Happy New Year folks!
I hope you all had lovely Christmasses and New Years celebrations even if they weren’t the same as they perhaps would be in normal circumstances.
I want to start this week’s post by asking you a simple question.
Have you set yourself any goals, aims or resolutions this year?
Over the last few weeks, I saw so many people across social media saying there was little point in setting goals this year, suggesting that we shouldn’t be putting ourselves under unnecessary pressure.
I agree that putting ourselves under too much pressure to achieve our goals, particularly during a global pandemic, is probably not what any of us wants to be doing.
Should setting goals cause you that much pressure anyway, even when we are not in the middle of a global crisis?
The answer is no. Setting goals, should not be an activity laden with unnecessary amounts of pressure. Your goals should be a challenge, or else, why would we set them? However, we need to remember that it is ok to change our goals throughout the year if they become too hard to reach, or if like last year, things outside of our control, get in the way. It is also ok to carry our goals over to the following year if we do not manage to achieve them.
I personally love setting goals. I also find blogging about them helpful. It gives me the motivation I need to work towards my goals, and it gives me a simple way to track and review them.
If you’re a goal setter, do not let the current circumstances stop you. Instead, why not make your goals simpler this year? Or try to set goals that are Covid proof?
If you are keen to set yourself some goals this year but aren’t sure how to do it, in the next section we will look at the things you need to consider when setting your goals.
How do I set goals?
Goal setting isn’t a long complicated formula. However, there are a few things to consider before planning your goals for the year ahead:
- Choose goals that motivate you. If your goals do not motivate you, the chance of achieving them will be slim. To begin with, think of what your priorities are in life. Once you are clear on your priorities, write a list of steps you need to take to get there. Now start to turn these steps into goals by using the SMART method (see below).
- Make sure your goals are SMART. SMART stands for Specific, Measureable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-Bound. Ensure your goals are clear and SPECIFIC. Think about how you can MEASURE them (i.e. think about amounts, dates, frequency etc.). Make sure your goals are realistic and ATTAINABLE because setting goals you will struggle to meet will only result in you feeling demoralised. Check to see how RELEVANT your goal is to your overall aims in life. Will your goal help you to reach a bigger aim or purpose? Give yourself a deadline. Setting a specific TIMEscale will help you to achieve your goals.
- Write down your goals. Writing down your goals makes them feel real. You don’t have to share your goals with anyone else if you do not want to. I choose to write about mine on my blog because knowing they are out there in the public domain makes me feel more accountable for my actions, but if you prefer to log them in the notes section on your phone, or perhaps you’d prefer to log them in a journal or a notebook, that’s also ok. The main point here is to write them down and to keep them in a place you can see them or access them regularly.
- Are your goals helping you to reach a bigger objective? Perhaps you know the overall outcome you are looking to achieve, but you are a few years or steps away from reaching that outcome. Think about how you are going to reach your desired outcome. Are there are series of steps you might want to put into motion to reach that stage? Write out each step you need to take and cross each step off as you reach it. These smaller steps could become your goals.
- Review your goals. Once you’ve set your goals, schedule in some time to review them regularly. Your overall aim may stay the same, but your goals may change throughout the year, and that’s ok. There are a lot of things happening in the world right now which are out of our hands. Don’t stress about these changes, just let them be. When you come to review your goals, take into account any challenges and hurdles you have faced, and if you need to adapt your goal to accommodate them, tweak your goal or change the action plan you’ve set out to reach that goal.
Now that you know how to set your goals for the new year, I wanted to share my goals with you.
My Goals – 2021
This year will look very different on so many levels. I have tried to make room for this in my initial goal setting. I will be setting a review date for March so I can make sure I am on track, and to see whether any early adjustments need to be made.
My goals for 2021 are:
- To breakeven. For those who’ve been following my journey for a while, you’ll be aware that I was made redundant in 2020 from an industry I had been working in for 14 years. Rather than applying for one of the other roles on offer, I decided to take a leap of faith and left the business. In 2021, I’ll be setting myself up as a freelance writer, so for me being able to break ever is crucial to my success this coming year. I’m not worried about making money this year, I just want to earn enough money to make sure I can pay my rent and pay my bills.
- To buy myself fresh flowers once a month. I always seem to date men who aren’t into buying flowers. I was about to get grumpy about this a couple of months ago when I stopped and listened to myself. Why did I need a man to buy me flowers when I could buy them myself? I’ve been promising myself for a couple of years that I will treat myself to a nice vase. I have a perfectly good one sitting in the cupboard, but it’s just very bland and not very me. So my first step is to buy myself a new one and then I’ll be aiming to buy flowers once a month for the next 12 months.
- To continue to improve my engagement on WordPress and Instagram. During the first lockdown back in the Spring, I found myself with more time on my hands than I was used to. I began to spend more time reading other people’s blog posts and engaging with other bloggers. Likewise, I improved my engagement on Instagram and I soon began to see the rewards. Other people started to engage with me more In return. As the year progressed and my job was put at risk of redundancy, any free time I had enjoyed in the spring seemed to diminish. I loved engaging with new people and found reading other bloggers work inspiring. I’ve set this as one of my goals because I want to make sure I set some time aside each week to make sure I engage with not just my followers, but those I follow too.
- To travel outside of the UK. Ok, so this is a long shot on two accounts. 1) I need to be earning enough money to be able to afford to go anywhere; 2) this will be very much dependent on the pandemic and what tier we are in and/or whether we receive any of the vaccines which are currently being carried out. Before the pandemic, we had discussed going to visit my boyfriend’s parents for Christmas. We weren’t able to do this, this year, as it would involve a lengthy flight and we just weren’t prepared to travel without having had a Covid vaccine. However, we sincerely hope that next Christmas, we will be able to make the trip, even if it is our only trip of the year. And if that doesn’t come to fruition, I hope to at least be able to travel to Paris to meet up with a friend I travelled with whilst I was in India.
- To improve my spiritual growth. From epiphanies to looking back on clear paths, my spirituality is something I have grown much closer to over the last five years. I’ve had some lovely experiences recently with meditation, yoga and reiki, and these are all things I want to work on more in 2021. I want to start by exploring yoga again, something I haven’t done regularly for many years. Something is telling me I need yoga in my life at the moment, so it is yoga I am choosing to focus on, to begin with, but hopefully, over time, I will be able to combine all three practices into my daily routine.
As you will see, my goals are quite varied. Some will be easier to achieve than others, but all of them should be attainable with a little bit of determination and motivation.
I hope you have found this post useful.
I would love to know whether you have set any goals for 2021?
You are welcome to share your goals below if it helps you to write them down too, and perhaps we can check back in with each other in March to see how we are getting along?
That’s it from me this week. I’m looking forward to stepping up my engagement over the coming weeks and catching up on your blog posts too.