Welcome to 2020! This past year flew by for me with a flurry of activity in every aspect of my life. It is difficult to look back at 2019 and comprehend all that was accomplished and fit it into the 365 days. It was a big year for new speaking opportunities, a great year working with my sister, Chelsea, and an incredible third year of triathlons.
What did 2019 represent for you? Was it a hugely positive leap for you in life; or maybe a year that you could have done without? Either way, I want to encourage and remind you that 2020 is a new year, a fresh start. Tomorrow is always a new day.
What do you want to do this year, to accomplish, to experience? There are a lot of people writing book and articles about how to go about setting your goals for the New Year. You may already have someone you are following or reading to help formulate your goals but if you don’t, I have included a simple article by someone I recently came across, Ariana Jackson, to help you with this process. 2020 is going to be a great start to a new decade, and always remember that the best is yet to come!
New Year’s Goals
The start of the year is a popular time for many people to begin self-improvement projects, take courses and learn new skills, incorporate healthier habits, and quit habits that are no longer serving them. However, only about half of people who make New Year’s resolutions end up sticking with them after February. If you’re one of these people, why not try leaving behind resolutions and setting goals instead?
Establishing goals for the new year has many benefits over setting resolutions:
• Goals can be easier to pick back up if you feel you’ve dropped the ball.
• Goals are more specific and personalized and can also make it easier to measure progress and make adjustments accordingly.
Setting goals can seem daunting so come up with a plan of reinforcement. What will help you to keep the goals that you set? There are different frameworks for setting goals: consider choosing one, or a combination of two or more, that works best for your lifestyle, habits, and interests.
SMART goals have been originally associated with project management and performance evaluation techniques, and were designed to organize goals in a way that is simpler to define. SMART is an acronym for goal setting that is:
• Specific – Make sure your goal consists of more than, “I want to save money,” “I want to lose weight,” or “I want to get promoted at work.” Clarity is key!
• Measurable – Have an amount or frequency (weekly, monthly, etc.) of consistent actions related to your goal, so you can see your progress and feel more encouraged to continue on your path.
• Achievable – Break down your goals into smaller steps to help make them more attainable.
• Reasonable – Consider whether or not other people’s involvement, your finances, or time restrictions may impact your ability to achieve your goal. For example, if your goal is to buy a home by the end of the year, first evaluate whether or not you’re able to save enough money within the time frame you’ve set for your goal based on your current savings and income.
• Timely – Create a time frame for your goal to help you stay motivated so that your goal remains a priority.
BSQ, created by organizational psychologist David Van Rooy to simplify existing goal frameworks, is another acronym that means:
• Think Big – Choose one overarching goal to work toward.
• Act Small – Map out the steps needed to achieve the goal.
• Move Quick – Setting a time frame by which to accomplish your goal can help you stay focused, but try not to place too much pressure on yourself with a too tight or inflexible deadline.
Create a Vision Board or Playlist
Vision boards have become a popular goal-setting tool over the past few years, particularly for people who consider themselves to be more visually engaged and creative. Vision boarding involves adding pictures, symbols, and phrases symbolizing one’s goals to a physical board (such as a poster or a bulletin board), a Pinterest board, a slideshow presentation, or another visual medium. Those who consider themselves to be auditory learners may find an equivalent in creating a playlist of music, meditation tracks, speeches, or podcasts with a motivational message related to their goals.
Choosing a framework for establishing goals can be just as personal and important as actually setting the goals. Take the time to decide which framework is best for you, and visualize yourself meeting your end goal. Remember to be kind to yourself and to trust yourself and the process. Achieving goals doesn’t happen overnight, and the process requires patience, consistency, and persistence. Know that, regardless of where you are, you’re capable of accomplishing what you’ve set your mind to achieve. Have a very happy and successful new year!