For me this time of year is a period of reflection.
A time when I sit and think about the year past and then usually write something warm and fuzzy about the coming year. It is also the time when I am preparing for my first round of workshops in late January. Workshops that are designed to Kickstart the New Year with concrete and achievable goals.
However how do you do that in a Pandemic World? A world where the future seems to look like shifting sand and is filled with uncertainty and anxiety.
It’s actually easier than you think!
A virus hasn’t changed the principles behind goal setting.
Still one of the most important things about setting goals is making them achievable and that you have some wins. And there is science behind why it is vital to succeed. When you set a goal and achieve it, you get a hit of dopamine. It’s a neurotransmitter that makes us feel good. Helpful in a pandemic. Dopamine also helps you to focus, think and want to move forward.
Can you remember a time when you were learning something, and you just didn’t seem to be getting it? Most of us had a subject at school like that! How keen were you to continue learning, how did you feel?
Now think about a time when you were learning something, and everything seemed to be falling into place. Now how keen were you to continue learning, how did you feel?
It’s that sense of achievement that propels us forward and helps keep us going.
So, this year when you are setting goals here are some helpful tips:
Size doesn’t matter – Goals can be small or large, short term or long term. In fact, it’s often good to have a mix. It could be getting up half an hour earlier each day, planning to exercise, eat well or it could be creating a masterpiece that may take years to complete.
- Create a plan – If we don’t plan, things slip off our to do list and eventually off our radar. Make sure each goal is specific, what is it you want to achieve, when do you want to achieve it by and is it realistic/achievable. Plan for success.
- Take micromovements – Most babies learn to walk by crawling, standing, getting up and falling down. It’s the lure of being able to move forward and explore the world that motivates them. What motivates you? Start small, break it down and take baby steps. Every small step is a step closer to your end result. Remember your brain is wired for success, the more successful you are, the more success you will want.
- Make a commitment to doing something for you – This is a biggie! As mums, friends, daughters, sisters, partners, or carers, we commit to being there for everyone else. Now is the time to also commit to being there for you. You are worth it. When you show up for yourself it is so much easier to show up for others.
- Be kind to yourself – There is no such thing as failure just feedback on what didn’t work. If things aren’t going to plan, reassess the plan, and keep going without beating yourself up. In these current times it is vital that you recognise what you can control and what is out of your control. The great thing about goals is that you can readjust the deadline or set a new goal!
As I sit here looking at the garden outside my office, I am reminded that it wouldn’t be flourishing so well were it not for lockdowns this year and a change of focus.