I’m a firm believer that whether it’s a new hour, a new day, or a new week, you don’t have to wait until the new year to set and crush your goals. However, there is something about the energy of the new year that makes it the perfect time to access, re-imagine, and set new goals and intentions for the year to come.
I’ve always written down goals and dreams for every new year, although until the last few years they were more a habit than a strategic map for the year ahead. But when my process evolved so did my results—and that is what I want to share with you today!
I invite you to let goal setting be an intentional practice. Set aside some meaningful time to think about what goals you could pursue in different areas of your life. Consider what changes or achievements you want to make in the area of health and wellness, business/work, relationships, and things that are personal just for you.
Now that you have several ideas for goals in each of these areas, decide what is really important and achievable and circle 2-3 goals in each category.
Get specific for the next quarter
I like keeping my 2-3 goals for each category handy when I’m planning and re-assessing each quarter because some goals may make sense to pursue first, and some new habits need to be in place before other things should or could be introduced.
This is where you can also start to get more specific and break down your larger annual goals into smaller habits or tasks. For example, a goal to eat healthier might really look like: read a book each month about intuitive eating, hire a dietician, or meal plan and meal prep once a week to make eating healthier easier. If you can’t tell if you are successfully achieving your goal then it’s not specific enough.
Create a system for planning your week
Now that you have your goals and you know where you’re going, taking time each week to plan out what the next week will look like can be the difference between hitting your goal and letting it pass you by. Using the example above, I could plan that Monday and Wednesday after the kids go to bed I read one chapter of my intuitive eating book. I could set a reminder in my calendar to order my grocery delivery and pick it up on Friday so I can meal prep over the weekend.
Know where you’re spending your time
Now, in general, it’s easier to add in a new habit than to quit something you don’t want to do anymore. But what if you don’t know where your time is going? A common complaint from many is that they “don’t have enough time” to achieve their goals. If this is you, I challenge you to do something kind of tedious but so important in moving forward intentionally in your life.
A quick Google search identifies lots of ways to do this but whether it’s with something fancy or a pen and a napkin, this exercise can hold unknown gold —you won’t know until you try! For this to work you should start with at least three days, one of them being a weekend. But if you can manage to do it for up to a week, it’s even better.
When I first did this exercise I was stressed about the number of hours I perceived I was working compared to the time I was doing other things in my life, like hanging out with the kiddos. What I quickly saw visually from a bird’s eye view was that I spent much more of my day hanging out with the kids than I first thought. This was reassuring to me, but I still chose to add in a tradition of Friday Pizza Picnic and Wednesday Board Game Night to satisfy my desire of creating intentional time with my family.
If you are being brutally honest with yourself (and you should be) you may also learn that the time you spend watching Netflix, cleaning the house, or running errands is something you could reduce or outsource in order to make more time for your goals.
One goal that I’m really excited about that’s on my list this year under the just-for-me category is learning Russian. It’s been a long-time dream of mine and I’m excited to finally take the steps to make it a reality! I would love to know—what’s one goal that’s really important to you to accomplish this year?