For as long as I can remember I have been a goal-setter, and I still am. I love the fresh and prosperous energy of the New Year that allows us to take time to set new goals for the coming 12 months. This year was no different, and although it has taken me almost a month, I would like to take this opportunity to share with you my goal-setting process for this year.
New Year’s resolutions seem to be a rather divisive topic; some people set them with fervour, or re-set the same ones each year, whilst others vow they would never set a resolution they “know they will break.” As a natural goal-setter and someone in pursuit of constant self-improvement, I do set New Year’s resolutions. However, as I am only human, I have not always been 100% successful with them in the past. With that being said I have also had great success with others, such as buying more colourful clothes (in order to break my habit of wearing the same three colours), drinking more water, learning to like (and consequently love) green tea and even going gluten-free, which was practically a New Year’s resolution.
This year I was already thinking about my goals for 2016 before 2015 was over. With each passing day my vision of what I want my life to be grows clearer, mostly through regular visualisation-style meditations. My vision started with the following rather general statement that embodies my current direction in life. My intention for the coming year is:
“To whole-heartedly and completely commit to living my truth, my authentic and best life. To love myself unconditionally and allow myself to become the best, most vibrant version of myself.”
During one of several family car trips in December Mum started to play many hours of interviews that comprised the Hay House Summit, one of which was a fabulous lady whose name I can’t remember. She offered five simple questions to reflect upon in order to manifest the life of your dreams. As I sat in the car I took down these five questions and started to write out my answers to them. Some were easier than others; some were long and others short and simple. This is something I would definitely recommend taking the time to do. The questions are as follows:
- What are the six key things you want in your life?
- Describe your ideal day, ideal week and ideal month for each month this year.
- Three main changes needed to achieve this dream life?
- What are the obstacles stopping you from achieving your life?
- What actions will you take in the next 30, 60 and 90 days to work towards this dream life?
I would encourage you to take some time to reflect upon these questions. The first one is particularly powerful for letting go of things from your life that don’t serve you or don’t make you happy. Just find your core six things and run with that.
I also channelled my goals into the form of short intentions, which I aim to practice each day. They are:
“Speak less, listen more.
Swear less, smile more.
Spend less, save more.
Take less, give more.
Sit less, move more.
Less pride, more humility.
Criticize less, love more.”
As I move through this year I have also found that one word keeps on popping its head up – slow. This year I am focusing on slowing down, on living in the moment and on not rushing. I am and always have been the kind of person who packs out my schedule and rushes here, there and everywhere in order not to let anything go unattended. I am also guilty of glorifying and being proud of my apparent busy-ness. But I don’t want to rush through life; I don’t want to be so “busy” that I can’t enjoy anything. So I am slowing down. I am no longer using the word busy to describe my life or myself. Even when I have a full day, I make sure I take everything slowly. I drive slowly and with care, I do one task at a time and when I get time to sit and be still I take it.
In addition to all of this, on the first day of this year I sat and read yet another fabulous post from Melissa Ambrosini, then with my Mum and Peta we together went through and answered all of the questions from this post. When setting my 2016 goals/resolutions I made sure to consider my plan of action – how was I going to achieve these goals? By outlining, in writing, the steps I would take to achieve my goals they suddenly became so much more real and tangible.
So far keeping my resolutions/achieving my goals has been almost effortless, because I took the time to write them down and truly commit my energy and effort to achieving them. The more effort you put into properly setting your goals, the more likely you are to achieve them. I will paraphrase someone much wiser than me here by stating:
“Set the goal and you are halfway there.”
Before I let you to go and reflect on your goals for this year (if you haven’t already), remember a few more things about making changes. Firstly, it requires effort. You can’t expect these changes just to spontaneously happen. Set the goal and then take the steps you need to towards achieving it. Secondly, don’t give up at your first stumble. You will stuff up, you will go backwards, and it is all a part of moving forward. When you do fall down, or break a resolution, or fall back into old habits, just take a few deep breaths and let go of any guilt and remember each day, each moment is a new opportunity. Fall down seven times, get up eight. Eventually one day you will pick yourself up and that will be the last time you have to! Lastly, remember that no dream is too big, too crazy or impossible. I know this is clichéd, but your imagination really is the only limit to what you can achieve. People might tell you that something is crazy, or out of your reach, but that is exactly what people told any person who has ever achieved something incredible. Just go for it!
I would love to hear, let me know if you set goals for this year, and if you want to share them with me then please feel free to!