July 5, 2020

Archives for January 2020

New year. New You. What’s your vision for 2020 and beyond?

A new beginning often makes us feel excited and curious. It can be the start of a new job, a new school, a new city, or a new chapter in life like getting married, having the first child, or maybe retiring from work. Besides these life events, the beginning of a New Year can give similar feelings and expectations.

Especially, if it is the year 2020, and it is the start of a new decade. This time the possibility of long-term focus and vision for the future is more appealing as any other year that was not as big in calendar spans. Depending where you are in your life, you might be inclined to use this significant date in time to think of a different future that would make life more fulfilling, more prosperous, more connected.

Many people have a ritual that guides them every year in planning for the year(s) ahead. Usually it includes looking back on what happened in the past year. Did you achieve all the goals you set? Which ones did not get the results you wanted and why was that? What were some obstacles you had to overcome? How did you do this? What other wins can you celebrate? Answering all these questions will help in thinking of the goals and resolutions for the coming year.

Often people forget that it might take more time to accomplish a goal. For example, if you want to lose a substantial amount of weight, the time to get to the target weight could take longer as one year. However, if you are half way at the end of the year, you can be proud of the determination to stay with the goal you set on January 1.

What’s your vision for 2020?

So, just to clarify, a resolution is a firm decision to do or not do something. Most of the time, New Year’s resolutions are more like goals. The definition of a goal is something a person aims for, ambition or effort to achieve a specific result.

Using the weight loss example, to lose one hundred pounds is a goal. The decision to not eat out for lunch but brownbag healthy salad is a resolution. Same goes for the resolution to walk every day 30 minutes. Both resolutions will help you achieve your goal. However, the intention to lose weight by itself will not result in the expected outcome if the steps to get there are missing.

The date of January 1 makes it easy to track your progress. But if you don’t like the attention for this date to reflect and make plans, any day is fine. Choose your birth date, or the date school starts or any big day in your life. If you think it is all rubbish to do this, I’m fairly sure that at some time in your life and in the future, you will set intentions to aim for something.

As shown above, just setting goals is not enough. To use a famous quote: “A goal without a plan is just a wish”. Hence, write them down. That’s step one.

Next, for each of them, plan a date/year you want to achieve this goal considering how complicated, necessary resources, or how challenging the goal is. Examples: A new job in 6 months, or buy my dream house in 2 years.

Now, for every goal start with the end in mind and work backwards to get all the steps to get there. For the job accept the contract is the last step, but the interview is probably a bigger topic. Take a look at the qualifications needed. Do you need to take a class? Write your resume. Off course there are many more smaller action items to handle.

After completing this last step life might look daunting and hard to manage. The solution: taking one step at the time for only one goal. Select one that can be accomplished this year and start to take action for the first step. For the other objectives, think of something you can do right away to get the process started. But don’t stop here. Use your calendar to plan each action step ahead for the year so you don’t lose sight of what you want to accomplish.

If you are still unsure if this is something you want to do, another way to think about your goals and be reminded of them constantly, is to create a vision board. Visualizing the experiences you want to feel, the lifestyle you want, the way you want to be, and using images, words and quotes have the same purpose: focus and attention on what is important to you and how you can direct energy and efforts in making it happen.

There’s one more thing to be successful: Commitment. Doing whatever it takes to attain the goal you wrote down. No matter how long it takes. No matter how often you stumble and get up again.  Belief, courage and focus are three ingredients to pursue the road to successful reaching a goal.

What to do now?

If you are a writer and want to dig deep in setting goals, get yourself a nice journal and start on page one.

If you are a creative person and rather make the vision board, here is a link to a 5-day challenge on “How to create a vision board” (recorded videos).

For 2020 or the new decade, what is your most important goal? For me, it is to retire from my job by the end of this year. Drop your number one goal as a comment below. It will tell the universe that you want to achieve it.

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