I have a confession to make. I love January 1st. Please don’t judge me. I know there’s nothing special or magical about that date. But every year I look forward to its arrival. Perhaps it’s the anticipation of a fresh start or at least the idea of one that gets me excited. At least two months in advance (sometimes sooner) I write down all of my goals for the year. Things I want to accomplish, things I want to release and let go of, and things I’d like to experience. Just the thought of going through the goal planning process gets me excited.
Of course, I can’t have a good goal planning session without the right tools. Pretty color pens and markers, my PowerSheets, all kinds of planners…Happy Planner, Blog Planner, Financial Planner, Work Planner…just to name a few. Let’s not forget my stickers and post-its and whatever else I can get my hands on that will help me do some heavy duty planning. Oh my gosh, it just hit me…I’m addicted to “planning”, but I digress. That’s another post for another time. The point I’m trying to make here is that I faithfully go through my planning ritual each year and by mid-year, all that I had “planned to do” comes to a screeching halt!
This year was no different. In fact, what usually happens is that I work myself into such a frenzy that by the time January 1st rolls in I usually fizzle out mid-month. Let’s not even mention February because absolutely positively nothing happens for those 28 days, 29 if it’s a leap year. Thankfully, by the time March rolls around I’m able to rev myself back up again. The rest of the year my progress is off and on, but by the time October hits, it’s goal setting time again and the cycle starts all over.
By years end if I have not reached my goals I find myself thinking along the lines of:
- If only I hadn’t allowed myself to be distracted I would have…
- If only I had focused on just two or three things I would have been able to…
- If only I had stuck to my weight loss program I would have lost more weight
- If only I had taken better care of myself I wouldn’t be feeling like crap
- If only I hadn’t allowed myself to give up I would be so much further
- If only I hadn’t spent so much time researching I would have been able to get my business off the ground
And on and on this regretful thinking pattern goes. Recently I started thinking about what my life would be like if I were to consider the possibilities from this standpoint…What if I….
- What if this year I tried a different approach?
- What if I put all of my attention and energy on accomplishing one or two goals?
- What if I turned off the TV and limited my time on Social Media?
- What if I put into practice what I already know to do instead of searching for more answers?
- What if I devoted more time to taking care of myself?
Just considering the possibilities gets me fired up! Oh, the places I could go if I were, to begin with, the end in mind and reverse engineer my goals. So that’s the plan! And here is what I am going to do to reach my goals…and you can too!
Decide what you want to be able to celebrate on December 31st.
For me, I want to celebrate the fact that I am no longer hindered by my back issues. I want to celebrate a weight loss of 60lbs. I want to celebrate having paid off 2 credit cards. I want to celebrate having helped 4 women to lose weight. What about you? What do you want to be able to celebrate on December 31st? The idea here is to not wait until January 1st to get excited about a fresh start. The goal here is to close the year out having kicked some butt!
Why is it important that you celebrate these things?
Again, for me, I want to be and feel healthy. I know that if I can lose 60lbs. not only will I be healthier, but my back will also feel better. Getting 2 credit cards paid off will relieve some of my financial stress and will give me hope that there is light at the end of my debt tunnel. Focusing on helping other women to lose weight will help me to get my business off the ground and help me to fulfill my purpose, which I feel is to serve other women, who just like myself struggle with losing weight. This will allow me to pay it forward and establish a firm foundation for my business. Just thinking about it makes me want to take action. What about you? Why do you want to celebrate xyz?
Make a list of everything that you can think of that you’ll need to do to accomplish your goal(s)
This is called a braindump. For each of your goals, write down everything that you can think of that you’ll need to do to accomplish the goal. Don’t edit your thoughts…just write! Once you’ve gone through this process, you will have a clearer picture of what it will take for you to get to your celebration day. Don’t let the list overwhelm you. This exercise is simply meant to help you get it all out of your head so that you can then organize your projects and take baby steps towards crushing your goals.
Decide what you are able and willing to do
Depending on how big the goal is, there will be phases to accomplishing it. For example, my goal to build my business will take a few years to accomplish. Some things will require me to save up some more money before I can move on it. Even though I may be able (from a physical standpoint) to run a marathon, for example, I may not be willing to put in the training to get me ready to do so. Once you create your list and start to go through all that needs to be done to accomplish your goals, you may find that you’re not able to do some things or willing to do others…and that’s okay. For the things you are willing and able to do…move out on those things.
Turn your actions steps into daily priorities
Now that you know what needs to be done…and what you are willing and able to do…create a daily to-do list and prioritize those things that you’ll need to do in order to reach your goal. By doing something every day towards accomplishing the goal, you are more likely to attain it…AND it won’t feel so overwhelming. By taking baby steps you are pretty much guaranteeing that you will be able to do your celebration dance on December 31st. And even if you don’t hit the mark completely, you will be closer to it than if you hadn’t done anything at all.
So, there you have it. That is the process I am taking towards crushing my goals this year. Rather than regretting all of the things I didn’t do…I will be celebrating all of the things that I will have accomplished all because I gave myself permission to think about and act on the possibility of celebrating my wins on December 31st!
Your Turn To Share
What do you want to celebrate on December 31st? What goals are you anticipating on crushing?