I love starting fresh. A new year, the first of a new month, Mondays, mornings… I love starting over and setting intentions for a new phase.
As we are getting ready to let go of this crazy year, I’d love to invite you to take a deep breath, make yourself a cup of tea (or hot chocolate!), and ask yourself a few questions.
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As you are reflecting on 2020, please be kind to yourself. Didn’t reach your goals? Cool, me neither.
If there’s anything I learnt in the past year, it is that we don’t know what life is going to bring. Unexpected circumstances (good or bad) are normal, and we can’t plan every minute of our lives.
That said, I do love intention setting, and I want to share a method I’ve been using to actually achieve my goals.
I used to set really big goals, with absolutely no plan on how to achieve them. Surprise surprise, I rarely achieved any of them.
The answer, of course, is to plan for success.
Here are my steps:
Step 1: Set Your Goals
There are many ways to do this. Who do you want to be? What do you want to do? How do you want to feel? (Or all three!)
The point is to decide what feelings, outcomes, or changes would make you feel inspired, and choose those.
You can set SMART goals, or intentions, or anything that feels right for you. (I personally don’t like SMART goals at all, because they make me feel restricted and uninspired, and I tend to do much better with intentions and identity changes. Find what works for you.)
Step 2: Create Habits
When you have decided what you want to achieve (e.g. “run 10k by the end of the year”, “play the piano”, or “become a runner”), it is time to set yourself up for success.
What small habits can support your goals?
I want to improve my French this year. I bought a program that is designed to help me to do just that, and I am doing at least one lesson a day.
Step 3: Personality Upgrade
Have you ever set big goals, created your habits, and then failed miserably?
Let me paint a picture for you:
It’s 2016. I really want to start running again. I lace up my shoes and go for a 45-minute run. I’m exhausted and I hate it, but I’m proud. “Well done,” I think, “I’ve done enough for now.” The cycle repeats itself six months later. I never get into a running habit.
Now let me show you another:
It’s 2020. I’ve been going to different yoga classes and trying out new forms of exercise. Then, the first lockdown happens and all gyms close. I buy a new pair of running shoes and promise myself I’ll put them on and go outside at least once a week. I have no real goals: no minimum amount of miles or minutes, no speed goals, no rigid training schedule. I just lace up my shoes, play a fun playlist, and go outside. Eight weeks later, I’m still running.
Do you see the difference?
When I set intentions and create habits for the new year, I ask myself these questions:
- Does this habit eventually take me to where I want to go?
- How can I make it fun?
- How can I make it easy?
It is easy to be motivated on day 1. The secret lies in being consistent on the days after the initial excitement fades. How can you set yourself up for success?
I wish you all the best for 2021!
P.S. If you have any goals around yoga or meditation, and you’re interested in working with me, I’d love to talk to you. You can schedule your free discovery call down below 🙂