I’ve never been big on making new year’s resolutions. It’s not that I make them and just give up, but more that I’ve never bothered to make them in the first place. To me, Jan 1 isn’t different than any other day, so if I want to make a change or set a new goal, I’ll do it on March 3 or September 17 or whenever I decide to do it.
But I’ve taken a new approach this year. Especially with starting a new chapter in my life — school is over and I now have a business — the path ahead of me isn’t so clear. I don’t have a 4 year plan of classes to take or a 2 year plan of research to do and a paper to write about it. There’s no one to answer to besides myself.
4 Step Goal Setting Process
To start planning for the new year, I started with looking back. Throughout the course of the year, I was a student, and employee, and a business owner. And most of the time, I was all three of those at once. That made for lots of feelings
and phases and learning about myself
Looking back, I knew very clearly what I didn’t want. I didn’t want the overwhelm, the stress
, the sleep deprivation
. But what did I want? How did I want it to look? What was my priority?
Step 1: Brain Dump
My goal setting process was 4 steps. First, I needed to brain dump. What did I want? I put every word that I wanted to think, feel, do, go, be on a single 8.5″x11” piece of paper with a black pen. Words like travel, calm, and meditation. Girl, I spent an hour on this. And you should take your time, too. I completely filled the page with businessy things, personal things, feelings, emotions, people’s names, and places. I had words describing how I wanted my living space to be: clutter free, houseplants, pool, art.
Step 2: Sorting
So after I had this sheet of paper, I took 4 colored pens and assigned each color a category: feeling, environment, business, & personal. And then I got to circling. I circled each word on that page with the color of the category it fell into.
On a new piece of paper, I wrote the 4 categories across the top of the page and listed each word under its category. So my messy page of random words were now organized.
Step 3: Goal Setting
The third step was turning those words into tangible, measurable goals. I considered things that I could do that would elicit the feelings I wanted. Or things I needed to cut out. I took each word one at a time and answered “what would it look like if I could say I am successful at *fill in the blank*?” This step took the longest. I really took my time considering how I wanted to feel and what I wanted to do and what it would take for me to say “YES”.
The way you phrase your goals at this step is really important. Like I said, tangible and measurable. You should be able to know exactly when you’ve met your goal. Think “I will lose weight” vs “I will lose 50 pounds by Dec 31.” Another example would be “I will to read more.” vs “I will read 1 book per week all year.”
Step 4: Prioritizing
The last step was prioritizing. My list of goals was looooong. So I went by category and asked myself “what excites me the most?” and “if I could only do one of these, which would it be?” That didn’t mean having to give up the other goals on the list, but rather gave me an outline for how I was going to spend my time over the next year.
What if it’s not a New Year??
While it is the beginning of a new year, this method can be used any time you feel like you’re drifting or need to do an alignment reset. For me, a need for alignment is falling conveniently in December, so my goals are positioned towards 2019. And top of my list are some really exciting things for you, including new skin care products
(fun!!) and other top secret projects coming soon 😉
Is getting some quiet time or learning to meditate on your list? Get my 4-part guided 5 minute meditation series free!!