Hi and welcome to the new year!
I feel like today is the first time that I’m seeing clearly, breathing deeply and am ready for 2018. Last year was huge in highs and lows, which caused many of us to be pretty drained. I for one was ready for some simple, uncomplicated and responsibility-free time off by the time December rolled around.
I travelled to Perth over the Christmas period, allocating extended personal time on the trip to process events, take stock, clear my head and conduct a mental and physical audit. Two weeks of unadulterated sunshine and hotel life definitely helped and I came out of that period of intense personal reflection changed in attitude and ready for not just a new chapter but a new journey.
Whilst I’m not mad about New Year resolutions, this year I have made a few. Even though I achieved some significant personal milestones in 2017, I felt more like a passenger than an active participant. I was living reactively, in the spur of the moment and without clarity, whereas in 2018 I want to be resolutely, passionately, proudly and proactively present. I want IN.
What Is A Goal?
According to Antoine de Saint-Exupery, “A goal without a plan is just a wish” which you will be all too familiar with if you’ve had vague ideas in the past about what you want to achieve but have never planned for it. Goal-setting is the difference between having an average life or achieving something great and I think we can all agree we want greatness in our lives!
Goals give you not only direction and purpose but they also make your life more meaningful. New Year is a good time to sit down and make a note of where you want to be. Do a personal stock-take and look at what you need to propel you forward and what is holding you back. Be honest and be accountable for your judgment. Finding what’s missing in your journey can be as simple as writing a pros and cons list. What are the gaps you need to fill?
Working On Myself
Having managed small businesses in the past I know how important it is to work on the business as well as in the business – and checking in with yourself once in a while is essential to tweaking your lifestyle and taking responsibility for your happiness.
Among the many things 2017 taught me was that its ok to work on yourself, for yourself and by yourself without the need to justify it to anyone else. Your path is your mission and has no bearing on what others around you are doing. I need goals to focus and for direction and motivation. Whilst I’m great at multi-tasking, running at full throttle and love doing many things at once, it’s also my downfall. My goals revolve around focus, purpose, health, travel, relationships and enrichment.
Let That Shit Go
Your vision of the future is yours and yours alone. You’re not doing it for a pat on the back or to change how others view you. It’s not about being perfect. Perfectionism is a myth. Yes it’s about achieving goals but it’s also about saying yes to opportunities, trying new things and above all, loving your life.
I don’t beat myself up nowadays if I don’t do yoga or run 5K four times a week. I look at my overall health and dissect the complete picture. Why am I running or doing yoga? Is it because I feel I should, or because I genuinely love it? If I’m doing it because I should then guess what, I’m going to run out of all motivation pretty quickly into the new year & feel like I have failed. Do I think I need to do it to lose weight? Well ok then, let’s look at what I’m eating, when I’m eating and how much I’m eating. Kate Moss once famously said “nothing tastes as good as skinny feels’ and whilst it feels great slipping into those size 10 jeans, you’ve got to be realistic. Balance your diet, eat mindfully and exercise for good health and fun. Let that be your goal.
Let The Haters Hate.
Everyone is different and no matter what Instagram, Snapchat & FB accounts you follow, those digital influencers do not represent the world most of us live in. It’s an aesthetical ideal, the perfect scenario and it’s just not real for a large part of the population. Stop comparing yourself to others and be mindful about how you use social media. Set boundaries around your phone use and let it be a slave to you rather than the other way around. Let social media be a twice a week thing instead of a four times a day thing. Be smart about what you share and whom you share it with and be gracious and humble in your opinions. Follow people who inspire you and set your world on fire and delete those accounts that no longer add value to your life. When you are the rule maker you have control over what you let in and what you let go. It’s liberating.
Check Yo Self
Change is inevitable. We all change. Our personal tastes change, our feelings about people change, our circumstances change and they change us. It’s one of the beautiful things that define us and shapes our existence. The more attuned you are to your needs as you change, the quicker you can evolve and the fuller life becomes. So it follows, that living a more mindful path gives you a direct route to the no-bullshit, 100% essence of who you are and what you need. Your authentic self. Once you begin living your truth it is easier to see what aspects of your life that have become superfluous. Surplus to requirements.
Edit Your Life
Are you surrounding yourself with inspirational people who understand and celebrate your journey? Are you seeking out absorbing cultural experiences which challenge your way of thinking? Are you reading books, listening to podcasts and seeking out films and documentaries that expand your horizons? Are you donating to or involved with charities? Are you investing? Are you a conscious consumer? Are you eating less or no meat? Is your financial future planned? Are you passionately travelling the parts of the world available to you? Are you reading books which challenge your way of thinking? Are you part of or do you organize social events that uplift with you and introduce you to new experiences and people? Do what you need to do. Tweak your life. It’s your masterpiece after all.
You Think You Have Time
Life is short and precious. Don’t assume that goals must be about things, make them about people too. Never let night fall on an argument and never let an opportunity to say I love you pass you by. Acknowledge that we all change and be a part of other people’s journeys too. Make plans to see people and speak to relatives. Hug your friends, keep them close and embrace any chance you have to make a happy memory.
Life happens outside your comfort zone. Don’t be afraid to visit now and again.
Happy Goal Setting