It’s January and everyone is talking about goals and dreams for 2018. I am no exception. January is one of my favorite months for this very reason!
Now I know that for some of us, just the mention of the word “resolution” brings back an album of mental images of our failed attempts at reaching big goals we planned for ourselves. And so, we’ve finally said “enough,” and resigned ourselves to the realization that RESOLUTIONS DON’T WORK.
May I just say this – the reason resolutions don’t work are because they’re often not done effectively.
I’m going to share with you my favorite methods and tools for planning for the new year. And for me, this works! I hope it will inspire you to a fruitful and exciting year ahead! There is so much to look forward to, and a journey to enjoy all along the way.
Take Time to Dream
Imagine yourself at this time next year. What do you look like? How do you feel? What have you accomplished? Be as detailed and specific as possible. I like to consider these categories and questions when doing this exercise:
- What does my FAITH life look like? How connected am I to God, and how is that affecting my life?
- What does my FITNESS (health & wellness) lifestyle look like? How am I feeling and looking?
- Who are my FRIENDS? How do we mutually enrich each others’ lives?
- Where are my FINANCES? What are my streams of income?
- How are my FAMILY relationships? How do we invest in and enjoy one another?
And this year, I’ve added a few more – HOME, PERSONAL GROWTH, & CHARITY
I think imagination is one of the greatest gifts we’ve been given, and perhaps the most powerful tool we possess. Pair imagination with a good, old-fashioned hard work, and I’m convinced that you can do just about anything.
Taking time to DREAM about possibilities expands your reality and gives you hope for the future. Really take this exercise to heart. I suggest you start off by finding a place of solitude, drink a large glass of water, do some stretching and deep breathing exercises, pray for God to lead you, then use the list above to tickle your imagination. Just think and dream. Jot down what comes to you in a journal.
Something else I like to do during this time, is identify a theme for the year. As I’m writing my small goals, it may become apparent to me that I have an overarching vibe and direction – or otherwise called the “spirit” of what I want to accomplish. I try to choose just one word that summarizes that overall focus or tone. This is important because I think that it can be a strong guide for whenever a decision is to be made.
Trello is a really neat tool you can use after your dream session to organize your thoughts and goals (add notes and inspiring photos). Have goals that involve others? Invite them to join your board, make comments, and add their own contributions.
Use “Reverse Engineering” to Make Your Dreams Reality
Now that you have a vision in mind regarding yourself and where you’d like to be one year from now, it’s time to consider what habits and rituals will get you there. For example, if you want to prioritize your rest and sleep this year (on a side note, have you heard that good sleep is one of the single best things you can do for your overall health?), what habits will encourage good sleep? Could you do an evening stretch routine? Take a melatonin supplement? Avoid blue light one hour before bed?
Something else that can make a goal really stick, is to help yourself enjoy the process of reaching it. If it’s all about the END GOAL, it may be easy to throw in the towel when the going gets tough and you start to wonder if it’s worth it. But if you incentivize the steps to getting there, train yourself to enjoy the process, you’ll have much more stamina and joy for the journey.
Design Your Day Incorporating New Habits
You now have a list of habits that can take you to your goal. Take time now to see how these habits can realistically fit into your days and weeks.
Sketch out your week and really think about how you can fit these habits in. Ask yourself, “At what times can I do A, B, or C?” If you’re wanting to read more, when could you fit that in? If you’re wanting to listen to more podcasts, what would be the best time for that? More time with your spouse the goal? Maybe you can combine your fitness goals with your marriage goals by going on a daily jog together. Be creative!
*As you are designing your days and weeks, keep in mind what I like to call your “creative genius hour.” I believe we all have a special time of the day that we thrive best in the realm of creativity. For some of us, it’s the early morning when the day is new and full of limitless possibilities. For others of us, it may be at night, when the house is finally quiet and the babies are down the sleep. Seize that time for your most creative work, and I think you’ll be amazed at what you do!
Trello, once again, is a great tool to use. You can use it to design your week, and the great thing is you can access your Trello Boards right on your phone. I also love how you can move “cards” around as needed, create checklists, sync it with your calendar, etc. There is really so much you can do!
Keep Yourself Inspired!
I have heard that unless you revisit your vision every 30 days, you’ll likely lose sight of that big goal or dream. I think keeping yourself inspired by having goals beautifully displayed is so important. I personally use an inspiration board that displays my theme for the year, pictures that encourage me in my goals, and also functions as a command center for weekly projects and tasks.
Other ways to stay inspired are to create a song playlist that gets you motivated, subscribe to podcasts that encourage you in your goal, connect with others who have similar goals – you can do this in person or through joining a Facebook group.
Don’t forget to celebrate little victories along the way!
I would LOVE to hear what some your goals are! Please tell me what you’re thinking in the comments below!
Lots of love, my friends!