The new year’s almost here, and it’s an exciting opportunity to make resolutions, keep them, and grow. In a past blog post we talked about how to set goals with the SMART PATH system, which encourages setting achievable goals, and working through them by focusing on the journey, not the destination. Another part of this journey-first mentality for achieving goals is reviewing and renewing—looking back at your commitments and refreshing them. It helps you do three important things: Get some direction, reset your resolve, and prioritize.
Get Some Direction
Without direction, it’s easy to bounce from project to project and not follow through. When that happens, life can feel… meh. When you’re facing thousands of options and can’t decide what to do, it’s time to review your goals to get a road map. Set some time during the year to look back at what you wanted to accomplish, and pick one or two things to get yourself back on track.
Reviewing is also a great time to check if your goals are convergent, meaning your effort goes in one direction instead of splitting up. If you have a lot of fitness milestones you want to hit this year, but also want to watch every title on Netflix, you might be working against yourself.
Reset Your Resolve
If, later in the year, your promise to keep your closet neat and tidy has fallen by the wayside, renewing can take motivation out of the equation. Taking time to look at what you want to accomplish–and deciding to do it no matter what—keeps you focused on the journey and the destination.
Don’t forget to use a growth mindset. On days when you don’t keep your promises to yourself, you haven’t failed. You just haven’t succeeded yet!
I’m sure I’m not the only person to decide I’m going to get six-pack abs, figure out my finances, and write a thousand-page novel all in the same year. When you have more goals than you can reasonably tackle, it’s time to prioritize. Write a list of what you want to achieve. Then, make sure you’re putting your effort where it counts.
When you find something that doesn’t fit, you can put it on your “Not Doing” list. This is where you store ideas and goals until the time is right. While something is on the “Not Doing” list, you don’t have to spend time or energy on it. Put things on the list for a certain amount of time, or indefinitely. This list is great to look over when reviewing, too!
Once you’ve done your reviewing and renewing, try using a Kaizen approach to achieving goals. The Kaizen approach focuses on small, consistent changes, tracking your progress, and regular reviews. If you dine out for every meal, and your goal is to eat home-cooked food for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, you could start by replacing breakfast first. Track your progress with a meal planning app or journal. Then, look over your data as you go to make sure your plans suit your goals.
Whatever you want to achieve in 2021, we hope these tools help you get there. Happy New Year!