January the first is the day that many people consider a day of new beginnings. It is a chance to leave all the bad in the past, to push a reset button, to draw imaginary line and start fresh in new year to come. Many people set New Year’s resolutions and goals in order to make themselves better. However the statistics say that somewhere in the middle of January these people fall of the wagon and abandon their resolutions (the statistics also say that about 40% people will continue with their resolutions throughout the year so not all is lost).
Not only for this reason I don’t really do New Year’s goals or resolutions. I set and work on my goals continuously all year round. I do not see a reason to wait for January the 1st to start changing my life. The year offers us enough moment to change our life and start new behaviors: first day of every month, every Monday, every day. You can actually start right now.
Although I am not really waiting for the New Year with my goal setting I do have a ritual that I go through at the beginning of every new year. It is the ritual of acknowledging extraordinary moments of the past year and getting myself organized for the future.
Recaping the old year
In a way it all revolves around my planner (I use Moleskine 12-month weekly notebook planner, this year in color Scarlet Red). First, I go through my old planner and I make a list of all achievements, events, travels, important moments, courses or learnings to create my my personal year in review. I take a moment to acknowledge all my wins, to feel grateful for all the extraordinary moments and to reflect on the things that didn’t go so well. Next I setup my new planner. I adapted bullet journal method to fit my Moleskine planner (more on that in some other post).
Setting goals for new year
Then I go through my list of life goals and aspirations. It consists not only of goals to be achieved (get back in shape, start a blog) but also of habits & practices that I want to create or maintain (healthy smoothie each morning, meditate etc.). It’s a living document that I reference and update often throughout the year. I periodically tick off what was fulfilled and make adjustments. At the end of the year I do final update and save the final document for each year to track my progress & growth. I have an archived version for 2019, 2018 etc. I do this because it is easy to forget where was our starting point. Achieving goals and growing in life is not only about where we are right now and where we want to go but how far we’ve already come.
To prepare a list of goals and aspirations for new year I simply migrate all open goals from past year and add new ones.
I believe that in order to live balanced life you should set goals in key areas of your life. I have goals for health and wellness, relationships, finances, home, personal development and career. I am considering adding a category related to eco friendliness and sustainability. It is already important part of my life and I would like to adopt more practices that are considerate to our environment. Other popular areas are goals related to free time, giving back or spiritual goals.
Sometimes I focus and set more goals in some particular area, it depends on which area is more out of balance or which one I consider more important.
Creating visual board
I’m also preparing a digital visual board of my goals. I am a visual person and I respond better to visual representation of my goals. You know what they say: one picture is worth a thousand words. I noticed that pictures stimulate my subconscious mind to imagine how things could be and that creates a longing to actually achieve those things. Then you just have to translate that longing into concrete steps. Sometimes I create visual board from my written goals, sometimes I reverse the process and form goals from my visual board. Once completed I print my visual board and insert it into my planner.
Goals for hapiness
At the end of my ritual I will end up with planner set up for new year, visual board and list of goals and aspirations for new year. These three components guide me throughout the year to stay on track with my goals and create life I want to live.
At the end of the day we set goals because we believe that achieving them will make us happy. So make sure that you are pursuing worthy goals that are important to you and not people around you.
I hope that my way of setting goals will be helpful to you and will inspire you to set goals to pursue your life dreams and aspirations.