Last year I strategized my personal goals for the New Year in a way I never considered before. Every year I’ve set a goal I intended to keep but never got much further than that. They’ve been unattainable due to being too vague or unrealistic. Honestly, the default goal to lose weight for many of us gets to a point where it’s downright depressing to even attempt. Make abandoning that one your first goal this new year and try these ideas to reframe your mindset around your resolutions. Find goal examples at the end of the post.
Choose a word
I’ve found that picking a theme for my goals helps me identify and celebrate growth along the way. Reflecting on this past year I see many instances of my chosen word being fulfilled in ways I couldn’t have planned. Choosing a word feels like setting an intention. Setting an intention feels like a wise use of energy. And protecting and using my energy wisely is a lifetime goal.
Pick a word that makes you excited! My word for this year was: RECONNECTION.
Do yourself a favor
First, sit down and imagine what your year looks like. For example, RECONNECTION has meant making an effort. Brainstorming off the bat, I wanted to make a habit of sending more mail to loved ones. To make that part of my goal work I needed to intentionally gather information. I messaged my family members and asked for birth dates and years, and anniversaries. Then, I put all the information into my google calendar and set notifications to repeat yearly. Knowing that wasn’t going to be enough to keep me on track I went ahead and printed a wall calendar with birthdays included.
Next, preparation for this goal included gathering birthday cards, envelopes, and stamps for the year. No excuses.
The calendar, cards, envelopes, and stamps all sit together in a drawer, easy to access. I can pull them out when I’m sitting at the table once or twice a month and straight into the mail. That being said, I haven’t been 100% successful this year…
Give yourself grace
As mentioned, things fell apart for me in August. Life took a turn and my focus shifted. During this period, however, reconnection still took precedence. Writing and sending birthday cards can be caught up on, and missing a few is forgivable. Of course, things don’t always go to plan, and that’s okay.
Additionally, I made another goal to reconnect with my husband’s sisters once a month. We used to be closer but now we live in different states and are busy raising kids and getting on with life. Now, once a month we schedule a zoom call together and do a workshop or craft together. Or, depending on how we feel we just talk for a couple of hours.
This goal-setting strategy gives you the opportunity to be flexible. Also, if something doesn’t work you can shift gears but still stay on track. You have a whole year to explore your goals! Returning to the health-related goal many of us have, adaptability has helped me feel less frustrated with my ongoing health goals. Rather than pursuing and becoming frustrated with “failing” I’ve had the opportunity to troubleshoot these last couple of years by zooming in on my situation, and now can set appropriate health goals. Your goals should empower you. Small changes can make a big impact on these kinds of goals.
Reframe your mindset
Consequently, if setting goals makes you feel like bracing yourself for failure, reframing the concept may feel surprisingly empowering. Consider taking a mix-and-match approach to your goals this year. You have 12 full months and 365 opportunities to achieve anything you put your mind to. Resolve to normalize celebrating all of your achievements, even the ones you don’t recognize until you look back. Check out some examples below of goals you can strategize, spread out and work on throughout the year.
Leave a comment if you like the idea of choosing a word/theme for your year and if you feel mix-and-match goals are more manageable than one big resolution.