It’s human nature, at this time of year, that we reminisce about the year that has been and looks forward to the forthcoming year and begins to dream about all the things we hope to achieve. It’s a time of contemplation and hope and with a little bit of application can be a time of setting yourself up for success both emotionally and financially. A sense of accomplishment is one of the key pillars of happiness so it’s important to encourage that feeling as often as possible throughout the year.
There’s a torrent of guides proffering advice, ultra-productive bloggers selling custom-built annual planners and cynical bastards shooting down the very idea of goal setting for the year but call them whatever you like: New Years Resolutions, Annual Action Plans, or Yearly Bucket Lists, they can be a powerful tool, not only in personal development but also in achieving financial stability and emotional happiness.
Some wise man once said ‘Goals without timelines are just dreams’ and despite what we like to be told, dreams rarely come true without application. So how do we turn our dreams into reality?
The first step is to dream.
Dream big, dream small, but dream things you have the potential to influence and control the outcome of. Dreaming of a winning lottery ticket isn’t something you can control. Elon Musk dreamt of going to Mars, Gandhi dreamt of a free and independent India. These are both huge dreams, wildly ambitious, but in both case’s they had the ability to control some aspect of the outcome and today India is the world’s most populous democracy and SpaceX is well on its way to building a manned mission to Mars.
Ask yourself ‘what are the things I’ve always wanted to achieve, but never truly set my mind to?’
A strategy for goal setting in 2018.
- Set yourself 3 big goals for the year
To get you started thinking about setting goals in the following categories:
- Personal Development – Learn a new language, develop a new skill
- Health & Wellness – Run a marathon, lose weight
- Experience – Trek a mountain, swim with dolphins
- Financial – Save for a certain item, open an investment account
- Career – Start an online business, get a promotion
These are things that you have to work hard to achieve, like running your first marathon, starting an online business or dropping 10kg in weight. When you look back on at the end of the year that give you a sense of accomplishment for the year.
- Small, easy goals
Also set yourself small, easily achievable goals, with timelines to give you a feeling of achievement that you’re moving forward as you go through the year. These can be linked to helping you achieve your bigger goals, such as running 20miles a week if your bigger goal is to run a marathon, or completely separate from them such as starting yoga classes, spending less time on social media (something most of us could benefit from) or exploring a new town at least once a month.
- Write them down
Writing your goals down visualises them in reality. The power of visualisation is a powerful tool. Jim Carrey credits it as an essential element on his path to success.
What’s also really important here is the language you use when you write them down. This is where you add structure and timelines to your dreams and turn them into actionable goals. For example, writing; ‘I want to lose weight’ is just a dream, but adding a value and date gives it power and makes it visually and mentally achievable: ‘I will lose 5kg’s by the end of March’
- Remind yourself daily
The final step is to put your list where you will see it regularly to remind you of what you wanted to achieve at the start of the year. This could be on the home page or wallpaper of your phone, in a picture frame next to your bed or on a piece of paper stuck to the bathroom mirror. Constantly seeing them will be a constant visual reminder of what you wanted to achieve and you’re much more likely to make them happen.
Following these steps is by no means a foolproof way to achieve everything you wanted to in life, but it will give you a solid foundation, which together with a little application and dedication, will have you living your dreams and achieving the things you always wanted to.
To give you a little inspiration, here are some of my personal goals for 2018:
- Learn how to wheelie my bike – Sign up for wheelie classes at the Olympic Velodrome in March
- Complete a triathlon – Sign up for a triathlon in September 2018. Continue my swimming classes so that I’m able to complete the swim leg
- Build Healthy Hospo as a sustainable business – By the end of the year build Healthy Hospo to a size where it is having a significant impact on improving the health and wellness of the industry and can support me so that I’m able to do it full time
- Read at least 1 book per week – Add a book review section to the Health Hospo site
So stop reading this and get planning your 2018 goals.