Do you have big dreams for the New Year, but not sure how to get started?
Or are your visions for the future feeling overwhelming, or near on unachievable?
Goal setting helps clarify our aims, and assists us to move forward towards them.
More often than not, the happiness is actually in the journey rather than the attainment of the goal itself, so when we start making some progress towards our future objectives, our target starts to come into view, and we can enjoy the process of the quest.
We don't even need to know all the actions that will get us to the end result, but by starting with a small step, it helps build our confidence that it's possible to achieve what we want in our lives.
The best way to begin is by setting the intention. What is it that you want to create in your life?
This can be big or small. Maybe you have some health goals, such as wanting to eat healthier and have more energy. Or perhaps it's a bigger life achievement such as creating your own business, or moving cities.
Whatever it may be, clarifying the overall picture helps bring the target into view. Take some time to visualize what it would be like to have achieved this dream and how it would feel.
From here, have a think about what you would like to have achieved in about 3 - 6 months. This may be having reached the overall goal itself, or if you are aiming for something larger, perhaps it is just having made a big leap forward towards your dream.
Next, start to consider what you could do in the coming week to a fortnight, as a baby step in that direction. This should be behavioural, and something you can do that is actionable.
For instance 2 years ago I wanted to achieve a new outlet for my coaching business that also included my writing skills. My 6 month goal was to write a blog post every week, and let me tell you at the time that seemed completely unbelievable to me.
However I started small, the first week it was just to buy a domain name. The second week was to set up a blog template, the third week to set up a distribution list, and the forth to write my first post.
Slowly but surely the 6 months passed and I had made it. Now it's 2 years on, and my site has expanded beyond what I could have imagined, and new goals are being made. However the vision has remained very closely the same.
One thing that's important, is to see the goals and behavioural steps as experiments. You don't need to punish yourself, or let go of the intention, if for some reason you don't get something done that week.
See things as win and learn, not win or lose. Perhaps there is a reason something didn't work out as you planned, and there was a lesson in it for the future.
If you do face a challenge, what could you do differently next time? And the times it did work, why did it work? Can you use the positive experience of the achievement to come closer to your dream?
One of the benefits of reaching the smaller steps, is it builds our self confidence and increases our belief in ourselves that we have what it takes to get there.
Having a mentor, buddy, or coach can be an advantageous approach as well. Apart from the fact that it always helps when we feel we have the support of another around us, it also keeps us accountable, and gives us someone to bounce off with our achievements and challenges.
So if those New Year goals are feeling overwhelming right now, which can often happen after the excitement of 1st January wears off and reality sets in. Take some time to sit down and make a goal plan to create the life of your dreams!