New Year Goal Setting - Get Control of Your Life (Including Finances!)
It’s that time of year again. New Year goal setting time!! Honestly, the new year & goal setting makes me giddy with excitement. There’s something about switching into a whole new year that feels so hopeful, and so clarifying. I also LOVE reflecting on what I did well while figuring out how to make the next year my best ever. It’s like the new year offers a reset allowing me to get control of my life. And who doesn’t love to get control of finances when the new year rolls around?!
While I do like to spend some time reflecting on what went well this past year, often that good stuff can be hard to find. It’s really easy to get bogged down in the should-haves and if-onlys. Sometimes, that type of look-back is helpful and, if used properly, can propel you forward into that business you’ve always wanted to start or to finally get straight with your finances. The problem can come in when you look back and then dwell and fester in your should-haves. Look back, review, be honest, be present, but drop the judgment and condemnation. Instead, notice missed opportunities and ‘mistakes’ (really, is there such a thing?), and then use those powerful allies as guides that will lead to the results you want! Choose to do it differently in the new year.
Before we go any further, you can download my FREE workbook here. It will guide you through the new year goal setting process every step of the way! It’s like I get to be there with you, drinking wine and goal setting. Seriously, did I mention I love this stuff!? My way at attempting a virtual hand holding.
And, before we get into the nuts and bolts, it’s important to remember that this is a both-and process, friends, NOT either-or. Working toward goals, embracing transformation is BOTH the summit of the mountain (accomplishing a goal) AND the path along the way (all the Very. Hard. Work. that it takes to wrestle snakes, navigate mysteries, manage obstacles and write a different story). Focusing only on the summit can sidetrack us into the “I’ll never be able to do this” headspace.
Ohhh… I know that headspace, dear ones, I know it well. I also know that it’s possible, despite what your friends or family or church or teachers or Facebook feed might be telling you, to leave that myth behind, trust yourself and choose a different dream and take a different route.
New year goal setting is a process, so, let’s start at the beginning.
REVIEW THE GOALS YOU MADE FOR 2017.
And, let’s start with those goals that you DID accomplish. Or even partially accomplished. Celebrate those wins! I like to actually write down everything as it’s happening. This gives me something to come back to and remember how far I’ve come. Sometimes, things move slowly, and while we may not have actually made it to our ultimate end goal we’ve likely made some pretty killer progress that can be easily overlooked.
If you didn’t write things down throughout the year, take some time right now and go through 2017 month by month. Try to remember where you were in January and what was happening. Compare that month to where you are right now. Write down at least one to two wins that you know you accomplished each month. Sometimes it’s easier to look back and see the wins than to accept the wins as they come.
See, you’re amazing, aren’t you?!
Now that you see your wins, let’s go through the year and look at what you wanted to accomplish but weren’t able to pull off in 2017. Write down the things you didn’t accomplish that you’d actually still like to accomplish. There will likely be a few goals that don’t pertain or you don’t care about anymore. No worries. Remember, we are evolving beings and your goals likely will evolve as well.
NOW, LET’S PRACTICE LETTING GO, SHALL WE?
Let’s shed all the things that didn’t serve us last year. Stop dwelling on the fact that you didn’t get your finances together like you’d hoped. That you didn’t lose that last twenty pounds of baby weight. That you wish you had made time for more creativity. Because the truth is, dwelling doesn’t help us move forward. AWARENESS helps us move forward. And you’re clearly aware now. So, give yourself some grace and love (just like you would to your best friend) and move forward. Remember that whole love yourself, thing? Do it now. LOVE YOURSELF.
OK, now that you’ve reflected and you’re remembering to love yourself, I think you’re ready to move on to…
A lot of people think the best thing to do is just start setting goals at this point. All those regular goals, like “Lose 20 pounds,” or “get my finances in order.” Or, maybe you’ve heard of SMART goals and so you start there. While SMART goals are pretty awesome, this still isn’t where you should start!
I believe, in order to set goals that actually matter to YOU, there needs to be a big picture that you’ve set for yourself. A five- or ten-year plan that you are working towards and tying all your SMART goals to! This big picture is easy to forget about. It’s much easier to just start adding things to your list of resolutions. But, without the big picture, there’s no end point, there’s no North Star for your goals. Define your Star friends. It WILL transform your goal making and accomplishing.
You can always start with my “Defining Your Values” Workbook which also walks you through a more in depth visioning process. You can get that by filling out the form here.
Or, you can start by answering this one question:
WHERE DO YOU WANT TO BE IN TEN YEARS?
