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Coffee cup on top of a planner that reads 'Goals for November'.

Should I Set Goals?

habits motivation Jan 04, 2021



Do you dodge goal setting because you don’t like the feeling of failure when you don’t hit your goals?


Are you in the habit of setting big goals, knowing you’ll likely bail by Feb 28th anyway?


Are you in the boat I - until recently - boarded with much fanfare, the “SS F*&$ RESOLUTIONS!” ??


Goals. Intentions. Resolutions. Visions… There’s a lot out there right now about how to set yourself up for “success” in the coming year, and - both personally and professionally - I’ve learned or heard just about every iteration of goal setting and habit forming. 


I can tell you this for sure: they’re all 100% right and 100% wrong depending on who’s doing the goal setting and what stage of life they’re in. Some people in some stages need more structure and discipline. For others, fluidity and flexibility is the only way forward. Keeping your sights on what you truly desire for your life is imperative. It’s the only way to recognize abundance, be aware of our daily progress and get up and keep moving when we get knocked flat on our asses! But how you set wayfinding stones for yourself? That’s really personal.


The big question for you, right now, as you look ahead : 


Are your actions - day to day -  actually moving you in the direction of what I call your True North (your BIG dream?) 


If so - awesome! You get to vision ahead to maintain and celebrate what’s working! If not - awesome! Here is a short cut guide to moving in a direction that will bring you life, strength and energy:


  1. Create a visual image of your vision. 
    1. Use Pinterest, magazine cut outs or art supplies to create a VISUAL of what it looks like to be you in the coming year. You can also write a journal entry of your ideal life -- write in great detail what your life looks, sounds, smells, tastes and feels like. (NOTE: this is NOT “I will get $1,000,000 because that book said it will manifest it for me.” But rather -- “This is the kind of imagery I see for myself internally and externally.”)
  2. Set a short term goal.
    1. Instead of making a resolution for the year, look at your vision and choose an action for just this month that is deeply in line with that image of yourself, your life and your relationships. (Repeat this for each month.)
  3. Create an action plan for this month. 
    1. Find something that you can put on your calendar daily or weekly -- something small enough and concrete enough that you KNOW you can do it. Rather than “get in shape” set a task in your calendar for “move for 15 minutes every day.”
  4. Remember your vision.
    1. Before ACTING, take a moment to remember how this action is going to move you in the direction of your big, glowing, wonderful dreams for your life. “OK. Going out for a walk in the cold means my knees and hips will be healthy for playing with my grandkids!” By continuing to look at your future, even the hard days feel purposeful and useful.
  5. Reward yourself each time. 
    1. In order to spend energy on days that feel more challenging, your neurology dictates the need for short term rewards - as well as long term! Even something as simple as an extra slather of the “good” lotion (the one you’re hoarding) or “I went for a walk, so I’m going to stop for coffee on my way to work instead of slugging yesterday’s cold leftovers!” is enough to satisfy that need.


While “New Year” is just an arbitrary mark on the calendar, it’s also an easy time to remember to just sit for a minute and think about what you really truly want your life to look like, compassionately tap into your innate ability to create change and make micro adjustments on your journey.


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