If you're like 25% of the population who set NY resolutions, you've probably broken all of them a couple of weeks ago. Data shows that 25% of people who make resolutions break them after one week! 60% of people have given up on them after 6 months. Many set the same resolution up to 10 times before giving it up unsuccessfully. To change is not easy. But to give up on trying is even worse.
New Year's Resolutions have come to be treated as a bit of a joke due to the lightning speed at which we break them. But that's OK. The last thing we all need is find another thing to feel bad about ourselves.
However goal setting is probably one of the most important exercises you can do for yourself. And you don't need to wait for New Year to do it. The common thread amongst successful individuals, and companies for that matter, is that they've spent time creating a vision of where they want to go, and a map, broken down into achievable and measurable goals and associated actions that will get them there.
Reflection time is crucial for mental and physical well-being, to have that sense of control over your life, about where you're going, where you've been, and how nice you've been to yourself and others whilst on that trip. It gives your life purpose when you have an understanding of where you want to go and why you do the things that you do.
When you do feel a sense of purpose many other things seem to fall into place. You feel engaged, motivated and energised. Setbacks and disappointments still occur but your drive and focus to live the life you created enable you to bounce back more quickly and easily, becoming stronger and more resilient as a result.
On the other hand, a lack of purpose can be destabilizing; that feeling that you don't really know what you want and so end up doing things that don't necessarily give you pleasure or satisfaction. These feelings can lead to a sense of frustration and even more seriously, to things like anxiety and depression as a result of feeling apathetic, lost or hopeless. A significant number of people in my trainings are there because they have emotional or physical issues and come to realise this is a result of not living the life they want. And this is because they've not actually created a plan of what they want for their life.
But we're always so busy, and exhausted, that we never give ourselves that opportunity to take stock of where we're at from a bigger picture perspective. Do you even know what you want for your life with respect to family, career, fitness, financially? Are you a goal setter? Statistics say probably not.
The importance of creating a vision for your life, and goal setting to get you there cannot be underestimated.
As Tony Robbins said "if you do what you've always done, you'll get what you've always gotten". Are you happy with what you've always gotten? If not, it's time to do something different.
To help you start you need to spend some time thinking about what you want for your life in the areas of: career, family, health and fitness, finance, community, social and spiritual. Once you've spent some time dreaming of what it is that you want in each of these areas, how you want to make your life better, and more fulfilling, and what it is that will leave you feeling content and satisfied, write them down. That's the important bit. Because what happens after you've put them down physically into the world is that you've created a focus. The next step is to create the plan that's going to enable you to realise that dream. The plan consists of SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-bound) goals that will get you where you want to go.
You can easily find goal setting templates online (there's thousands on Pinterest) or create your own way but breaking your goals and associated actions down into 5, 3, 1 year and 6, 3, and 1 month will ensure you keep your tasks actionable whilst working toward your goals.
It's not a test and no-one has to see them although sharing them and putting your goals out there starts to make things very real. It's likely you'll begin to feel a bit of buzz and excitement about what lays ahead, no matter how small your goal is. Remember, this is about creating more of what you actually want.
You'll be amazed at how once you set the compass direction, everything you do both consciously and subconsciously begins to move in that direction.
Goal setting not only provides clarity and focus but it informs your purpose which, once you find what that is, is the most empowering thing you can do for yourself.
If this is the first time you've thought about any of this, and believe me, many people don't give a nano-second of thought to what they want to achieve in this life, which is quite sad, you may find yourself a bit stuck. Or you may just have no idea of what it is that you want for your life, again you're not alone. Check out 'Create Your Future ™ ' an easy, accessible programme that is all about helping you through the process of creating the life that gets you jumping out of bed each morning. You can check it out here.