One way to achieve your plans for the New Year is to prepare for them. I’ve compiled seven goal setting preparations you can think over as you get ready to set your goals.
There’s something about January, isn’t there?
Maybe it’s the all-day darkness.
Or maybe it’s how much we’re over winter by January 3rd.
Maybe it’s the thousands of calories we ate during December.
Or maybe it’s that it’s the beginning of a new year – a fresh new start. I’ll stick with that one, though I am over winter by January (though technically, we’re only 10 days in).
Either way, I think this time of year is important. While I do agree with other big goal setting names that you can set goals and start living intentionally any time of the year, January is as good a time as any. The year is fresh and the rest of the world is starting over.
So let’s hit the ground running, ready to attack. Here are seven goal setting preparations to develop to get ready for the New Year.
Goal setting preparations for the New Year
To understand how well you accomplish certain goals, understand how you think and operate. How does your personality bend? Do you set goals out of a feeling of desperation, needing approval, or because it’s just what people do? I made New Years Resolutions for years because that’s what people did… and then I refused for years because it didn’t work.
And what about those strengths and gifts of yours? You’ve got ‘em, don’t believe otherwise.
I’d take some time to learn about who you are before pulling any goals out of the air. If you understand who you are and how you see the world, you’re more like to make goals that will stick.
Give yourself time to think and process.
When I sit down to write out my goals, it’s after I ponder for a while. Don’t let someone tell you this is an anti-productivity hack or something. Maybe some people can jump right into something, but then again—how about internalizing how you feel about the idea of the New Year? If you give yourself time to simply think, goal setting won’t seem as overwhelming when you go to do it.
Look back at the past year.
Another goal setting preparation for the New Year is to look at the past year. What worked? What didn’t? I’ll disclose the truth that last year I didn’t meet any of my goals. But that doesn’t mean I didn’t grow or accomplish anything. Instead, I learned that I need to prepare for sudden life changes mid-way for the year. You know, be a little flexible. Let things adjust. And this next year I know I need to stay intentional about intentional goals. And I need to actually want to meet them.
Reframe how you see goals.
Something else I’m learning is that my mindset affects my performance. If I set some goal—say I want to run a marathon (for the record: no thank you)—but don’t think I can or will do it, it’s not happening. But if I believe it will—watch out world. Often this is the subconscious doing the work, but believe me when I say that your brain will lead and your body will follow. Reframe your thinking.
And while you’re at it, what if you saw goals as experiments and not be-all end-all monstrosities? This is something I’m trying out, but I thought I’d let you in on it, too. Because maybe if we saw goals as quests to try out for a time, maybe we wouldn’t fear doing more. It’s worth a shot, yes?
Keep to your overall vision for life.
I emphasize developing a vision in my planner, because I think it’s a lot easier to set plans when you know where you ultimately want to go. I’m going to revisit my vision, tweak it, and set goals according to it.
Maintain strong reasons behind your goals.
I no longer set a goal for something just because I should. Instead I find my “why” behind it and use that to propel me forward.
Give yourself grace, but also believe you can do this.
Like I mentioned earlier, I didn’t meet any of my goals this year. Yet they still moved me forward in life. I grew, I learned, and that’s all part of the process. Kicking myself in the shins (how I’d do that I don’t know… wait, okay yeah that’s possible), won’t get me anywhere.
What other goal setting preparations do you utilize for the New Year? I’d love to hear about it in the comments. And if you’re looking for help in setting goals, be sure to check out the Now Planner Goal Agenda.