And so it’s a new year. 2016. I used to do New Year’s resolutions back in the day, but now I don’t believe that clicking over to a new year will magically give you the drive and determination to work toward those resolutions. I mean, isn’t every day a fresh start? Each Monday is a new week, a new beginning. You know how many of my New Year resolutions were accomplished? None.
So no “New Years resolutions” for 2016. I will continue working on the goals I set for myself last year. I have a Word document on my computer that I revisit from time to time and update as needed. I will spend some time today reflecting upon the ones that are most important to me for this year and doing a worksheet for those specific goals so they follow the S.M.A.R.T strategy. I learned about the steps for successful goal-setting 6 years ago in college, but I never practiced it. I found this PDF worksheet that will be a good starting point for planning my goals.
Another problem I have with goal-setting in general: I set too many goals, so I wind up overwhelming myself. I realize I cannot do 20 things at the same time, and trying to do so only stresses me out further and causes burnout early on. There are only so many hours in the day to get things done, so I am going to focus on 10 specific goals at a time. Once a goal is achieved, I can revisit my goals and add a new one if I’d like. I’m really bad when it comes to the “all or nothing” mentality, and that’s something I am trying to work away from. Something is better than nothing.
I think it will also be helpful to find a good goal-tracker app or website to keep up with progress on each goal to help with accountability. I’ve researched a few websites this morning and will try out a couple to see which one I like best. I’ll make another blog post in a couple of months to let you know.
2015 was quite an eye-opener for me. I started working on quite a few personal things in my life last year and quickly came to a shocking realization: it’s hard to set goals when you don’t know what you want. This is probably a no-brainer for many, and of course I had quite a few goals already in that Word document I mentioned. But most of those goals were health, fitness, or work-related. Those are all important, but nothing was personal in the sense of me and what I wanted for myself. Once I stopped and really focused on myself, and I mean really focused on myself and started thinking, I realized I had no idea what I really wanted. One day I was talking with someone about the things I didn’t want in regards to an issue I was having, and she asked me, “Well, what do you want?” I just stopped and stared, speechless while I contemplated the question before finally answering, “I really don’t know.” I also discovered that some of the things I thought I really wanted, I didn’t. Yeah, it was really confusing to me when I first made this discovery. But my how it’s been such an eye-opening revelation for me.
So the first and most important step in goal-setting is to determine what you actually want or want to accomplish. From there, you can set specifics that will help you achieve that goal and finally make it happen!