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Five Ways to Focus on Your Goals in the New Year

The New Year brings with it an expectation to have resolutions. It is hard to avoid the pull to look at the coming year without a desire to change ourselves into something better.

But, don’t get sucked into the vacuum of self-improvement because it is the New Year. Take a moment to examine that feeling and ask yourself, why do I need to change?

Or more important, why do I want to change?

1. First, Examine The Root of Your Goals

Ambiguous self-improvement will lead to a poor New Year’s resolution. However, goals are an important part of growing in our lives. Accomplishing goals is a healthy and admirable way to move through the stages of being a person. As long as those goals are not shaped out of self-criticism or insecurity. 

The problem comes when goals stem from what we don’t like about ourselves. Goals motivated out of anxiety and doubt are self-defeating and hard to achieve. What is missing when we approach goals this way is enthusiasm (that secret driver to success). Whereas, when we base a goal on something positive we can get that dream off the floor and running! 

I know that the majority of goals come from something we want to improve. But when that improvement is only considered out of negativity then there is very little hope for success. The desire to change can be abundantly positive, and by keeping it in that light you invite more hope into your goal. 

Even if you cannot see it that way and a goal starts off as negative, with a little bit of critical thinking, you can flip the switch. For example, you might not like how much fast food you ate last year. But, instead of saying my goal is not to eat so much fast food and feel bad about that, change your goal to learn how to prepare meals at home better. Approaching any goal this way will make a world of difference. 

If you are holding on to a special goal this New Year here are a few more of my tips to help you achieve it with a little more hope and positivity! 

2. Create Space in Your Life for Your Goals

There can be a lot of demands in everyday life. Make sure you have space for a new goal. To stick with the same example as before, if you want to learn to cook more meals at home then also consider meal planning, shopping, cooking, and cleaning up. Sometimes we don’t properly consider the time investment goals take. This is especially true of new goals. But, putting that time investment into consideration will help make space in our lives for that goal. 

3. Know That Nothing New Will Be as Hard or Easy as You Might Think

Dreaming of something new starts with imagination. That is the first step in deciding on a new goal. Taking that process to the next level is where it gets tricky. Sometimes things we think will be easy, end up a little bit harder than we imagined because it is outside of our experience. 

It sounds simple but we don’t know how easy or hard a new goal will be until we go through the process. This pitfall creates itself because we are always taking in information and coming up with judgements. So we intuitively trust our judgements on things we haven’t experienced yet. Leading us to fail when we start something new, run into hardships, and then quit because we miscalculated the effort to achieve something. 

Therefore give yourself the space to figure it out, you might just find that something you thought would be hard was actually pretty easy. The takeaway here is to move forward and accomplish each stage of that goal with the time and work it takes. The goal might be harder than you thought or easier, you won’t know until you do it. 

4. Make Your Goals Personal

Our goals might be commonplace like joining a gym or spending more time doing crafts. But that doesn’t mean we cannot make them more personal. Just because a lot of people might have similar goals doesn’t mean that ours are not important. You have to approach your goal uniquely, figure out how you need to do this, not how everyone else goes about it. There is a lot of advice and instruction out there about everything. That is one of the best things about living in this time. Take the advice and then put your spin on it, don’t just follow someone else’s template. 

5. Know When a Goal Needs to Be Kept to Yourself

Some goals that we want to achieve need some privacy. We need to pursue them silently because someone else’s opinion can throw us off course. When we go from the idea stage to the doing stage of a goal, we have to create space in our life for that achievement. That space can get quickly filled up with other people’s opinions. A lot of times we just need a little work towards that goal or resolution to protect it before we share it with others. With a little work already done, we will have more confidence in our goal and it will be safer to share with others. 

Realize It’s Okay to Let Go of a Goal

Letting go of a goal is not a good feeling. That is why New Year’s resolutions have such a bad reputation and come with a lot of not so great feelings. Sometimes goals don’t work out, or it is not the right time in our lives for that goal. If you need to give up on a goal don’t beat yourself up, take that goal and turn it back into a dream and put it inside yourself. Lock it up like a treasure and let it grow some more. Give yourself the credit of hoping for something new, maybe all you need is some more hope. A little bit of time can unconsciously create the foundation we need to support that goal when it is time for round two! Don’t let go of a dream. By taking the pressure off and letting a goal stay inside us longer we may find that the next time we go for it, the tide will turn for the better! 

If You’re Ready, Commit and Go for It!

Are you ready? Then go for it! I hope that you do find the focus, courage, and space to pursue your goals this year. We all have hopes and dreams. Making a plan of action will help you get clear on the direction you need to take to get closer to accomplishing your goals.


David Smith

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