27 Jan Goals Have A Shelf Life: 4 Ways To Keep Them Fresh
What Do You Want This Year? Professionally? Personally?
Incredibly, we’re beginning the second month of the year. My intentions for these next 11 months of 2016 are a mix of my truest passions and my commitment to self-care; for my business and me. Every endeavor I’m a part of respects that passion and the care of my being. This year I’m focused on reconnecting with those gifts and goals that have the most purpose to me. Time is precious and limited and only those things that truly deserve my time will get it.
I tell you this because I’m driven by possibilities for us humans and the goals I have for the future.It’s a necessary balancing act for the futurist that I am. Over the last several years I’ve been most excited about projects with potential to impact the most people in positive ways.
So when I read about the tactics of New Year’s Resolutions or goal setting with the traditional sit-down list, I know this method rarely works for me.
It doesn’t work for many of my clients either. Don’t get me wrong. End results don’t happen without strategic planning and follow through. Planning and sticking to a system is a proven way to get from A to B.
That said, what I find works best is less striving and more contentious working toward the feeling of what I want. This, with less of the mindset that, ‘X has to happen by this date in order for me to see that my goal will come to fruition.’ The key for me is flexibility in the plan without taking my foot off the gas. The key to success is in the checking in, realigning and then the stepping forward. Repeat.
I’m also convinced that goals have a shelf life and are made to be flexible. Here’s what I find helps me and those I work with to earmark what they want most. If it’s a different area of work, map out the steps to get there. Then, after every mark or stepping-stone in the process, reevaluate the steps, and also, the final desire. Ask: Is this what is ultimately most important to realize? Go beyond the thought of achievement and ask, ‘How will this ultimately make me feel’? If there is self-doubt with the idea or even the timeline to get there, write it down for a later time. The lovely, Danielle LaPorte has written an entire book on this subject.
- Go for something that is true to your innermost desires. If it’s a different area of work, map out the steps to get there. Then, after every mark or stepping-stone in the process, reevaluate the steps, and also, the final desire. Ask: Is this what is ultimately most important to realize? Go beyond the thought of achievement and ask, ‘How will this ultimately make me feel’? If there is self-doubt with the idea or even the timeline to get there, write it down for a later time. The lovely, Danielle LaPorte has written an entire book on this subject.
- Remember that you don’t necessarily have to achieve a goal for the sole reason you said you would achieve it. Allow some things to go. Yet, if you have an important goal and it’s worth achieving, then by all means, go for it! Let nothing stand in the way.
- Get into your body and out of your mind before you work on your list. If your body is tense and you are only thinking from your head, your goal may not be coming from the truest part of you. This may sound counter intuitive, but stretch, loosen up, move, exercise, and meditate. Do something non-thinking before you take time to formulate your list.
- Don’t hesitate to change your goals. If you are working with a physical list and you want to change it, line through it so you can look back and see where you were then versus where you are now. Keep a running tab with modifications. It’s a lesson in personal and professional growth to look back over a list from previous years. It can be insightful, hilarious and fun.
Ask yourself why a goal was important to you in the first place. What impact does it have on your life? If it’s no longer relevant to you, replace it with something that is. One way to look at your list in another light is to take a look at what you don’t want.
By keeping track of your goals in a non-list way you can record them in a completely different way. For example, exchange your goals with someone important to you and revisit them together. Illustrate or map them. Audio record them on your phone or record a video list.
Use what I call the intuition test and go with your initial gut feeling to form what’s important. If it doesn’t feel right, change it or trade it up altogether for something more ‘you.’
Mark an actual date on your calendar to revisit your intentions. Be confident in your list until you set up that time to revisit and revise it. Like wine, goals need time to breathe. If you leave them alone for a while and come back to them, you’ll have given the best ones the time to ‘rise to the top’ and those less important will fall to the bottom.
It’s in the exercise of cultivating your goals, rather than merely listing them once a year, that there is freedom in knowing what you really want now and for the future, not yesterday.
I’m convinced we’re here to make things happen and to do them together for a greater good. What’s good for you, what you care about? What’s good for our loved ones, our planet?
Tell me. What are your new intentions with planned outcomes? Bring your biggest dreams, your most sacred goals, your white board, your markers and your best friends. Make them happen!