I’m not big on New Year’s resolutions. In fact, I stopped making them years ago. The main reason is that I have found over time that if I need to make a positive change in my life, I will do it when I am ready and not a moment before. The date on the calendar doesn’t make a bit of difference, whether it is January 1st or August 17th. I do, however, enjoy the symbolism of January 1, a new year, a clean slate -it’s a great feeling, and I look forward to it. I always feel energized by the prospect of a new year, and the anticipation of what it will bring.
What I like to do as the year draws to a close is take stock of the year just past, and set some intentions, some goals, for the year to come. And I like to put them in writing. Writing down my goals clarifies them, and gives me direction and a personal map for what I want to accomplish. It sets my subconscious mind in motion to help me to achieve my aims. Research shows that people who write down their goals actually have greater success in achieving them. Sharing those goals with another person, and then sending that person weekly progress reports increases the likelihood of success even more. (One study estimated by as much as 33% on average!) The process of putting my goals and intentions on paper also gives me an overview of what I want to accomplish, so that I can plan the best way to get there. It’s the beginning of moving forward.
Another reason I like to write my goals down is that it gives me a way to track my progress. I can look back and realize that I actually achieved certain aims that were important to me, and that is not only a positive feeling – it increases my sense of accomplishment and reinforces my commitment to set new goals. I recently looked back at a previous list of business goals I had set for myself last year, and it was fun to see what I had accomplished – and could actually cross off the list!
Having goals, dreams and aspirations are what life is all about! They give us a sense of purpose and fulfillment, and add meaning to our lives. They don’t have to be huge – the smaller ones that may seem trivial are just as important. Setting and achieving smaller goals builds confidence that the bigger challenges can be met. Just as often, they are the incremental steps we take on the way to the achievement of a larger, overall aim. It all counts.
Action Step: What are your top 3 goals for the next 90 days. Write them down and put them somewhere you can see them – your computer, or the refrigerator. Set an intention to move towards these, and then see what happens. My guess is that you will see at least some forward movement towards one or more of these after the 90 days is up. Let me know. I would love to hear from you!