I don’t believe in New Years resolution. When’s the last time you set a New Years resolution and stuck with it for more than 2 weeks?
It doesn’t work. It doesn’t work because change is hard. To create real change, you need to get connected to the reasons why you want to change. You have to be connected to what your heart wants and create a plan to go after those things.
Here are 5 ways to create goals that stick for 2014.
1. Reflect on the year past
An excellent way to do this is to write a review of the year. I got the idea to do this from Marie Poulin and think it’s a brilliant way to gain awareness.
To do the exercise, separate your life in categories – Health, Relationships, Finance, Career, Personal Development, etc.
Break it down into 3 questions.
1. What went well?
2. What could have gone better?
3. What do you want for next year?
This is an example of mine in the health category.
What went well:
I learned a lot about what it means to be healthy
I went to the farmer’s market every week this year
I ate more vegetables than I ever have before
I completed a month long yoga challenge
I became way more conscious of the foods I put in my body
What could have gone better:
This was the most difficult year of my life struggling with health and energy issues.
I stopped exercising – not so much by choice but because of an energy deficiency – I miss it and envy others who are fit
I wish I hadn’t brought white flour back in my life
What I want for next year:
To reduce my energy deficiency by taking on a less stressful lifestyle
To slowly reintroduce weight training and yoga in my life
To continue to the farmer’s market habit, to eat mindfully
To decrease my consumption of flour and sugar
The goal of this exercise to celebrate your successes, recognize your failures, and figure out what you do well and what you need to improve. It’s a powerful exercise that will help you put things into perspective.
2. Identify your inner conflicts. Get clear on what you want and why you want it
An inner conflict might be: “I want to eat healthy but don’t have time to cook.”
You’re not going to change your diet unless you begin to examine your excuses. There are reasons why you eat like crap and why you want to eat better. You might want to eat healthier but you have to be WILLING to do the work.
For me, my health and finances are my #1 priorities of 2014. For years I’ve said I wanted to be better with money, but this is the first time I’m doing something about it. For my health, it also means making some serious lifestyle changes that I may not love, but that are an important part of getting me to my next goal of having a baby. I have to be extra aware of this because it’s easy to stay in the city, have loads of fun and not plan for the future, but it’s not going to help me accomplish what I want most.
3. Set measurable goals on a calendar
As someone who is not a planner, this is hard. But shit doesn’t happen unless you set an intention and begin to work towards your goals. Setting loose goals = nothing happens. Do you want to have more money? Set up a savings plan. Stop spending. But first write down all the steps it will take you to get there and DO them when you say you’re going to.
Taking my first goal to live a less stressful lifestyle will help all my other goals fall into place.
In order to lead a less stressful lifestyle, I need to move out of the city. This is a MASSIVE conflict for me because so much of my life and identity is tied up in San Francisco. But as the cost of life continues to increase in SF, there’s no way I can live without roommates or in a tiny box for $1400/month. I can’t exactly afford to have a baby in the city, but I can afford to have one in Fresno, where my partner lives anyway. But giving up the city for a place that isn’t exactly cool is the hardest thing I’ll ever have to do. The drawbacks? Giving up the business it took me 5 years to build (but is not longer serving me on many levels.) And seeing friends on a less regular basis. But the rewards? Zero traffic, no commute, quiet, less distractions, a backyard, space, sunshine, and more space to be creative and focus on my inner world. Oh, and I get to live with my partner which is a serious bonus.
Things I need to do to achieve this goal:
- Create debt repayment plan ($8000)
- Create a plan on how I’m going to save $8000 by August
- Make a real commitment to make this happen
- Identify my fears around this and release them
- Make a pro and con list
- Explore the sense of identity (and ensuing ego) I derive from living in a desirable city and why it might be scary to let that go
- Make sure my coaching business is generating revenue – break down all the steps required to get there and create action plan
- Identify other avenues of money making based on my skills. Creating workshops, cooking classes, etc.
4. Make sure you are clear on your intentions
Life becomes more purposeful when we live with clarity and intention. Focusing on how you’re going to achieve your goals and reach new levels of growth helps bring meaning to our lives.
My intention for this year is to be intentional with my energy. To use it towards reaching my goals and living a life imbued with meaning. My ultimate goals are to feel free, inspired, effective, creative, aligned, in the flow, and healthy.
5. Trust that what you put energy and focus into grows
If you do the work it takes to increase your awareness and work towards what you want, then lean back. Trust that what’s supposed to happen will happen. What you put energy and focus into grows. Change and growth are possible. It’s hard to trust but when you are aligned with your path things naturally align themselves. And they will.
What do you think of New Years resolutions? Are you making one? Do you have any specific goals for 2014?