January begins, we hit the restart button on our lives and consider what we can do to get ourselves back on track to live healthier, more enjoyable, vibrant lives. I believe self-improvement is critical to our personal growth and well being. I love to set and reset goals, making sure to align them with my personal core values on an ongoing basis. I believe self-reflection prior to this, is equally important. I’ll ask myself questions like, what are you proud of? What did you set out to accomplish one year ago? Where did you get to? I've also discovered that goals that are truly meaningful to me, are almost always accomplished. The ones that I don't accomplish are the goals I either liked the idea of accomplishing, or that I thought I ‘should’ accomplish, versus truly feeling in my heart, were meaningful.
Some examples of this would be when we set goals that make us 'look good', or 'feel good’, or ones we set because we believe they are important to other people in our lives. This may include volunteering for an organization, or learning a language, or undertaking a certain type of travel. I've founds reflecting back on what goals I did not achieve lets me know a lot about what's going on inside of me. It taps me into my subconscious mind and shows me my blind spots. I gain great personal insight from this reflection, and I better understand as time goes on, what my personal drivers are. This has helped me better refine my goals for the following year.
Now, not every aspect of our goal setting may be as meaningful as others. For example, we may decide to reduce our consumption of certain foods in order to attain a healthier body mass. So while there may not be a deep connection, we see that over time if we value our personal health enough, we accomplish the goal. And if we do not, we have something to think about.
What I have truly been astounded by, is how writing down and absorbing our goals has impacted the results. I discovered a goal statement a few years ago that outlined my life down to the number of children I’d have. As I read it, I realized I had fulfilled this goal completely. And while, to a large extent, I'd forgotten writing the goal, it had 'stuck' because it had such deep meaning to me. My brain took it in, and set to work creating my reality. Other goals require daily mindfulness. And this combination of goals is really fascinating to reflect back on a year later.
In a similar way, resetting our goals is imperative. Life experiences happen. Some of these we can't foresee or control, such as an injury or a death we didn't expect. In these times, resetting goals is really useful. It gives us back the feeling of controlling our destiny because, in fact, we are. If you set a goal to achieve a 10km running race, but then become injured after 2 months, then chances are you're not running that 10km race. Instead of forgetting it all together, change the deadline and reset the goal to something you can do now. Yoga 3 times a week or hiking weekly. Reclaim the goal and move forward in a way that allows for success.
Keeping an annual goal journal helps me stay on track. I reflect on the goals, hold myself accountable, and make decisions on the reality of the goals. Likewise, as the year progresses, I set new goals. And as I make mistakes that help me reflect on myself and my life, from there come new goals. The journal also helps me focus my thoughts on being mindful around my goals. Journaling with a focus helps me stay connected to what I want to achieve.
Goals are an integral part of the fabric of the skoah culture. While this strategy of constant reflection, recalibrating and resetting works for me, there are countless resources and ideas you can find to help you manage your own goal setting. So start. Like now. Don't overthink it, get started knowing you can adapt, modify and improve. I can't wait to see where I'm at in one year!