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New Year, New You?

New year, new you?

Choose goals, not resolutions for a happy and successful 2022.

I have a confession to make.

I have never been a New Year’s resolution type of girl.

I know, weird right!

You would think, when what I do for a living is help people to set and achieve goals, that I would be into New Year’s Resolutions. It is what I do, day in and day out after all. But I’m just not, and I’ll explain why in a minute.

But Jen, why are we talking about New Year’s resolutions anyway, when we are halfway through January already!?

Well, I don’t know about you, but it takes me a couple of weeks to get into the swing of things at the start of the New Year. I have just had a lovely relaxing Christmas with family and friends, enjoyed the more laid-back lifestyle of this time of the year and now am back into the swing of things. The first couple of weeks in January I don’t want to think. I just want to relax and recharge.

But the reason that I don’t set New Year’s resolutions is very simple.

New Year’s resolutions are by their very nature undesirable: they are either taking away a pleasure that we have or involve something that is unrealistic to achieve. You know the common resolutions people select: this year I am going to lose weight, exercise more, drink less, spend less, save more and on and on that list goes.

Research shows that 80% of New Year’s resolutions fail before the beginning of February. The 80/20 rule in play again – but more on that another time.

So why are New Year’s resolutions any different to goals?

Quite often they are made without much thought. You know the old ‘Oh its New Year’s, what changes am I going to make to my life to make this year different to others…?’

They are all too-often neither actionable or accountable goals, as well as being not realistic and too restrictive. You have set yourself up to fail.

Goals on the other hand are target based and work towards a tangible objective.

So, if you are feeling like you are ready to make changes in 2022, there is still plenty of time to put a plan in place.

The first step is to not make rash decisions on what you want to change. Take your time and really think about what kind of realistic, small changes could bring positive transformation in your life. Then identify some goals to help you achieve this change.

Your goals need to have a purpose and it is that purpose that will keep you accountable and on track.

Make sure when you set your goals that they are SMART goals. Not sure what that is?

SMART goals are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time bound.

So, follow these 5 steps to make 2022 an awesome year for you:

1. Think about where you are in life and where you want to be. Goals should be the plan to meet your ambitions. This is about getting crystal clear on what your goal is, how you are going to measure your success and what actions you are going to take to make sure you are working towards your goal. This is your why.

2. Become a regular goal setter. Change doesn’t come easy, but once you get into the swing of setting goals and achieving them the world is your oyster as they say. It’s ok to not know what the big picture is when you start but keep setting goals and keep stretching yourself and you will be amazed at your abilities. Adopt a mindset of achievement. If you tell yourself that you have no choice but to succeed and that achieving your goal is not an option, you will do whatever it takes to win.

3. Write down your goals and put them somewhere you will see them regularly. This is part of committing to yourself that you will stick to your goals. If you don’t write it down on a piece of paper or your journal you will not remember what your goals was. In time goals are watered down or forgotten if they are not written down. Then put that piece of paper where you will see it (not hidden away in the desk drawer or in the back of the cupboard). Seeing your goals each day will remind you what you want to achieve and will keep you on track.

4. Make yourself accountable. Get an accountability buddy. A bit like a personal trainer keeps you showing up to the gym and working hard, your accountability buddy will be the person that checks in to make sure you are still showing up for yourself day in and day out. An accountability buddy will keep you moving forward on your journey when times get hard. So, tell a friend, a family member or join a group. You will be surprised how much this helps.

5. Celebrate your success. Never forget that every success should be celebrated, no matter how big or small. Celebrating success is the reward for a job well done and will give you the inspiration to keep moving forward. Small steps are still steps and they still put you closer to achieving your big goals. Learning to set and achieve goals is a lifelong lesson and a great habit to start. Now is your time.