Resolutions Aren't S.M.A.R.T.
The week between Christmas and New Year’s is like a life coach’s version of March Madness. Because if it hasn’t been clear yet from following me, the heart of life coaching is goal-setting, establishing an action program, and built-in accountability.
And if New Year’s had a middle name, it would be goals. So BOO-YA!
But I DEFINITELY didn’t always feel this way. In fact, I recall a session with my own coach earlier this year where I told her that I wanted to banish the word “goal” from my vocabulary.
It can be scary, right? Because once we start dreaming about what is possible, it is easy to want to skip the messy middle and just be there already. And then if you are anything like me you start beating yourself up if you don’t achieve the goal quickly enough, so who even needs goals anyway?
Well it turns out that goals can be seriously awesome if we set them properly, and break them down into smaller steps so that we can celebrate the progress bit by bit. We all love to feel like we are checking things off of the to-do list, amIright?
So if you really want to dig in and set SMART, achievable goals for yourself that will facilitate greater success, celebration, and appreciation for the process, download my FREE Smart Goal-setting Guide. In it, I walk through how to use the acronym SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, resonate, time-oriented) to learn how to set strong goals that won’t feel overwhelming and start planning out the actions that you need to take in 8 key areas of your life so that this time next year you are feeling quite pleased with what you have accomplished.
But a couple of notes on goal-setting before you dig into the guide:
First thing’s first: You are NOT making a New Year’s resolution. You are setting goals for your life. There is a big difference. A resolution by definition is an expression of intent. It is inherently vague and lacks any sort of structure of accountability. That is why most people who set New Year’s resolutions give up pretty quickly. So let’s just wipe that idea off of the board and acknowledge that we are going a step further than just intending. We are creating a written expression of something that we will create to bring greater joy and deeper meaning to our lives.
Yep, written. If it’s not written down, it ain’t worth anything. I don’t know what all the science is behind it, but there is some magic that happens when the pen meets the paper. Want an extra pop of magic? Write them out every day.
Secondly, take time to celebrate. Every decision that we make as human beings has the underlying intent of increasing our overall joy and happiness. Literally everything. So why is it that we rarely allow ourselves to reap those benefits? Every time you tick an action off your list, instead of scurrying on to the next thing, take a moment to soak it in and feel the joy of what you accomplished. If you need to, write down the ways in which you will celebrate each step along the way toward achieving your overall goal. But whatever you do, do not beat yourself up for not achieving your goals. Keep focused on the positive, because chances are that whether you reach the goal or not, you are a helluva lot closer just for trying than you would have been if you hadn’t.
Finally, I just want to emphasize the fact that having goals and having self-love and not mutually exclusive. You can love yourself and not love your circumstances because your circumstances do not define who you are. You can want to improve different areas of your life without making that mean something about who you are as a person. Because who you are is completely different from your circumstances.
Lastly, coaching is an excellent want to get support and accountability toward achieving your goals, and help you to practice greater self-love and care in the process. We achieve only as much as we believe we can, and as a coach my mission is to help you believe in your infinite potential, your uniqueness, your shine, and all of the possibility that exists for you. I want to open your eyes to the things that you never thought possible for your life. Your dreams are never too big, but you don’t have to achieve them to be happy, either.
I have one more spot for coaching open in January. Work with me to learn how to love your life every single day, just as you are, on your way to those bright, shiny things in your future.