With 2018 almost behind us and the ‘Happy New Year’ champagne corks about to be popped, this is the final post in the blog series How to Survive Christmas with your Sanity Intact!
Are you Ready to not just Survive, but Thrive, in your life in 2019?
What do you want to create for yourself this coming year?
Before setting any goals for the New Year it’s essential, in my view, to take time to reflect on and achieve a feeling of completion for the year that’s just passed.
Following are the steps to help you do just that.
And get you thinking about what you most want to create in 2019:
(1) Make a list of all your achievements in 2018
Really take your time with this. Sit with your diary and go through it month by month to prompt your memory.
Include everything you can think of, even the ‘smallest’ of wins.
For example, include things like when you went out of your way to help a friend in need. Or the card you received from your child that made you realise your parenting skills have finally paid off (after years of doubting yourself!)
Often, the seemingly ‘small’ things are the most important.
When you’ve completed it, spend time reading through your list and fully appreciating all that you achieved and how far you’ve come. Really take your time with this step and allow your achievements to properly sink in.
Whenever I do this exercise for myself, I’m always very pleasantly surprised, and often amazed by it. When I read what’s on my list, the progress I have made and how much I have moved forward, it’s always so much further than I had acknowledged in my mind!
Don’t under-estimate the significance of this step. One of the reasons we give up on our goals is because we don’t give ourselves credit for how far we have come. We look only at how far we still have to go!
(2) Review your 2018 Goals
Review the goals you set for 2018. If you didn’t set any, take the major areas of your life (relationship, career, finances, health, etc.) and ask yourself the following four questions for each goal/life area:
- What went well in 2018?
- What didn‘t go so well?
- What can you learn about yourself from your answers to questions 1 and 2?
- What do you want to do more of – and less of – in 2019?
If you could summarise 2018 in three words what would those words be?
Mine are Expansion. Boundaries. Movement.
(3) Set your Life Goals
Think about everything you want to create in your life – your Life Goals. What kind of relationships do you want – with your husband, your children, your friends, with yourself? What do you want in terms of your health, your money, your career, your home, etc.?
For example, a Life Goal for your relationship with your kids might read something like this:
Life Goal: Cultivate a meaningful relationship with my kids by being a positive role model and staying connected to them. How? By consciously walking my talk, admitting when I get it wrong and spending 1:1 time with each of them weekly.
Ensure you cover each significant area of your life to get a balanced set of Life Goals.
(4) Create your 2019 Goals
Read through your 2018 goals if you have them and look at what you have written under: “What do you want to do more of, and less of, next year?” Next read through your Life Goals.
From these two lists create your goals for 2019.
Make each of your goals measurable and specific and decide the date you are going to achieve each one by.
It’s okay to say: Create more emotional connection with my husband. But be specific and include How you are going to achieve this.
For example: By having a date night twice a month and taking time every day to ask about his day and really listen to the response.
(5) Consider the Obstacles that might prevent you from achieving your Goals and the Strategy you can put in place now to overcome them
Next, consider what obstacles could get in the way of you achieving your goals.
By pre-empting, and even expecting, obstacles to arise, you can put a strategy in place now for how you are going to overcome them.
Hint: Obstacles are often just thoughts – and they are within our power to change!
For each goal, write a list of potential obstacles that could arise, and then below each one, list your strategy and the actions you will take to overcome it.
(6) What Internal Changes do YOU need to Make?
Now reflect on and decide what needs to change within you in order to achieve your goals. For example:
- What outdated (false) thoughts and beliefs do you need to let go of?
- What fears do you need to overcome around achieving your goals (e.g. that it’s not possible for ‘someone like you?’)
- What support do you need to help you overcome your fears and obstacles? Who can provide that support – eg a friend, colleague, mentor, coach?
- What negative behaviour patterns do you need to stop repeating (eg people pleasing, approval seeking, putting yourself last, etc.)
- What boundaries do you need to put in place?
- What do you need to say NO to in order to make space for your goals?
- What do you need to believe about yourself and about life in order to achieve your goals in 2019 and create the life you want?
(7) List the Top Three Feelings you want in 2018
What are the Top Three feelings you want to experience next year – eg Empowered, Confidence, Pride.
Look at your lists of goals. Is the pursuit of these goals going to lead to the feelings you most want? If the answer is No revise your list until you get to Yes!
Hint: The only reason we want to do anything or achieve any goal is because of the way we think it is going to make us feel when we achieve it.
(8) Pick a Theme word for 2019
Decide on one word that will be your theme for 2017 and be clear on why that word is important to you.
My word is Implement.
Review your goals regularly to track progress and update them as necessary.
Important Note: Your goals are just a starting point to get you into ACTION and moving forward.
Taking action is what creates clarity. You can’t think your way to clarity!
Once you’re in action, you’ll find yourself wanting to update, or even change, your goals as you progress. This is normal and to be expected.
As you review your goals ask yourself if they are in alignment with your theme word for the year. If not, what changes do you need to make?
Finally, remember it’s not achieving the goal that is most important – it’s who you will become in the process!
I hope you will use the above steps to help you figure out what you most want to create to make 2019 your best year yet!
In the meantime, I wish you a Happy, Healthy, Success-on-your-Terms filled New Year..
Here’s to creating the year and life you really, really want in 2019!
Confused and conflicted about what 2019 has in store for you and your marriage?
If you are dreading the New Year because you’re confused and conflicted about whether to stay in your marriage or leave in 2019, I have a free resource for you: Stay Married or Leave? A 5 Step Guide Before You Decide. Click the link to sign up and immediately download your copy.
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