Now, first, let me explain that is isn’t a “where do you think you’re headed” kind of question.
This is a no limits, all the money in the world is available to you, all opportunities are available to you, kind of dream. Don’t think about your current financial situation or your current life-sucking job. Think about what your absolute perfect utopia would look like in 10 years.
What do you want your work life to look like? What do you want your family to look like? Where will you be living? What do your relationships look like? How much money do you want to be making? What does your overall financial picture look like – investing, saving, budgeting, kid’s college, etc? Get really specific, and write down what your perfect day will look like ten years from now. Write down where you are, what you’re wearing, who you’re with, how you feel, etc. What are you doing that makes you SO happy?
That is fun, isn’t it?! I LOVE doing this part of the goal setting. I believe, if you set your mind towards accomplishing this really specific dream and if you’re setting your goals to work towards accomplishing that big picture, MAGIC WILL HAPPEN.
Ever so slowly, you’ll realize you’re making progress towards that amazing utopia of “YOUVILLE.” But, the only way you can truly make progress is to be intentional, to love yourself right where you are right now, and to stop taking life so personally. Only you can create a new future for yourself.
Listen, this life is up to us. We’ve all got shit coming at us from all directions. We’ve all had a crap childhood. The trick is to not get stuck there. It’s vital to realize that yes, having an alcoholic stepfather was a crappy way to grow up, but that experience doesn’t define me. I can be a loving, kind and generous mama who refuses to hurl emotional insults at my partner and children. While this is hard work, I care enough about me and my journey on this planet to create change in my life. And ultimately, for generations to come.
YOU ARE WORTH THE WORK. THE WORK IT WILL TAKE TO CREATE A NEW FINANCIAL FUTURE FOR YOU AND YOUR FAMILY. THE WORK IT WILL TAKE TO TRULY START LOVING YOURSELF, RIGHT HERE, RIGHT NOW. AND, YOU’RE WORTH THE HARD WORK TO ACCEPT AWARENESS OF YOUR CURRENT STATE AND YOUR ROLE IN THAT. YOU ARE WORTH SO MUCH MORE THAN JUST STAYING STUCK.
But, I digress.
Finally, the actual goal creation part. I believe in S.M.A.R.T. goals, but, with a twist. I don’t make goals that span longer than 12 weeks long. No more 52-week goals that feel impossible to keep up with. We’re going to set goals with a time frame of anywhere from 1-12 weeks. (The 12-week Year is the book that led me to goal set this way.) S.M.A.R.T. stands for:
S: SPECIFIC – give as much detail as possible to your goal. Answering the questions of who, what, why, where, and how will help build specificity.
M: MEASURABLE – how are you going to measure your results towards this goal?
A: ACTION STEPS – if the goal is more than one step, this is where we break it down into action steps.
R: REALISTIC – goals have to have a balance between challenging yet realism. Set yourself up for success NOT failure!
T: TIME FRAME – when do you want to achieve this goal by?
Now, go through each goal and ask if it will get you closer to your “Big Picture” AND if it lines up with your Values. If not, scrap it. There’s no use putting your precious time and energy into a goal that isn’t getting you closer to your Dream! Life is short friend. Live with purpose!
SET YOURSELF UP FOR SUCCESS!
Lastly, list out ALL of the potential obstacles you can foresee. Or obstacles that were present this year that you feel kept you from achieving your goals. List out EVERYTHING. Awareness is your friend. Once you know what could possibly derail your dreams you can take action steps to figure out how to overcome them! That’s the next step, to actually list out possible ways you could overcome each obstacle. After all, the obstacle is the way! I find it’s really best to brainstorm and not throw any idea away until you’ve come at it from all angles. Sometimes it’s tempting to skip brainstorming and use our present circumstances as our filter for whether an idea will work or not. But, maybe our present circumstances are the problem, too?! Just brainstorm.
After you’ve written everything down, see which ideas really resonate with you and figure out how to build those solutions to your obstacles into your daily habits. Set yourself up for success! This is your Dream and your life we’re talking about. You are worth this work.
Phew… I know that was a lot! And, because of that I’ve created a FREE printable that takes you through each and every step of this goal setting process! The process that I have used for the past few years. It’s transformative and intentional and WILL get you wherever you’d like to go.
Print one out on New Year’s Eve (leave the drunken party early – unless staying will get you closer to your 10 year plan!), make yourself a bubble bath, pour some wine and let the Vision and Values flow, friend. I can’t wait to see where they take you!
Always rooting for you!