We are starting the third week of January (I know, hard to believe, right?!) and we want to check in with you and your goals. Maybe some of you are feeling like you have leaped into this New Year with so much energy and enthusiasm for what you are about to create this year and you feel solid with the goals you set. But maybe you aren’t in this category and instead you feel like you still haven’t found your groove and you haven’t been able to check a single thing off your January goals list, feeling like you haven’t even begun to chip away at a yearly goal. Let me first just say…being in either place and feeling either way is absolutely OK! We’ve talked before about how you can do all the planning you want, your goals and todos can look wonderful on paper, but it’s a whole other ball game when you press play and real life starts to interact with what you have written down. Some numbers from the Statistic Brain Research Institute show that, generally speaking, only 9% of people who make a yearly goal (aka a New Year’s Resolution) feel successful in completing this goal!
Before you get too caught up in that number, or any of the other articles that will start coming out about gym memberships starting to drop and people falling off the resolution band wagon, we want to remind you that it is simply a number. More importantly, the 9% is a simple number and statistic that you DO NOT have to be included in. The goals you filled your Happy Balance Planner with are built on a foundation of intention and meaning. There is weight behind your goals that is defined by a WHY, which serves as your anchor to allow you to hold steadfast no matter the resistance you might encounter. There is passion behind your goals that fuels you to find forward progress. This is what sets your goals apart from empty New Year’s Resolution phrases!
But even with intention, passion and drive, we recognize that this first month of the year can be a struggle even for the best of us. It’s not always easy to tap into our WHY behind a goal or create the energy needed to take the first step in your journey. So before you allow that voice of doubt to creep into your vocabulary and before you let a road block hinder your vision of the truly amazing year you are about to create, we have five tips to help you claim your Monthly (and yearly!) goals and direct them exactly where you want them to go!
- Assess and Recommit: The very first thing you should do is flip back to your yearly goal list and assess each goal to determine if it is truly something you want to focus on and create this year. If it is something that sounded good around January 01, is something that you felt like you “should” do but did not have the heart to do, or even if it is was a popular goal that you thought you could grow into…let it go! Give yourself permission to let go of any goal that doesn’t truly fulfill your ultimate intentions for the year and doesn’t fuel you with passion and excitement when you look at it. Recognize that you are not stuck in whatever goals you write down in your Happy Balance Planner at the beginning of the year, at any month, or on any goal page. So now and throughout the year, do a check-in with your goal list, assess your goals to see where you are in your journey and season, and then recommit to the goals that speak to your heart and speak to your passions.
- Apply the Goal Funnel: We fully believe in the Goal Funnel method and the idea of breaking yearly goals down into monthly, weekly and daily tasks that are manageable and actionable. You absolutely need your big picture goals to define where you are going and act as a compass but if you stay in the big picture realm of your goals it is incredibly easy to find yourself frozen. Where do you go? How do you get started? How do you create progress? The Goal Funnel helps you answer these questions by breaking big picture goals into bite size pieces that you can think of like stepping stones. No matter how big the goal is, you can most certainly take a single forward step. You can write the first word, make the first phone call, or make the first purchase. One step will turn into two, into three, and so on, until you look back and you realize that you are miles from where you started because you found action in the small steps! You found progress by creating one piece of your goal at a time until you can eventually look at the big picture that YOU completed! Learn more about how you can use and apply the Goal Funnel here!
- Define Your WHY: Beside each of your goals that you write down for the year or the month, write down your WHY! As trivial as it may sound, this is where you add weight to your goals, where you build a foundation for where you want to go, and where you define your intention. There is a reason you put pen to paper and you wrote each of your goals down. There is a person, an experience, a feeling, or a passion that is fueling you to commit to this goal. Allow yourself to truly think about what is fueling you and your goals and force yourself to get specific. Dive well beyond the surface answers like “I want to loose weight to be healthy.” You could read that sentence and it could belong to absolutely anyone. Find the why that makes the goal absolutely unique to you, so much so that no one else could own it because they aren’t you! On the days that you find yourself questioning what you are doing (believe me, those days come and you aren’t alone!), come back to this list of goals with your why. Come back to home base and remind yourself that you have a meaningful purpose behind your goals and allow that purpose to push you forward, not off your journey!
- Rock a Daily Todo List: In order to create the individual stepping stones that turn a goal into reality, it takes not only the drive but the work on a daily basis. You have to be diligent and you have to be persistent. The best way we have found to be those things is to keep a daily todo list. You don’t have to fill every hour and you don’t need to fill your list with a million items but you do need to be intentional about your time and your actions every day. And remember that your todo list doesn’t need to be filled with all “work” but should also contain the people and those things that fuel you up so that you can be resilient when the next step in your journey seems too far away or to hard to make. Part of keeping a todo list is about being organized, finding forward progress so that you don’t fall off your path, but it’s also about creating a balance that will help you sustain that progress.
- Trust Yourself + Believe in Yourself! Perhaps one of the most important tips for not letting go of your goals and keeping them in action all year is to trust and believe in yourself. We understand that this can be easier said than actually done some days. But before you can put one foot in front of you, you have to believe that you are enough and that you have everything you need to plant your foot, stand tall on your foot, and use that step as a foundation for the next one. You have to trust that you absolutely can! Give yourself a personal dose of encouragement. Tell yourself: you can jump as high as you set your bar, you can leap as far as you define your edge, you can create anything you imagine, and you can cultivate the goals of your dreams. You absolutely can when you trust and believe in yourself, everything you are made of, and everything that you are capable of!
Apply one or all of these tips, make them work for you and commit to yourself! Commit to being real and being honest with where you are and where you want to go. If you find in a few weeks that you no longer want to pursue a goal and it’s not your true passion, scratch it out and replace it with something that does fuel you and fill you up. There is no set path and there are no “right” goals! There are simply YOUR goals…and they are worth everything!