Happy New Year! There have been a number of social media posts floating around over the past few weeks, all with the same sentiment: ‘New Year, new goals…how cliché.’ It seems many of us have goal setting fatigue. Many of us don’t want to do the 'set new goals for the New Year' thing this year. I get it. I sometimes feel the same way. There is nothing worse than setting new goals and forgetting about them a few weeks later. We do tend to do a lot of that at this time of the year.
I think our frustration might be a little bit misguided though. We act as though it’s the New Year that’s to blame. Like it could be a time bound issue. Perhaps because New Year is associated with goal setting so we just do it flippantly. I agree. However I don’t think that it’s the actual goal setting that is the issue. For me personally, there are two issues at play.
- The lack of thought I put into the goals - how realistic they are.
- The lack of implementation strategies to back the goals up - walking the walk after talking the talk
The past couple of years I have engaged more with goal setting/implementation as I have learned more about Wellness Coaching. I have also started engaging with the coaching process myself (yes, wellness coaches use wellness coaches too!). Now? I can honestly say I look forward to the start of the New Year and setting new goals. Here are a few suggestions to help you break free of the resolution/failure cycle and kick into gear for some serious goal achieving and positive habit formation!
1. Take the Time Required
Take the time to actually sit and think about what is important to you for the upcoming year.
Make the goals you create really specific to important areas of YOUR life (work, hobbies, friends, family, life balance). Don’t just scribble a few things on a scrap piece of paper and throw it into the corner. If you really want to set some goals, do it thoughtfully and allocate some time to the process. It doesn’t HAVE to be finished by the end of January 1 either. Give yourself permission to think.
2. Be Realistic
This has been a big area of growth for me as an overachiever. Let’s face it, we do tend to get overzealous with New Year goal setting. Remember that goals are like markers on the road ahead, they lead to the next stop. We can redefine our direction as we need to. Instead of saying you are GOING to exercise every single day this year (when you have been a couch potato up until now) be realistic. Try to start small and creating a win by achieving that goal. For example, set a goal to walk 3 times a week by the end of 3 months. Next, set out some smaller weekly and monthly goals to make it happen. Achievement with goals helps us to build momentum and positivity. Positivity helps us to keep striving forward. Before you know it you will be looking back and celebrating how far you have come!
3. Make Yourself Accountable.
Phone a friend and ask them if they want to have an accountability partner for their goals this year. Check in with each other once a week. Last year, I spent money on business coaching and it made the world of difference to my achievement. I valued the pre-work I was given and carved out the time I needed more than I would have otherwise. I also focused more on implementing what I had discussed in the session. Why? Because not only was it important to me, but paying for the service meant I valued it more too. Some of us don't need this extra layer of support. If you are interested in finding out more, check out my blog about Wellness Coaching and get in touch to book your free 20-minute phone consultation.
4. Enjoy it!
If you feel like New Years resolutions/goals are overrated, don’t do it! Anytime is a good time to sit and refocus on where you want to be in 3 months. Personally, I love New Year to work on this stuff! I love getting my new planner out, looking at the year ahead and mapping out a few key achievement goals. I do it now because I really enjoy it. If you don’t, that’s ok! Be sure to carve out some time to intentionally do some goal setting at some point. It will help you to determine where you are headed for the year and give you direction on how to get there too.
So, is it a waste of time to create some New Year goals/resolutions and be part of the cliché? Absolutely not! Just make sure you are thinking realistically and focusing on the implementation from week to week. Honestly, that will make the world of difference! To help you do this, I have created a free goal setting and implementation worksheet. Interested? Simply hit the button below and it will be in your inbox shortly!