3 Steps to Set and Reach Your Goals
Happy new year and happy new decade! One of the most luxurious things you can do for yourself is to live your life with consciousness, intention, and a plan for improvement. This post gets you started on that path in 3 steps so if you want to refocus your vision for your life and make the new year a better year, keep reading.
For many, the start of a new year is a time for setting new year’s resolutions but we all know that following through with those resolutions…well, that doesn’t usually last very long. I want to share some tips that I use to start the new year with intention and how I plan for follow-through and success
STEP 1: Self Discrepancy theory
First I start with something from psychology called self discrepancy theory. This consists of your ideal self (your vision of who you want to be and your actual self (your vision of who you are now). Self discrepancy theory is about the discrepancy between your actual and your ideal selves – the less they overlap, the more discrepancy you might feel. This might manifest in low self-esteem or feelings of unhappiness or dissatisfaction. Our goal in the new year is to lessen those feelings by bringing the actual self closer in alignment with the ideal self.
I start by making a list for each of the two selves. List the characteristics or things you want to be or do. For example, you might want to be less judgmental and more understanding and accepting or you might want to save for a new car. If you want to go deeper you could create a visual representation such as a list with connecting lines or check marks or a Venn diagram (overlapping circles that show what characteristics are in separate and in both lists).
What you come up with should help you identify areas in your life that you want to improve, it should also help identify strong areas where you are already doing a great job. Ultimately, this exercise is a great first step toward becoming your ideal self
STEP 2: Review the Previous Year
Review the previous year by brainstorming significant things from your memory, calendars, journals, or other documents. Focus on things related to aspects of your ideal self; things you want to improve. Ask yourself questions such as the following:
STEP 3: Plan for the New Year
Start by setting goals, not resolutions – popular goals include finances, health, work, personal relationships. Don’t take on too much, make it manageable. Set yourself up for success not failure. Help yourself overcome your challenge not hit wall or make yourself frustrated and want to give up. If you’re trying to choose between several goals it may help to rank them by priority. Be careful not to take on goals that can contradict each other like eating healthy and saving money.
Make a plan. THIS is the key. THIS is the part of the entire process where you want to go deep because THIS is your plan for success. Having a plan in place that you follow, check in with, and reflect upon throughout your journey is the critical step.
To create a plan it can be helpful to start by learning what you can about how other people tackled these goals because you’re likely not the first to take them on. Search for ideas on YouTube, blogs, books, and other sources. If you come across plans that seems too difficult for you or that aren’t an approach you like, don’t let it discourage you. Your path doesn’t have to be someone else’s path. Tip: take some time to do this but don’t let it stop you from making your plan…it’s easy to get distracted and procrastinate.
The following are helpful things for your plan to include:
If you want to start on this journey of improving your year, start with this process and I’ll be back in my next blog to chat with you about organization strategies that can help you create a successful plan that works for YOU and that you’ll WANT to keep going back to.
Have a fantastic day!
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All content copyright Autumn Beckman, 2020