As we undress the tree, place boxes in storage, and say goodbye to loved ones home for the holidays, this week becomes quieter. A time to unwind under the sun on a beach, ski hill, the family cottage, or in the quiet of our home. For many, it also becomes a time to relax and get lost in a great book, but more importantly to also give thought to what the New Year may hold.
For me, the end of December is a time to reflect and reset on goals for the coming year, but I’ve never been one for creating a formal list of “New Year” resolutions. Instead, it’s about creating on-going change in small incremental ways: ones that are simple, attainable, motivational and most importantly, sustainable. Ones I can hold myself accountable for and easily measure the outcomes of (…perhaps that’s the Accountant side of me coming out).
Big, long-term goals are great and can be inspiring (to “reach for the stars”), but be careful. What’s important is understanding what is realistic for you and what you have the current capacity to commit to, as well as what you need to invest in (emotionally, physically, financially, and of course…time). I’ve been on the side where intentions are great, only to become disappointed in myself in terms of reality. As women, we can be hard on ourselves and create unneeded pressure, so be cognizant of that as you set forth in this new year.
- Set an intention and then ask yourself “so what”? Why am I really setting this for myself and what is the actual outcome I am wanting to achieve? So often we make long lists of “goals”.
- Like any strategy, it’s easy to generate ideas and form “a list” – BUT – what does putting the change into action look like? How will you make it happen?
- Once you have answered the “so what” and planned how you will begin, it is equally important to identify how you will know when you have successfully reached your goal – what will that look like?
- Once you do reach it, how do you then sustain it so it becomes a welcomed part of your everyday life?
One thing we have gained by this time in our lives is wisdom, as a result of our experiences and what we’ve observed in ourselves and in others. There are lots of motivational books and speakers out there – but goals are never a “one size fits all” approach. Consider the factors in your own world that either align or are different and ensure you are doing things that make sense for you.
Be kind to yourself this week, but don’t be afraid to stretch yourself into new and exciting adventures in the New Year. Make the most of it…Why? Because we can!
I wish you a quiet and reflective rest of the week, and a great entry into the New Year!
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