Wow are we already a week into 2016?… I don’t know about you but I keep writing 2015 and then having to cross out the 5 and replace with a 6.
I hope you all had a great time over the holiday season and had a great Christmas and New Years. I was lucky enough to take a week off work and while it went too quickly (doesn’t it always), I had an enjoyable time catching up with friends and family and doing a lot of relaxing… it was nice not to race off anyway and just take each day as it came. I slept in a lot.. which is unlike me, had the opportunity to read (and finished) a couple of books, caught up on some odd jobs around the house and enjoyed leisurely days at the beach (and even have a tan to prove it).
That being said, I’m happy to be back on track, setting goals and planning out some exciting things for 2016, yep sweet 16 is gonna be a sweet year. 🙂
The New Year often brings an influx of people setting big ‘New Years Resolutions’. The word resolution is defined as “a firm decision to do or not do something” and have you noticed that many New Years resolutions are often related to behaviours of the previous couple of weeks/months. Overeaten or slacked off over the holidays may result in a resolution to lose weight and get fitter, spending too much money on partying and buying gifts may result in a resolution to make more money or save money.
Instead of setting resolutions, I prefer to set goals. A goal is defined as “the object of a person’s ambition or effort; an aim or desired result”, and to me that seams a lot more positive.
I spent a bit of time early in 2015 (it didn’t quite happen in December or January) thinking about what I wanted to achieve and typing out 6 specific goals, adding pictures and then printing and putting on the pin up board in my study. It was a visual reminder of what I was aiming for and it was nice to tick each item off the list as I achieved them and to reflect and celebrate them at the end of the year.
Achieving goals, some snapshots from 2015
This year I have taken it a step further.. I typically divide my goals into a few different areas, this year being Health, Relationships and Career. Health includes things like nutrition, fitness and other (sleep, stress management), relationships includes spiritual, partner, family and friends, career includes goals about my current jobs, current and future study. Within these areas I have listed a few goals, why they are important and some action steps to help me achieve that goal.
For example under health, sub category fitness you might have a goal to ‘attend a yoga class once a week on a Monday night at (insert location here)’. Your why could be ‘to increase flexibility, better manage stress or improve core strength to do headstands’. Some action steps could be
- Encourage a friend to join come along
- Keep yoga mat by the front door
- Schedule the class time into diary as a regular appointment
- Download a yoga app to follow at home if can’t attend the class
Can you see how this goal is SMART? For more on SMART goals, check out this blog post. But in brief a SMART goal is one that is
- S pecific: the goal includes the day and time, how frequently, the location and the why. Think about who, what, where, when and why. Feel free to add something in your goal relating to the what ifs, for example if you can’t attend because your on holiday will you do yoga at your hotel?
- M easurable: how are you going to measure your accomplishments. Perhaps with increased flexibility or just seeing that your marking off in your calendar each time you attend a yoga class. For goals related to money, this is a bit easier to track, you may have a certain monetary goal in mind or a level of commission that you want to reach.
- A ttainable: is the goal reasonable enough to accomplish? If you rarely run but decide that in March of 2016 you want to run a marathon well its not (for me anyway) very attainable. Better off to set a goal of running 5 kms by a certain date and being specific about when and how you will train each week.
- R elevant: for me doing yoga is relevant but running a marathon doesn’t interest me, it might be the opposite for you. If you set a goal that isn’t important (or of interest) to you then you are less likely to achieve it.
- T imely: and finally the goal is timely. It outlines when the goal will be achieved (each fortnight). Other goals may have a deadline instead, for example ‘I will complete the couch to 5km challenge and by June 2016 will compete in a 5 + km fun run.’
I also want to add an important point here, whatever your goals, think about how you might celebrate when you achieve your goal. It gives you something fun to look forward to especially if the going gets tough and you feel like giving up.
Another thing I am embracing this year is to pick a focus word. This focus word is what you want to think of when making goals throughout the year. Some examples are Simplify, Balance, Success or Action. Pick one (and yes it can change – more on that below) that is important to you and ask yourself throughout the year “will this goal/purchase/decision help me to achieve __insert focus word here __ this year?”.
At the end of 2014 I decided enthusiastically that 2015 was going to be my year for ADVENTURE (focus word), with plans for a big overseas holiday and more… however a few days later my husband had a motorbike accident that landed him in a back brace for 3 months, restricted activities and off work for nearly 6 months. Perhaps I spoke to soon but that wasn’t quite the adventure that I had in mind. So instead in January I reviewed and changed my focus to something more relevant at the time.
For this year my focus word is NOURISH, I’m dedicated to healing my gut and am going back to a lot of GAPS principles to do this (more on this in another post). I’ve also chosen a second word HAPPINESS, I was going to choose adventure again but I’ve decided that happiness was truer for me. While this year is already shaping up to be full of exciting adventures, I also want to focus on finding, making and being happy in the smaller things, everyday.
Sorry for such a long post but I hope you found it helpful.
Many best wishes and I hope that you achieve your goals this year :-). Lets make sweet 16 the year to turn those dreams into a reality.
Some of the many inspirational people I had the opportunity to meet in 2015
I’d love to hear from you. What have you got planned for this year? What works for you, do you set and review goals or set new years resolution? What is your focus word.