New year is here! A time when resolutions are enthusiastically made and so many of us feel ready to make positive changes. Full of hope and determination for the year ahead, we are ready to go for our ultimate life goals and bring on the challenge.
In an ideal world it would be great if we all felt this confident but in reality not all of us do. Some of us find ourselves back in a groundhog style January, regretting what we didn't achieve in the previous year and apprehensive about what the new year will bring.
Sadly for the large majority of people it's common to set a list of resolutions with the best of intentions only to predictably fall off the horse by mid January with all hopes of a new you crumbling down. If we do actually succeed in losing weight or getting fit our good work starts to undo itself around about March when we emerge from the cold, winter months and skip merrily into the new birth of Spring.
I love the idea of new year's resolutions in principle but after many years of falling at the first hurdle I've come to question if these are the best way for me to achieve my dreams. In the past few years I've successfully changed my approach to the idea of the empty promise of 'resolution' and shifted my mindset to goal setting. This is something that doesn't need to centre around new year and can be done at any time of your year. This could be the end of the tax year for the self employed, the beginning of Spring or autumn for those who enjoy natural cycles or the school year for the academic types amongst us. Basically when the time is right for you, just go for it.
But as it is January and a traditional time to start a fresh, these are my steps for those who want to make some exciting and achievable changes in their lives right now.
1. Reflect positively on your year. It's natural for us to go straight for the negative and dwell on what we didn't achieve. So why not try writing a list of your 2017 wow moments. Big or small, personal or professional - write down what you feel most proud of.
2. Now write down one thing you wanted to achieve but didn't. Consider what your barriers to success were. Was it financial? Time related? Or did you simply procrastinate and put it off? Be honest with yourself here.
3. Keeping this goal in mind, visualise yourself achieving this in 2018. Walk it through in your mind and fill yourself with belief and motivation for success in this area of your life. Continue this visualisation by looking at the whole year in your mind. What does it look like to you? How does work look? What holiday will you go on? How will you take care of yourself? See it clearly in your mind and believe it's possible.
4. Write down your top three goals for the next year. Link them to home, work and health. Instead of making yourself a loose promise to start on Monday, map out how you will achieve these life goals. Make a clear plan and think about how, what, when and who can help you to make it happen. Break it down and make the short term goals achievable and fun.
5. Celebrate every achievement, big or small. Your goal plan should be realistic meaning you will definitely achieve and when you do shout if from the rooftops and pat yourself on the back. Often the end goal isn't the best part - it's how you get there that brings the most happiness, so enjoy the journey and say thank you everyday for the chance to make these positive changes and achieve your dreams.