by Angie Miller
“The new year stands before us, like a chapter in a book, waiting to be written. We can help write that story by setting goals.” ― Melody Beattie, The Language of Letting Go: Daily Meditations on Codependency.
In her book, Codependent No More, Beattie addresses the difference between and New Year’s Resolutions and New Year’s Goals. Her emphasis is on the fact that resolutions are often short term, rarely do they last; but goals give us direction and help us lead a purposeful life. Goals are meant to be impactful, something we work toward to make our lives better in the here and now and over the course of time. Goals help us begin each day with intention and they build our self-esteem. For every goal we accomplish, we realize our potential and we are inspired by our own success. Undeniably, goals are the impetus for change.
Beattie suggests that in order to get started, we need to ask ourselves a series of questions. I couldn’t agree more. I believe that questions, and the process of seeking answers, helps us to lead a happy, fulfilling life. Questions inspire us to take stock, and they make us aware of our surroundings. As we look for answers, we pay close attention to the opportunities around us to learn and grow.
Here are some suggested questions:
What do you want to happen in your life this year? Think in terms of friendship, family, and love.
What do you want to happen in your career?
What would you like to do or accomplish?
Where would you like to grow?
What would like to change?
What problems would you like to solve?
What decisions would you like to make?
What obstacles might get in the way? (This is huge! You have to know your barriers, people or situations that get in the way of you achieving your goals. You also have to recognize your own behaviors and actions that get in the way.)
As you ask these questions, along with any others you can come up with, write down your answers. Be sure to let your thoughts flow, without judgment or self doubt.
After you brainstorm, categorize your goals into short-term and long-term goals. Short terms goals might include daily goals and weekly goals, while long-term goals might take you a month, two months, or even a year or more to accomplish. For long-term goals, be sure to break them down into smaller, more manageable steps, such as daily and weekly objectives to keep you on track and prevent you from taking on too much too soon. Remember, slow and steady wins the race. Anything worth accomplishing is going to take hard work, dedication, and patience.
Three of Beattie’s additional suggestions for success:
1. Turn everything into a goal. Everything we’d like to do accomplish or change should be turned into a goal. Nothing is too big or too small. Maybe we want a new career, or a higher salary; but first we’d like to plan a vacation to clear our head. Remember, one of the best ways to build self-esteem is to turn everyday tasks into goals; therefore every task that you accomplish is one more reason to celebrate.
2. Write your goals on paper. Writing your goals on paper makes them more concrete. There is a level of commitment when you see something on paper and you can reference it for inspiration. More importantly, writing down your goals keeps you focused.
3. Check off your goals once you reach them. Checking off your goals gives you a sense of accomplishment. It allows you to recognize that you have the ability to set your mind to something and accomplish it. If you don’t achieve your goal by the date you set, reevaluate. The main reason we don’t achieve our goals is that we don’t break them down, we expect to accomplish them too soon, or we don’t have a concrete plan for how to get to there.
Angie Miller is the star and creator of the Bedroom Body™ Workout and other top selling exercise DVD’s. Passionate about fitness and education, Angie teaches at Northern Illinois University and is a Certification Specialist for the Aerobic and Fitness Association of America (AFAA). She is a freelance writer, group fitness instructor, personal trainer, and proud mom. Learn more about Angie at: http://www.angiemillerfitness.com