So, who’s sitting at home right now, having donned their obligatory Christmas slippers, lamenting the loss of Christmas, mince-pie in one hand, double Baileys and ice in the other, staring at the Christmas tree, observing its sad dehydrated state (not dissimilar to your own), feeling sorry for its neglected branches, that it’s now surplus to requirements, with a bare bottom (I’m still talking about the tree), dropping thousands of its tear-like needles ALL OVER THE FLOOR and thinking, right, I need a focus, a goal, anything to get me out of clearing those sodding needles up?!…
Sound familiar? Well, let the creative avoidance kick in, the needles can stay there for the time being and the tree can continue to lean longingly in the general direction of the down stairs tap, as it’s time for goal setting (as opposed to gaol setting, which is what I keep inadvertently typing…)
Goal setting is fun, it’s a chance to be completely self-indulgent and think about what you’d like to achieve for the forthcoming year. I find this whole exercise very cathartic and a bit of a guilty pleasure as I can spend a whole afternoon just thinking about meeeee and what I would like to achieve (because clearly, the rest of the year is not about meeeee at all…whatsoever…in any way shape or form…)
I know only too well how frustrating and disappointing it can be to set out so full of good intention only to be de-railed at some point along the way. We lead busy lives, we have many demands placed on our time, so it’s no wonder that we find ourselves in a bit of a ground-hog day kind of situation. It is for this reason, that I’ve learnt over the years to employ some nifty strategies which seem to work for me, so here’s my handy tips on setting goals and giving yourself the best chance of avoiding becoming a ground-hog:
- Pour a glass of wine/beer/G&T/leftover Christmas drink, get your pen (probably won in a cracker) and shiny new notepad (from an elderly relative) at the ready; phone fully charged and credit card close by…
- Consume a generous helping of aforementioned alcohol, close your eyes, take a deep breath in and then out, open your eyes again and then write down all the random stuff that comes into your head (filtering out the weird stuff), then, when you have some goals written down in your shiny new note pad, consider the following:
- Always have a PLAN, not just in your head but written down somewhere where it’s visible, where you can’t hide from it, where it will scream ‘LOOK, I’M HERE, THE PLAN YOU AGREED TO STICK TO NO MATTER WHAT; Oi! STOP IGNORING ME!’
- Get BUY IN from your nearest and dearest. They need to be on board and why wouldn’t they be? You’ve far more chance of success if they’re supporting you and want you to succeed
- BREAK the plan down into manageable chunks, one week at a time is good, you can then merrily tick off what you’ve achieved and there’s nothing quite like putting a massive tick in the box (possibly vehemently!)
- Be REALISTIC: If you set yourself the challenge of running a half marathon while setting a PB dressed as a giraffe , then allow the time to train hard AND time to make a costume…unrealistic goals are a non-starter and therefore a non-finisher
- DON’T set too many goals, resist the FOMO! Time management is key and there’s always next year for FOMO! (hmmm….I feel a mantra coming on)
- Make a COMMITMENT with someone else; you’re far more likely to keep going when you’ve a friend banging on your door, nagging at you, dragging you out by the hair!
- WRITE the goals down, they immediately become more real. Show them to someone, say them out loud, make a statement on Facebook…or make a promise to your children (OK, maybe that’s a step too far!)
- Surround yourself with people who INSPIRE you, people who are positive and offer support; ignore the naysayers, they’ll only drag you down and be secretly (or otherwise) pleased when you fail
- Be HONEST with yourself, be sure it’s your goal, challenge why you’re doing it, choose goals you want to achieve for yourself, not for others (believe me, it’s overrated, not particularly enjoyable and generally, they others don’t actually give a sh*t about what you’re doing!)
But most of all BELIEVE IN YOURSELF, the biggest hurdle to achieving your goals will be YOU. It won’t matter one iota how positive the people around you are, how supportive they may be, if YOU don’t believe YOU can do it, then the chances are you won’t.
So, what are you waiting for, pour yourself that drink, grab your pen and paper and indulge yourself in goal setting….the Christmas chores can wait…or just make them one of your goals!