New Year's is always a very exciting time for me. I love setting goals, making list, and checking things off those lists. I set goals not just on once a year, but daily, weekly, and monthly. But New Year's goals are much more momentous and come during a time of year when the days are shorter, and I have more time cooped up inside to tackle some things that I tend to put off when the weather is nice and I rather go for a walk, or a run, or lay by the pool. They also come a couple of months before my birthday, and since I use that day as a marker for things I would have liked to accomplish, it is a good time to make sure that I am still on track.
One of the tools that I use is https://www.futureme.org/. Here you can write a letter to yourself to be delivered in the future. Each January I write a letter to myself to be received on January 1st of the following year. This letter contains all of my goals for the year and also a letter of encouragement, appreciation, and summarisation of where I am at in that point in time and where I hope to be. I really enjoy the process that goes into writing the letter, and receiving it the following year.
I usually formulate my goals for the year in the following way:
I then itemise my goals for the year under these categories. I use this as a master list that I refer back to as I make my monthly goals, with these end goals in site. Then I use a my monthly goals to form weekly goals, and those are fitted into my daily goals. My main daily goals however are categorised in a more ritualistic type of way and split into 2 categories: home and work. My ritualistic home goals currently it look something like this (although it is still a working progress), and any goals working towards my weekly goals are tacked on to here:
Have something to drink (matcha, lemon water, hot tea, coffee, etc.)
Stretch on yoga matt
Journal/use a workbook/set goals for the day/meditate
Tidy up apartment
Have breakfast and take supplements while checking social media (if off or working from home, go to the gym first)
Get ready for the day and leave for work (or errands if off work)
If I am off work (or working from home) start dinner
Tidy up while dinner is cooking
Eat dinner while watching a show
Spend some time on social media
Get ready for bed
Go to sleep
Whenever I set about creating my yearly goals, I always use the SMARTER method:
S - SpecificMake sure that you are specific about your goals, don't write: get healthy. That is too broad. Write specifically what you want to improve about your health.
M - MeasurablePerhaps you have decided on improving your digestive health. Make sure you can measure whether that is happening or not. You will need a way to keep track of progress, a journal usually does the trick.
A - AchievableMake sure it is an achievable goal. You can decide whether or not it is by developing your action plan to making that goal a reality.
R - RealisticYou may have a plan in place but is it really realistic that you are going to be happy with the plan you devised enough to stick with it?
T - Time-boundThis is where breaking down your yearly goals into monthly and weekly goals come in to place. It forces you to pick a date by which you want to meet your goals.
E - EvaluateChoose times to re-evaluate your progress.
R - ReviseAre you on track? If not you may need to revise your goals and action plan.
A journal, notebook, and calendar are all great tools to have for creating and achieving your goals, but what you really need is a determined mindset. Remind yourself of why these goals are important to you, what impact achieving or not achieving them would have on your life, and think about past successes you have had. Find some positive affirmations that resonate with you and meditate on them throughout the weeks to keep yourself motivated. All of these methods will help set you up to successfully reach your goals by the end of the year.