No, this does not mean more New Year’s resolutions, that fly out the window 2 weeks after making them. It is about setting achievable, tangible goals that will set you, your family or your career up for a deeper and more meaningful purpose.
And just like last we said last year, this year is no different – it truly is something everyone should do for themselves every year, in order to align your goals and commitments and make this your best life! At the end of each year, you can look back at your plans and smile seeing the achievements you have made. We actually suggest re-visiting these goals every quarter to make sure you are kept on track and focused. Perhaps goals may have changed, your financial position may have shifted, or something new becomes a top priority. It’s good to keep these at the forefront.
So why is it that so many of us set New Year’s resolutions that are soon forgotten? If you are in that boat, what do you think prevents you from continuing to pursue what you really want to achieve for the year? It’s time to ask yourself some tough questions to unlock what may be holding you back. Are you sabotaging your own happiness just by force of habit, instead of walking the harder path to change and transformation?
What we have noticed in working with people in private and corporate sectors over the years is that they set great goals with the intention to succeed from day one. For example: this year I will lose weight; I will cut out sugar or wheat or dairy; I will have R250 000 in my savings account etc. But then life happens, and we have not gone to the gym, the car has broken down and we have not made good financial decisions – we have resorted back to comfort-eating and spending our savings. This causes a lot of people to give up and resign because it’s just too difficult. Changing your default thinking is really difficult, but it is certainly possible. Become aware of these self-sabotaging thoughts that are whispering quietly in your head. Reflect on the goal, re-commit and chose a new path of action. Consider if the goal too big? Perhaps smaller steps like losing 2kgs of weight a month vs thinking that you just need to lose 15kgs this year. Are you truly committed to the goal 100%? Are these steps to achieve the goal clear.
Try following these suggestions:
- Take the pressure off the need to succeed from day one, and allow the goal to manifest by the end of the year, so it becomes a pursuit to change behaviour, slowly and gradually, but then with sustainable results;
- You may really want to lose weight but on a real level, losing weight as a goal is not inspiring to you. Shift how you state your outcome to be, for example:
This year is about me feeling happy in my own skin, or this year is about me learning to love and honour my body by avoiding the foods that do not add any value to my body;
- You might have felt life has been too serious for a while, and you want to connect to your happiness again, you might devote your year to living, loving and laughing more. You might feel that you aren’t heard, and your voice is constantly over ridden – so this year, you may devote energy to finding your voice again and learning to speak up. All of these are examples of sharing your goal in terms of the outcome you truly seek, which takes the pressure off from daily promises. This in turn will create a context for you to apply more and more which allows you to acknowledge the small wins consistently over time;
- Remember, things happen over time, and with deeply rooted habits, they also take time to shift and change. Be willing to surrender to the outcome and trust in the process, knowing that if you just remain committed to the outcome that makes you smile, then the urgency to get daily results is gone as you enter a deeper inquiry in how to achieve this;
- Create reminders in your calendar, or on your desk or even your bathroom mirror to review your goals every 3 months, so you can keep them in sight, assess how you are doing, and get back on track if needed;
- It is also useful to create a support group where you and some friends create and share your goals together. Quarterly get-togethers will remind you to stay accountable as well as give you the opportunity to share experiences, hardships and victories with like-minded friends that you know will support you on your journey.
A great way to do this is to start journaling, so that you can review your goals, comment as your journey goes along and be able to see progress as you go along. It doesn’t have to be a beautifully executed manual, just start writing down your thoughts – all of them – good and bad, how you are feeling, what’s happening for you as you go through this process.
Dr. Seuss said: “You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself in any direction you choose”. And that is our wish for you this year – that your choices will lead you to be real, be true, be you.