Authored by Joumana Mansour, a certified Personal Growth and Wellness Specialist, and Founder of Journey of You.
New Year’s resolutions are great to set, but how many of them do we actually achieve throughout the year? When we map out the goals that we aspire to accomplish, and do not manage to do so year on year, it can have a negative impact on our self-confidence levels and the way we perceive ourselves.
Despite many failed attempts at reaching yearly goals, people still set them, and as the year commences, forget what is important for them to live a life they desire. However, the good news is, there are strategies and tools that can be adopted, to ensure that the goals on the list are accomplished within set timeframes.
Accordingly, individuals should plan smartly, and consider these tried and tested methods:
- Map out personal weaknesses and strengths: Understand that the key to goals and plans is first to grow on personal level. What this means is to become aware of your weaknesses and strengths, to navigate towards leading a more mindful life.
- Don’t confuse what you want versus what you need: Many people set unrealistic goals due to a lack of self-awareness that leads them to blur the lines between what they want, and what they don’t want. This makes way for confusion to arise, when it comes to wants and needs, especially in a codependent environment. Remember that social media and society in general, impose standards on us all that might not be serving our purpose.
- What do you not want to do anymore: From this starting point, list of 5 things (or more) you did in 2021 that did not help you achieve your goals or to live the life you desire. They could be behaviors, actions, and even thought patterns that you are aware of, that no longer serve you. Think of specific instances and where you repeated the same action that you want to shed.
- Now it is time to set the goals for 2022: With this clarity in mind, it is now time to list the 5 things (or more), that you will do, to live the life you long for in 2022. Whether it is to make healthier choices, or get a promotion, complete a project or even adventure to new countries. These goals are specific to you.
- Mind maps to attain the goals: By using mind mapping, you adopt a great tool to work on a holistic approach that can help you reach your desired goals in an easier way. Get a piece of paper and in the center, jot down the main idea (e.g. 2022 will be the best year of my life). Then write down smaller ideas and actions of what to do to reach it. For example, if you want to become healthier, then food, sleep and movement, are the three main components to address.
- Then we become more mindful: The next part of the exercise is to center on the mind, by using tools that are available to everyone, such as self-awareness, mindfulness, repeating affirmations, setting healthy boundaries (by practicing how to say “NO” without a sense of guilt). You could even choose to meditate or do grounding exercises to re-center.
- Prioritize your time: We can often derail from achieving our goals when plans come up, a family members needs your support, or a friend is in a crisis. However, understand that you are your own priority, and use time management skills to manage your days, your stress levels stress, and of course, any anxiety-provoking thoughts or habits you have attached to.
- Check in regularly: Once your goals are mapped out, and the tangible and simple steps that you can take on a daily basis to achieve them are clear, check in with yourself every few months. Have you moved closer or further away from this goal? Is there anything you committed to do, but aren’t doing? Is there something you have done that you are proud of?
Remember, for any positive habit to stick, it requires repetition (we recommend 40 days of repeating it) and reinforcement. If you do not make the change today, will you regret your choices in a year or 10 from now?
The secret of setting the right goals and achieving them, is to let go of who we are NOT. You are not bounded or defined by your previous choices. But from this point on, you can hold yourself accountable to design and live the life you aspire to have.