Happy New Year from Well & Truly! We really hope that in spite of the last minute changes to Christmas plans, you were able to celebrate and rest after the tumultuous year that was 2020.
We don’t need to be aiming to complete an IronMan or to get a triple promotion for it to be worth setting goals.
Sadly, at the strike of midnight on 1st January 2021, our problems didn’t magically disappear. There’s still a lot of uncertainty and frustration, so it can be hard to set goals and create a vision for ourselves going forward.
To aid you in setting yourself up for 2021 with realistic, motivating goals, I’ve put together a couple of exercises which I encourage you to take the time to go through. We don’t need to be aiming to complete an IronMan or to get a triple promotion for it to be worth setting goals. If you’re not in the headspace for setting concrete goals, try setting gentler intentions instead.
Exercise 1: Outcome, Action and Impact in 2021
Start jotting down things you’d like to achieve and events you’d like to happen (try to keep these within current logistical possibilities so you’re not setting yourself up for disappointment). This could be health related, work related or personal. Remember, this first step is about the destination, not how you get there (eg ‘hold a fluent conversation in Italian’ instead of ‘practice Italian 3x per week’).
Now we get into the specifics. We’ve decided where we’re going, so we now need to figure out the route to get there. Using your outcome goals to guide you, write down the actions you need to take (daily/weekly habits) to make those happen. Be as specific as you can. If you’re someone that gets bored easily by repetitive habits, make sure you give yourself a few action goals to reach a single outcome goal.
We all have a duty not only to ourselves but to those around us and the planet we inhabit. Take some time to reflect on how you’d like to make a positive impact this year. Try to be specific as you’ll be more likely to act on it.
Stop for a moment and look at what you’ve written down. Are your outcome goals motivated by what you feel you should want or what you actually want? Scratch the ‘shoulds’. Are your action goals going to be enjoyable or do they fill you with dread? If they fill you with dread, that’s not going to work, so try to find alternatives which are more exciting to you and lead you to the same place. For example, if you want to be the fittest you’ve ever been and you’ve set an action goal to run 5 x weekly but you absolutely loathe running, try something that you’ll actually enjoy like dancing, swimming, hiking or kickboxing.
Exercise 2: What do you want to experience in 2021?
I love this exercise because it flips the more structured and often superficial goal setting style on its head. We’re working here with the idea that the present moment is all we ever tangibly have, so how can we make as many moments as possible what we want them to be?
Emotions and sensations
Reflect and write out what emotions and sensations you would like to experience. Think especially about what you’ve been lacking in the past year (for me, it was fun and connection). This can be a free-hand exercise, there’s absolutely no wrong answer.
How to create these moments
Take some time to read through the emotions and sensations you’ve written down. What actions can you take and what plans can you make to ensure you’ll experience much more of what you want to experience? Compare these actions to the actions from the previous exercise – do they align or are they completely different?
Take some time to refine the action goals which will support both your outcome and experience goals. Once you’ve got this list, you’re well on your way to a much more fulfilling and motivating year!
I hope this was helpful and thought provoking! If you want to learn more about Well & Truly’s remote Productivity and Wellbeing trainings, email email@example.com.