While Christmas lights are flickering, 2021 is approaching faster than ever. The holiday times in-between snowflakes or bright sun (depending on where you live) could be the best time to set your goals for the upcoming year. Here's how to crush it.
Huh, where did all the time go? This year has almost passed already – and it feels like it has started just yesterday. Or has it? Take a moment to review what you’ve achieved since last January. It might be more than you think. We forget how capable we are as humans way too often while getting lost in routines.
Now, everyone has some kind of goal-setting ritual during holiday-time for the upcoming year. Even it’s just the classical “next year I’m going to do more sports, drink less, eat healthier and work harder” New Year’s Resolution. There's no need to explain to that these types of goals aren’t effective, though. You probably know it. But how can you set goals for 2021 that will take your life to another level?
🥅 The importance of goals
Before diving into the precious goal-setting strategy, let’s have a look at goals themselves beforehand. Goals are a crucial instrument for human motivation. Every one of us is already capable of achieving a lot without specific goals – but with goals – that’s a whole new dimension of inner drive.
The general agreement on goal-setting (in project management, business or any other field basically) is that one shouldn’t set any goals but SMART goals. In detail, SMART is an acronym meaning:
S - pecific
M - easureable
A - ttainable
R - elevant
T - ime-Bound
Every goal you set should fulfil these criteria. It should be specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-bound – which eventually makes goals a finite construct. They can be achieved and accomplished.
But in the context of self-growth, accomplishment is not the sole purpose. The journey towards achievement and the learning process is what makes you grow, not the achievement itself. It’s just like reading a good book or watching a film. You don’t read or watch them for the end – you do it for the action in-between. The same accounts for goals – even though the journey mightn’t be as comfortable as the achievement.
👸🏾 Goal-setting like a boss
Okay, so how can set goals for 2020 in a way that you’ll absolutely crush it, no matter what? It’s a simple process – but it consists of a bit more than a simple list.
1. Visualize the result
One very recommendable approach on how to find out what you want to achieve could be called “reverse-thinking”. Imagine yourself at the end of 2021. What have you achieved over the year?
This can be quite overwhelming, especially if you’re in a stage of life filled with rapid change. So take your time. Take a seat and write down what comes to your mind – or sketch it or draw it. You can also use an Excel-sheet if you prefer that. The goal is to get all your thoughts out. And remember: For many bucket-list-items, now is the best time to do them. So you might as well include some of those.
2. Set and spread
After step one, you should be left with a rough set of goals you want to achieve in the upcoming year. Make sure they’re SMART. To give you some examples: “raise the profit of my business by 20 %” or “run 1000 kilometres over the course of the year” would make some precise goals. But what to do with them? It’s time to bring some structure in.
Try categorizing your goals into different categories (e.g. finance, sports, social, business, career) and align them throughout the year. Some goals might be achievable earlier than others. You don’t want to break into December 2020 with an un-ticked list of goals.
3. Set up appropriate systems
Everybody knows the feeling when you have a huge task to tackle but absolutely no clue where to begin. This can also happen to your goals if you don’t think about how you could tackle it beforehand.
Before sweeping your mind, think about which steps you’ll have to take in order to achieve it.
Let’s take the “raise the profit of my business by 20 %”-example from above. Before sweeping your mind, think about which steps you’ll have to take in order to achieve it. Which systems or routines do you need to set up? This will save you from a lot of panic-attacks right after the new year has started.
4. Review and reflect
While achieving a certain goal can be the best feeling on earth, it’s also important to be present along the journey. Periodically reserve some time during the year to reflect on your progress. Ask yourself: How am I doing? What am I crushing? Where do I need to improve?
It’s scary if things don’t go as planned – but reflection can make or break a goal. Let’s say you want to run 1000 kilometres throughout the year, but halfway through you realize you only ran 300 kilometres. You know what to work on then.
🧘🏻♀️ Kickstart by reflecting
Conscious reflection might be one of the most powerful tools of the human mind. So, reflect on the previous months too before heading into 2020. What have you achieved (probably more than you think)? What went well? What lessons can you take into the upcoming year?
Look how far you have come – and imagine how far you could go.
The increased consciousness will – again – make the journey of life more present and more tangible. Look how far you have come – and imagine how far you could go. Yes, there are always some difficult times in-between but you’re still moving.
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