When January clocks over each year, I find that we all start getting a little serious about our expectations for the year. Often New Year’s eve is filled with promises to ourselves only to land 10 days on the other side wondering how on earth we are going to implement our new dream life. However, for some of us, it takes a little time to really sit and uncover our goals for the year ahead.
In all seriousness, I like to make sure my goals are aligned with where I am currently at but also going to help me grow further. I love deciding on my word for the year, which is often the catalyst of what is going to play out in all areas of my life.
Journaling has been a huge help on my spiritual journey. It’s enabled me to get to know myself and who I am at a deeper level. I’ve found that I often can communicate better through written words than speaking through them. When I pick up a pencil and start scribbling my brain mess on paper it releases emotions but also helps me see the bigger picture of what is going on. It’s almost as if it helps me to slow down my mind in order for me to take a moment to listen and uncover what is really going on.
If you’re new to journaling, I highly recommend you head over to this post to get the most from your journal practice with 8 hot tips for Journaling.
For me, the most important part about goal setting each year is being intentional about what it is I want from my life. Each year I want to lean in to something new, learn and grow while embodying what it is I set out for myself.
Over the years I’ve focused my energy on words like – acceptance, expansion, connection, community, and being of service. The vibration of these then filters through my home life, work, relationships and money!
The process I’m going to walk you through is broken down into two parts. First, it’s finding your word for the year and then it’s about how you are going to use that in all areas of your life.
Part One: Discovering your Word for the Year
How do I want to feel this year?
List out the emotions you want to experience this year, what are you seeking and want more of in your life? If you closed your eyes for a moment and pictured yourself mid-year how do you see yourself, what is the energy that surrounds you? Are you powerful, feeling in control, free? When I do this exercise I try to envision my next level of growth, if the previous year I was comfortable plodding along I would try out in my head what it would be like to challenge that and think how I could take that one step further. Or even two!!
What do I want to focus on this year?
Let’s get personal and real for a moment. What did last year teach you? What would you like to lean into more this year? Are there habits that you would like to change, are there areas of your life that need improvement? List these out. There was a year I decided that I was going to practice acceptance and let go of judgment for the whole year. It was my sole mission and a challenging one, but one that I’m glad I stuck through. So are there some things you would like to see change this year? What are they… How can you grow further this year?
At the end of each day. How do you want to feel?
Touching briefly here on cultivating a daily feeling, what are you chasing. Are you wanting to put your feet up at the end of the day and be like, fuck yes? Life is good and I feel…. (fill in the gap)
Decide on which word brings you alive.
Go over your previous answers, is there a common theme playing out here? I have to confess some years I actually have more than just one word. Yes, sometimes it is needed for example last year my two words were grounded and expansion. And I can totally say that I ended the year in that state, especially after moving halfway across the world and now have access to one of the most beautiful countries with endless walking destinations. So what are you going to choose as your word for the year?
Part Two: Goal Setting for the year ahead
What does my dream day look like?
If you could design your life exactly how you wanted it what would you be doing each day. Would you wake up early in the morning to go out for a run, or would you be like me and sleep in until 7 or as close as you can get before your kids jump on you which means your day doesn’t officially start until 9am? (which I’m totally fine with BTW) My dream day changes through the seasons, but it’s great to ask yourself what you really want each day. I want it to be a typical day. Are you off to the office after you have picked out the most amazing outfit from your walk-in wardrobe? Are you ending the day with a glass of wine sitting next to the love of your life as you watch the sun go down? Write it out. Take note of the things you want to cultivate this year and think about how you can bring this into reality.
What keeps me motivated?
One of the most invaluable pieces for me to stay creative and inflow is looking after myself. I do a lot of writing when I’m not showing up for my clients and community. And when I run myself into the ground I often fall back to old habits and each year, I like to make sure I prioritise myself where I can. It could be listening to podcasts while out walking, dance class, going to yoga or hiking a mountain each month. So what keeps you motivated?
Assess/Release previous goals?
Check in with yourself, and ask yourself have you been holding onto anything that just doesn’t seem right? Perhaps each year you walk in with unrealistic expectations for yourself. What are they? How can you let them go or change them to make them suit you where you are now. I’ve had goals that shift due to life happening, like when my kids came along and when I moved to a new town, etc. Sometimes we just need to release the old in order to discover the new.
What do you want to achieve this year?
I like to get a new piece of paper out for this one, and divide it into six sections as follows: Health & Wellbeing, Work/Career/Money, Home Environment, Family/Friends, Relationships/love, Fun & Personal Growth. Then I list out some of the things I want to change or focus on that year. It helps me to see the bigger picture of the areas that I am most focused on. I also add to that list as I move through the other questions.
How can I step outside of my comfort zone?
I love this question as it can really open up a can of worms especially if you know there is something sitting there that you really want to achieve but have stopped yourself in the past from doing. Let’s honour it for a moment. Is there a new way to do something? A new habit to try or a new skill to acquire?
How am I going to Celebrate this year?
As women, we often sweep our milestones aside to focus on others around us. Especially if we have young families, a personal win can be swallowed up by a toddler tantrum in a second. BUT, this year could be the year where you are prioritising yourself and learning to celebrate your wins big or small. So, write down how you can celebrate yourself this year. Perhaps you might want to gift yourself a massage each month after you make it to the gym twice a week. Perhaps you go out for dinner once a month to practice gratitude with your partner? Or is it going on holiday after reaching a money goal?
What are my immediate & long-term goals?
Differentiating what is achievable over the course of the year will help you to establish actions you can take to reach those long/short-term goals. It’s about laying the foundations. So when you think about your goals for the year ahead, what are the ones that you can achieve in the first quarter, the second, the third and final. Break down your bigger goals into smaller milestones. This helps them become more manageable. What is one thing you could do this year for your bigger goal? I like to divide an a4 piece of paper into four and then map out when I am planning to take action.
How will my ‘Word’ for the Year influence my goals?
Okay, so you have come up with a bit of plan for the year ahead. Awesome! But how can we infuse it with your word for the year? I want you to visualise how your word will impact your year ahead, is it aligned with your goals? Perhaps take a moment to write your goals out on to post it notes and breathe into them that feeling you wish to carry – they will almost become affirmations when you do this. For example – last year my word expand turned into – I am open to change and I live a life that feels free and alive.
Finally, I want to give you a pro-tip when it comes to creating your goals for the year ahead. It’s super simple and loads of fun – create a vision board. I’ve got a really great post over here on How to Create a Vision Board with ease, that will help you on your way. Plus if you want to weave a little woo-woo magic into your goal setting then I highly recommend you read my post on the difference between Manifesting and Goal Slaying. It’s totally a game-changer if you want to bring your goals to life this year.
So tell me, what are your goals for this year? I would love to hear them x