Some years ago, a report came out declaring this past Monday (the third Monday of January) as the lowest point of the year. The combination of the weather (it’s FREEZING here in New York), all that holiday shopping debt coming due, and a second, more dubious look at the viability of 2016 New Year resolutions packs a wallop. Ok, so there’s no real science to the idea of Blue Monday, but certainly the stress of goal attainment is showing up with a lot of clients:“ugh, I can NOT get on track with my health goals for the year” “ I’m so stressed about what I want for this year . . . I don’t know how to get it all done!” “IT’S ALREADY THE THIRD WEEK OF JANUARY????”
Relate to any of this? Are you among the countless people who made broad resolutions without considering a plan to make it happen? Did you make sweeping generalizations about what the theme of the year would be without really defining what that meant to you? Are you just trying to figure out how to get traction on even the most modest of goals? Good news: it’s not too late to get on (or back on) track, and the following are a couple of my favorite tips to help you get there.
First things first, get clarity on what’s important. I mean, you really can’t take an impactful single step forward if you don’t first get clear and concrete on where you’re going. And because truly meaningful goal-setting involves goals that flow from your values and your heart, I always like to begin with reflection. Not only does this create space to get grounded in what matters most, but you can also check in with progress already made and celebrate. As a result, you’ll get an opportunity to recognize changes–even teensy ones–you’re already making and build from there. No need to always be starting from scratch (phew).
Once you’ve set one or more goals (I always suggest starting with just one major one) that you connect with and line up with your values, then you have to break it down–make it doable! Turning big goals into monthly and then weekly action items means you can actually see how to prioritize and make progress. The smaller and more specific you can get will increase your productivity, reduce your potential for feeling overwhelmed and allow you to track how far you’ve come over time. Without breaking your big ‘G’oal down, you simply can’t build towards anything, and you’ll just keep spinning your wheels.
One last thing: remember to HAVE FUN with it. This is an area where it’s so easy to slip into another opportunity to beat yourself up. Have fun trying it all, and when something isn’t working or happening – tweak it!
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