It's that time of year again, where you start to reminisce on the year past -- review what you achieved what went right, what went wrong -- and make plans for the next year.
I blog a lot about goals here, especially goals that you can break-up and achieve... not just big pending todo lists.
Being the last day of the year, let's take a minute to talk about your goals.
What are your goals for the coming year? What were they last year? Did you achieve any? How many? Where did you fail? What got in your way?
If you're like most of us, you set yourself broad goals like: eat healthier, exercise more, lose weight, save more money, don't work so much, reconnect with old friends, enjoy the smaller things, spend more time with family, take more holidays, travel more.
Maybe you went a step further and got yourself a gym membership, maybe you started looking at your finances, or researching that big trip you always wanted to take. Kudos to you. You started. That's a big step in the right direction.
But what good are having goals, or New Years resolutions, if they just keep repeating each year? I aim to help you make your dream a reality; not just a dangling carrot.
Have you heard of SMART goal-setting?
Basically it's where you break your goal up to make it achievable. Specific, Meaningful, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely, SMART. It's pretty much the method I use when I want to achieve something. It's how I make the goal a priority, and I've had great success.
Plenty of other bloggers argue the other side of the coin, that you shouldn't set goals, and it's worth considering... not all goals can be broken down, and not all dreams or ideas should be. If they are, you may find yourself closed-minded, and too focused... you miss out on opportunities that you could have had.
But it's all relative, isn't it?
If you are sitting in your armchair, or at your computer too afraid to take those first steps to achieving your goals, then you should be looking at a goal-setting method. Figuring out what you need to get there... maybe not all the way there, just the baby steps to getting started. What little changes you can make today to get you where you want to be tomorrow.
If you want to travel more in the new year, don't just say "I want to travel more". Set up a region, country, or specific destination. Put a time on it, how long you want to go for, why you want to go.
Have a look at my Bucket List for more ideas.
If you're physically, financially, or emotionally unable... then set up smaller goals to help you realise your bigger-picture dreams.
Let's take a look at a few of my own goals for a minute.
I want to travel again next year. My immediate destination is South America. But I know that my finances aren't in order. I am pretty stretched for cash these days. So if I want to travel anywhere, I have to get the money sorted.
I could probably afford the return airfare, and make my way over to Argentina, Peru, or Brazil for a few weeks. But would I consider the goal achieved? No.
I'm not about accumulating destinations on my travels, I'm about the experiences.
Achieving that travel goal now would be all about focussing on the task, and not the outcome (Click to Tweet). Sure I could get to South America, and cross that off my list, but would I feel fulfilled?
I have a list of places I want to see as long as my arm.
I know that it will take 2-3 months minimum, I even know the best time of year I should be going.
For me to make the goal work, I have to save up for it (I know how much, and I know how to save, so I have that part sorted).
I have to look at my financial goals first. I won't talk about that here though.
So while I am achieving that longer-term goal, I look at other areas of my life.
Like most, I want to get fit next year. It's higher priority for me than travel at the moment; because it's shorter-term, easier to acheive, and I will enjoy my trip more if I am in great shape.
I know what exercise methods work for me, I know all about healthy eating, it's just a matter of breaking it up into achievable parts.
I'm already back into martial arts training, I'm also training for a 5km run in 2 months time (I currently can't run 5km, yes, I am that unfit). I've adjusted my diet to more of a Paleo-diet: lots of fresh produce and proteins, low carb. I'm reducing (to almost zero) my alcohol intake next year, because I have been very successful in the past by avoiding booze.
But hey, you don't want to hear me babble on about health & fitness. Not today.
What's important with your goals for next year is that you start somewhere. It's the end of the year, the perfect time to think about what you want to do with your life next year, set some resolutions that you won't just put in a drawer somewhere, and forget about come February. Otherwise you might find this time next year you're looking at the same list. That's just not right is it.
So tell me. What is a high priority goal for you? What are you doing to make it achievable?