide in someone who will actually help you achieve your goals.
Step Four: Reminders and Reviews
Set reminders for yourself to achieve your action plan tasks. Use your usual reminder system e.g. phone reminders, diary notes, email reminder etc. You should also schedule review meetings with yourself to check if you are happy with where things are at, just like if you were managing a project at work. If you are stuck, it’s okay to ask people for help, as they may be able to see your situation from another viewpoint. If you are really stuck, you can adjust your goals if you need to, and that is okay too.
A Note on Vision Boards
Personally, I am a big believer in manifesting your own wishes by actively focusing on them. I suppose this is another way of keeping them fresh in your mind, aside from reminders in your calendar. I keep some of my largest goals in the forefront of my mind by creating vision boards for each, and putting them where I will look at them often (on my office wall, for example). Your vision board is your own space, so you can put words or images or found objects on it, depending on if you are a words or pictures person, or a mix. I have symbols, quotes, key words, photos, other people’s pictures – all sorts of things! So long as overall the mood it creates inspires you to chase your goals!
For more inspiration on manifesting your dreams, I have a book on this very topic! The Seven Secrets of Magic and Manifestation is a collaboration with the astrologer Stella Woods, and shows you step by step how to turn your dreams into your dream life. There is also a gorgeous set of Affirmation Cards if you like to delve deeper into the messages of the universe and take some time out for daily mindfulness.
Step Five: Celebrate and Share the Love
It is important to allow yourself to enjoy the positive rewards that come with achieving your goals. Give yourself a pat on the back and take some time out to relax from all your hard work when you make important progress. And when you achieve a big goal, remember to thank anyone who helped you along the way over a cup of tea so they can join in the fun, too.
With a strong plan built on a foundation of passion, this New Year is sure to kick off with fulfillment and success! Enjoy those wonderful feelings of accomplishment, dear friends, and happy 2017!
Lots of love,