There is no way of avoiding it, when a year comes to an end, there is the need to stop, review and take stock of where we have got to in our life.
It is the perfect time to look back at the goals that we have set ourselves and check in to see how far we have come or if not then it is time to re-evaluate and work out why this is so.
It is time to take stock and reflect on our actions and choices throughout the year.
Have you been stuck or maybe you have not moved to the point you had wanted to move towards?
As we enter the New Year we press reset. I think it is a great time to look at the goals for the forthcoming year.
There is something fresh about being able to start again (Hint- you don’t have to wait till a new year to press reset !!)
Like many of you, the thought of resolutions do nothing to move me on.
I have not set resolutions for several years.
I am instead a firm goal setter, this is more tangible and I understand this more than a resolution.
What is the difference between Goals and Resolutions?
As the name suggests, a resolution is something we seek to change.
A habit that we no longer want to have or continue.
Resolutions can be, I am going to lose weight with the classic joining of a gym or starting a new diet.
I love this sketch by Andrew Matthews, author of How Life Works and Happiness in Hard Times to name a few – it sums up this resolution so well.
The Cyclic Nature of the End of The Year
Just before the festive period we are bombarded with ideas for things that we ought to buy to give and to eat.
We are told of the best toys to buy our children, items for our partners and family and friends.
The best food and mince pies and Christmas pudding.
I know that I feel pressured into buying items, I don’t want to give or even receive but I feel obliged to buy something as it looks and feels mean if someone has bought me a gift and I have not done the same in return.
Take the Secret Santa. This is the act of each person in a group buying an item for another person in the group usually with an agreed set £ amount. This saves each person in the group buying everyone a gift they don’t want to receive and cannot afford and means that everyone still receives a gift. It is supposed to be secret and people don’t reveal who was the Secret Santa . Simple right?
Not in my case.
Like many offices, ours decided to do a Secret Santa. I don’t want to be humbug about this …
But I hate Secret Santa gifts.
I have never received a Secret Santa gift that I love or thought that’s really handy.
One year I received out of date chocolates, how mean was that Secret Santa!
The next year I received an umbrella, handy in the weather in the UK only problem was it was so cheap it broke the first time I opened it and went straight into the bin.
The year before was two coffee mugs with a jar of instant coffee – really I can’t stand the stuff!! Mind you they were beautifully gift wrapped. (I love coffee just not the instant stuff)
This year, I received a plaque to hang on my wall. How useful is that?
So as you may imagine Secret Santa is not my cup of tea but I participate in the spirit of goodwill.
If only I liked burgers, I would be able to take my gifts into Burger King to receive a free burger in exchange for my unwanted Secret Santa.
The fact that a major store can run such a promotion only goes to show that people feel obliged to give but we give gifts that no one wants to receive and we end up with a pile of things we don’t really want anyway.
The sad fact is that many people end up with huge credit card bills and spend the next few months paying for all this unwanted tat.
I for one am glad that the festive period is over!!!
The tree is down. I still cannot understand this tradition of bringing a live tree into the house so we can hang decorations on it and place gifts under the tree. (Okay so Christmas does not bring out the best in me!)
There are some people who love Christmas, they are probably planning it already for 2017, and there are some like me who are glad when it is over.
Either way it is the time to stop and take stock of the year that has been and to look ahead at what we want to achieve in the year that is to come.
What I don’t like about Festive Cycle
I don’t like the way it has become totally commercialised built around consumerist ideas. Spend, Spend and more Spend.
I hate that we spend double on food and then end up wasting half of it.
I hate that we feel pressured into buying gifts and feel embarrassed when you receive a gift and haven’t bought one for the person in return.
I hate that we eat too much, drink too much and then complain about it for days after, we seem to judge how well the Christmas went by these key factors.
I have gone off task here, I was supposed to be talking about goals and resolutions.
So lets get back to that.
Resolutions are just that, habits we resolve to change..
A friend who is 50 said his new year resolution was to stop checking his Facebook account every few minutes. I can totally relate to that.
It had become a habit for him in the past year, he said he would compulsively check his Facebook account continuously throughout the day and even first thing on waking up.
There wasn’t even anything important that he was expecting on his Facebook timeline but it had become a habit and he felt compelled to look at it every few minutes.
I think this is a good resolution and one habit if he achieves it that will serve him well but it is just that a resolution it will probably not change his life.
This is where a resolution differs from a goal.
Maybe he will gain more time to look at the real world around him and talk to the people he is around.
A goal is something we seek to change in ourselves, our career, finances, business, relationships, spirituality etc.
When setting a goal it needs to be something specific that we can achieve and we know what steps we need to take in order to get there.
When we set a goal we need to know our WHY.
Why do you want that goal?
I am telling you that asking yourself this question is at the heart of goal setting. this is so so important and it’s only recently that I truly began to really understand this.
I did not know Why (excuse the pun) I was not reaching my goals. When I learnt what my why was behind each goal, I can’t explain it but something began to shift.
When setting your goal, it needs to have a time limit. For example, if you want to set up a website in three months time. Then know your why and this will help you to work out how to get there.
What needs to be done in those three months prior in order to achieve this goal.
If your goal is to finally find financial freedom, then you will need to break that down.
Simply wanting to leave your job is not enough – why do you want to do this?
What will you gain?
What is your pain point?
How much money do you need for financial freedom? What does it mean anyway?
How much do you need to pay your bills and keep going?
What are your skills and what can you do to earn that money?
These are the questions that you will need to ask yourself when setting your goals.
Maybe 2017 will be your year or maybe you will find yourself still setting and breaking resolutions at the end of the year- at the end of the day it is all up to you, your life is in your hands and you will have no one to blame except yourself.
Maybe this is the time to step out of your comfort zone, breakthrough those excuses and try something new.
I’d like to offer you the chance to try this Free Training which can help you to start to work on your mindset and to set the goals in your life for this year, maybe just maybe this could be your best year ever.