YOUR GUIDE TO SETTING GOALS & RESOLUTIONS
Certain times of the year lend themselves to setting goals and resolutions; it might be the start of a new year, a particular birthday, Lent or simply a sense that it’s time for something to change.
It can be a valuable exercise to reflect on the things that motivate us and then identify the positive results those achievements will bring into our lives. What ABC’s will help you to stay focused on reaching your goals and resolutions?
Your resolution A’s
Ambition can generate enough energy to remain enthusiastic and stay on track so that we stay focused on our goals. Whether we’ve decided to lose weight, stop smoking, learn another language or make significant plans for our future, the stepping-stones to reach those goals need to be clear enough for us to follow. Ensure that your goals are your own, that you’re not implementing changes to placate, please or keep someone else happy. Doing things for others can work for a time, but it’s often difficult and unsatisfying to sustain.
Allies can help us maintain our resolve; if you’re starting a fitness regime it can help to train with others, but those friends or family need to be equally committed. With business goals a coach or mentor can be a valuable asset, making you answerable for your progress whilst reflecting on the direction you’re aiming for. Occasional setbacks and slip-ups can be recovered from and treated as part of the ongoing learning experience, a temporary blip along the way.
Be prepared to be adventurous at times. Sometimes detours and unexpected opportunities may take you off the straight and narrow, but they can also open up doors to a whole new set of experiences, introduce you to new contacts and enhance the scope of your success.
Your resolution B’s
Believe you can or believe you can’t and you’re right! Trust in yourself, that you’ll find a way or learn from the experience. Then you grow and add a better perspective to your expectations and way of thinking. Allow yourself to be inspired; my little book ‘101 Days of Inspiration’ might help you to keep the flame alight.
Balance is important in helping to alleviate stress and enable you to enjoy the many different areas of life; your work, family, friends and interests. When you enjoy the journey you’re able to appreciate each step you take and the benefits of each stage of your progress, without losing sight of what’s important in your life. Clear goals and resolutions should fit into the overall picture of your life, with measurable results to celebrate along the way.
Breaks can require slowing down and sometimes being prepared to take a little longer. But this can be a benefit in disguise, helping you to achieve what’s important but equally allowing you to support your health and happiness along the way. Breaks often mean that upon your return you come back feeling refreshed, with better ideas and renewed energy and enthusiasm.
Your resolution C’s
Staying in your comfort zone and parking your goals can be fine in times of stress or upheaval but be aware of how that ‘zone’ can gradually become smaller and start to reduce your ability to say ‘yes’ to new challenges and adventures. When you do say ‘yes’ it’s often amazing how doors open, even for seemingly impossible goals.
Try something new every day and become more aware of ways to regularly stretch yourself a little. Be receptive to opportunities; travel another route to work, try a different sandwich for lunch, invite a colleague out for a coffee. Simple things can keep your thinking flexible and receptive. Watch how your goals and resolutions then start to become easier to implement.
Compromise. Yes, you can have your cake and eat it, but sometimes a negotiation or compromise is required. For a time you may need to see your friends less frequently, go to bed a little earlier or make a few sacrifices. Goals may need some planning or readjustment to your thinking, but stick with the stepping-stones and enjoy the benefits that start to materialise.
Communicate regularly and include the people in your life. It’s often the case that they then become a supportive part of your team, encouraging you along the way. Your goals and resolutions may even become a part of their mindset too.
Enjoy each opportunity to set goals and resolutions that improve the quality of your life. It’s never too late to determine what you want, think it through and get started. Remember, today’s not a dress rehearsal!
Susan Leigh is a long established counsellor, hypnotherapist, writer and media contributor who works with clients to help with relationship conflict, stress management, assertiveness and confidence issues. She works with individual clients, couples and provides corporate workshops and support. She’s the author of 3 books, ‘Dealing with Stress, Managing its Impact’, ‘101 Days of Inspiration #tipoftheday’ and ‘Dealing with Death, Coping with the Pain’, all with easy to read sections, tips and ideas to help you feel more positive about your life.
Read Susan’s previous article http://www.mamalifemagazine.co.uk/guilt-and-the-pet-owner/