PLEASE…Not Another Article About Goals

Sorry. Not sorry! We had to do it, but hope to put a fresh spin on achieving your goals.

This month’s video – Make Goals Into Realities – provides some great tips on how to define your goals and stay on track, so this article will add another dimension to goal-setting and keeping.

Identify a meaningful theme

As you look forward to the new year, think about WHO you want to be and what it will take to develop the traits or skills needed to become that person. Here are some ideas for a “big picture” theme.

  • A Vision: This theme reminds you to develop a solid vision for your life’s goals and to keep it in front of you at all times. Just like we need our glasses or contacts in order to see well throughout every single day, your vision needs to be woven throughout everything you do. This will help you avoid wasting time on things that don’t contribute to your vision, while reminding you to make time for those things that support your life vision.
  • Focus on Health/Family/Professional Growth: Each generation of smart phone delivers improved photography with sharper images and easier tools for focusing on the most important part of the picture. As you zoom in and bring the key subject (your new engagement ring, a sweet baby’s smile or a beautiful deer standing in the snow) into perfect focus, the other elements in the picture become blurry and less distracting. If you want to focus on your health, strengthening family relationships or growing in your career, when you consciously decide on a key focus, it’s easier to let other distractions fade into the background.
  • The Year of Giving: After recently graduating and pouring yourself into your studies, you may feel a need to express gratitude and serve others. Here are some ideas for a year of giving:
    • Send a note to your parents once a month to thank them for their support throughout your education and early career endeavors. You can even plan ahead by buying a package of notecards and addressing the envelopes now, so it will be easy to write the notes throughout the year.
    • Another spin on this idea is to send a note to someone different each month ­– parents, siblings, friends, professors, a grade school teacher, a tutor, your RA or college roommate. It might take 15 minutes to write a note, but it could bring the recipient months of encouragement as they read and re-read your card.
    • Volunteer at your favorite charity once a month or send them an ongoing financial gift.
    • Define what “giving” looks like for you. It could include visiting a nursing home, taking treats to work, jump-starting a co-worker’s car, fostering a pet or simply lending a listening ear to someone who may be lonely.
    • With gratitude for all you’ve learned and accomplished during your education, making a contribution to your alma mater is another way to express a spirit of giving.
  • The Year of Joy/Peace/Patience/Growth/Non-Procrastination: Maybe there’s an area of your life where you feel challenged. Because this category isn’t as tangible as a plan to save money, lose weight or learn a new skill, a theme will help you stay on track as you go about your days. To keep your year’s theme top-of-mind, here are a few tips:
    • Choose a few pieces of home décor you’ll notice every day.
    • Use tech to keep you on track.
      • Sign up for a podcast that inspires you
      • Create a motivational playlist to use with your smartphone alarm
      • Put your theme on your lock screen
      • Set a daily timer to remind you to be grateful/mindful/etc.
      • Listen to an inspirational app as you drift off each night
    • Put little reminders throughout your environment.
      • Post-it notes on your mirror
      • Messages in your shower with these soap crayons
      • Soap crayons are also great if you tend to get your best ideas in the shower
      • Start your day with a mug that inspires
      • A unique piece of jewelry with a subtle reminder
      • A piece of wall art to remind you that mistakes don’t have to prevent progress
  • A Healthier New Year: If this is your goal, then click on over to our article focused on health and fitness or watch our video – New Year, New You.

So, are you ready to get started? Nothing can hold you back this year!

* Please note that products listed in this article are for general inspiration and don’t imply a purchase recommendation. But you’ve gotta admit, some of them are pretty cool.