Whether you call them resolutions, goals, intentions, or something else, the expectations that we put on ourselves at the start of every new year can bring on both anxiety and stress.
As we start the process of determining what our goals will be, there are typically two phases that we go through. First is the easy part — the imagining. We can clearly envision ourselves in a bigger house or a smaller body. We can anticipate how good we’ll feel once we get a new job, eat healthier, and travel more. This is when we feel the most excitement about what the future could hold.
Then there’s the second phase — the doing. No one would argue that this is the harder of the two phases, though I also believe it is the better of the two. This is where we put a plan into action to take our goals from a vision in our mind to something that we can touch and feel. However, most times the goal is so great that we have no idea what the next step should be or where we can turn for support and direction. So instead, we start to freak out and allow stress, anxiety, and doubt to creep in. We check out, give up, and shrink down.
When you find yourself in this second phase, asking “what the heck do I do now?”, here’s exactly what you should do:
Yes. Really. In those moments when we have the most to do, and are considering giving up, that’s when it’s best to just stop. Instead, use that time to check in and understand where that feeling is coming from.
Is it your gut? This is the voice in your head or the tingle in your stomach that’s trying to get you to see that something isn’t quite right. There could be something on your plate that doesn’t match who you’re looking to become, and so is feeling more like a burden than an opportunity. Maybe there are relationships that you’re pouring yourself into, but that aren’t filling your cup in the same way. Here is where we should stop and re-evaluate. Does this goal serve you? If not, revise it so that it does or get rid of it altogether.
Is it fear? Often it is. The reward is so great and so above and beyond anything you’ve ever envisioned for yourself, and you can’t fathom that it could be yours. You are then tempted to retreat to that same familiar place that you’ve been for so long, also known as your comfort zone. In this instance, do exactly what you don’t want to do. Instead of pulling back, leap all the way in. Remind yourself that you deserve the treasures that you’re seeking. All that’s left to do is create a plan to get them. Here’s how:
Set your intentions
Achieving your goal is just half the battle. The transformation that will happen on your way there is the other. Become clear on not just the what, but the why. Who and what do you want to see at the top of your mountain? What kind of person do you need to be now to make that happen? What feelings do you need to feel, or stop feeling, in order to get there? Set your intentions at the beginning of your journey and everything will quickly become clear.
Remove the obstacles
Often we proclaim to be too busy to work toward our goals, but neglect to acknowledge all of the self-imposed distractions that eat away at our time. Create a list of all of the things that take up your time in a given week. What of those things are keeping you busy, but not productive? What is the clutter that exists in your home or workspace, on your calendar, or in your mind that needs to go in order for you to soar. Once you get rid of the goals that aren’t meant for you, all that you will be left with is the good stuff.
Commit to it
Here’s where you make the decision to prioritize you. Choose a start date for each goal. (Why not today?) And then, choose an end date for each goal. The clearer you are about the timeline, the more intentional you can be about how you want your journey to look.
Map it out
Now is where you start doing. Grab a sheet of paper. Then break up the timeline for each goal into smaller buckets. These buckets will be your guideposts and will force you to move thoughtfully and with intention. For example, if your start date for Goal A is today and your end date is six months from now, you may want to create one bucket for each of the six months. Or if your end date is in 30 days, you can create a bucket for each week. Then fill in every box with the steps you’ll need to take to reach that goal, based on the order that each step will need to happen and the amount of time you’ll need to get it completed. You will know you’re done when your sheet reflects your entire journey, for each goal, from start to finish.
With my help, you can create a plan of action to reach all of your goals, big or small. Inquire about 1-on-1 coaching.