There’s no time quite like the start of a brand new year to take control back of your life; to get that home office organised once and for all, to start those hobbies you’ve always dreamed about, to stop procrastinating and work towards progressing in your career or growing your business to the next level of success.
Before we plunge into 2021 with our goals and plans, let’s reflect on what we’ve achieved so far – because let’s face it, 2020 has been a difficult but inspirational year! We not only missed out on group events, those well needed holidays, or even those post work drinks, but it also impacted the day to day running of businesses and in turn people have really suffered financially, mentally and emotionally. Some of us have had to completely pivot the way we do business in order to adjust to this ‘new way of life’.
So often we brush our achievements ‘under the carpet’ without taking a moment to acknowledge or celebrate them. So, before you go setting goals for the year to come, look back over the previous year and celebrate at least five things you’ve done that you’re mega proud of – things that you might have just done and moved on with until now. Think about the time you nailed a piece of work, bossed your quarterly goals, or even got an ace testimonial from a client. Big or small, an achievement should be acknowledged.
Go ahead, find a piece of paper or ‘notes’ on your phone and jot down those five things, because you will look back at this after the madness of the festive season, and realise how far you have come.Ask yourself these questions –
What were you proud to have accomplished in the last year?
What didn’t perhaps go so well in the past year that you’d like to improve on?
Dream big – it takes no more energy to dream big than it does to dream small. Maybe you dream of managing your own team, to enter into a business award or perhaps triple your income? Whatever it is, it must inspire and excite you!
Sticking to goals:
Hands up – who struggles with this one? We start the New Year with such a clear focus and intention, only for our plans to have gone off track by the end of the month – and how demotivating is that?
The key to staying focused on your goals is to check in with them regularly. I’m actually a firm believer in setting goals rather than resolutions – to me, the word alone has more substance and more of a strategy behind it.
Resolution – a firm decision to do or not to do something
Goal – the object of a person’s ambition or effort; an aim or desired result
See how much more substance the meaning of goal has? It’s not about avoiding something, it is about gaining something as a result of your hard work.
In order to get a hold of these goals, it’s best to set short term ones (one month) and longer term ones (6-12 months). The higher hanging fruit will usually be the longer term ones, so why entice yourself in the meantime with goals you can almost touch?
Check in with your monthly goals at the start, mid-point and end of each month. Have a plan for them; what do you need to do to hit them? Break them down into actionable steps – why not grab a fancy goal planner that you can jot your notes in and refer back to? When you hit those goals and tick them, the feeling is euphoric!
Get an accountability partner!
Have you ever thought of getting a goal-getting buddy? An accountability partner can really keep you on the right path and help you stick to those commitments – because doing it alone makes it easier to let go and let those awesome goals fall by the wayside.
Who do you know that can keep you on the right path? It needs to be someone that can give you the support you need to hit those goals. This is a real biggie – choose a bestie or find a mentor or coach that can hold you accountable to your goals.
Still need an incentive along the way? Set yourself a reward for hitting your goals. You’ve got to have an incentive to stay focused, plus it’ll help you feel even better when you hit a goal and can give yourself a guilt free reward. Even things like a new candle, a new pair of boots or your favourite Friday night takeaway. It all helps to keep you focused and motivated.
In an increasingly busy, digital world, it can really feel like our focus is spread more thinly than ever before. The noisy world of social media can make us feel we should be doing all of the things, but, I encourage you to stop and pause for a second, and actually work out what YOU want to do. Not what the people around you are doing, what YOU want – the world really is your oyster.