Welcome to 2020! A new decade is dawning, and a new year has begun. I hope you are all feeling energised and inspired for the year ahead. If you haven’t already, now is a great time to envision how you want to spend this new and exciting year. Check out this blog post as I guide you through a few simple steps to help you plan and set goals for the best year yet!
If you’re anything like me, you love a new year. I’m such a goal setter, and I honestly start the entire process in mid-December. I think this year I had bought a planner by November and I was already dying to write in it.
My planning style has grown and changed over the years. It becomes simplified and more complicated until I finally settle for something and then change my mind by February.
I’m the kind of person who loves using goals and intentions as a way of inspiring, energising and motivating me to make the most out of every year.
I love breaking my long term goals down into monthly targets and even daily habits. This way I’m more encouraged to actually implement them into my daily life, and thus significantly more likely to achieve them.
This year, my planning and goal setting process was probably the most simple yet! So I thought I’d document my process in a blog post to show you that it doesn’t have to be overwhelming or stereotypical. This process should be personalised and energising for you! So I encourage you to take what you like and leave what you don’t from the tips and steps below.
1. Brainstorm. I find that the easiest way to start envisioning a new year is to get a large piece of paper and start brain storming things you want to work on, things you want to feel and even achievements you want to reach.
I keep an A3 pad for brainstorming and I love how free-flowing this process becomes. It’s a great way to get everything out on one page and then you can sort things into more structured goals.
In the image above, I've shared what was my brainstorming process for a previous year. That year, I wanted to display how my long term dreams were broken down into my annual goals and therefore my daily habits. While on the surface it may look complex, the lines connecting each stage really show me how the habits I built into my daily routines have been leading me towards achieving my long term desires. This is a powerful method for encouraging yourself to create meaningful goals that are therefore attainable my repetition of daily habits!
This year however, I've been focusing on keeping things a little more messy and broad. My brainstorm has consisted of a mood board or vision board which I've used to display what I want to accomplish this year in imagery! I've found this to be really inspiring and encouraging, especially because it now lives above my desk and I see it often!
Here is a little list of some ideas/concepts to explore and consider for your brainstorm or vision board:
2. Structure and Set. Brainstorming is a great way to organically get all of your ideas out onto paper. Now is the time to structure your thoughts and ideas into long term goals, short term goals or habits.
This step is all about making your intentions a reality. This is an important process which a lot of people seem to miss out on and therefore fail to achieve their goals!
Do your future self a favour and make decisions and choices now, while you’re inspired, to help simplify the process of achieving your goals when times get tough and life gets busy!
Think about categorising everything you collated in your brainstorm or vision board into the following categories:
We have some great goal setting resources available in our printable guides which help you structure and break down your goals into action steps.
3. Timeline and Get Specific. This is where you start looking at the finer details! Add timelines to your goals like when you want to achieve them by, or when you want to start working on them.
Even for trips there may be certain times of the year when you’re best to visit certain places or people you need to talk to within a deadline. Add limits and boundaries to your goals to help maintain their importance!
You may have heard of SMART goals before. It’s a great way to remember how to write effective goals.
Specific - write down exactly what you want to achieve
Measurable - how long will it take you to achieve this, and when do you want it completed
Achievable - is this a practical goal considering all the other things you have on this year?
Realistic - be realistic with your resources, including money, time and energy!
Trackable - how are you going to monitor progress towards achieving this goal?
4. Break it down. Daily actions and commitments build up to long term achievements. I’m a big believer that you become the actions that you do regularly.
Therefore, break down your goals into small actions and habits which you can track and monitor on a frequent basis to help you maintain progress!
Here is an example of how to break down a goal:
Say you want to focus on keeping your environment clean, tidy and inspiring. This can easily be broken down into the following actionable steps:
This goal immediately seems significantly more manageable and achievable!
Check out our monthly habit tracker which is available in our ebook guide!
Also focus on building these daily/weekly habits into your morning and evening routine. You are more likely to complete new habits and tasks when you build them onto existing routines and actions.
For example, if you’re trying to workout every morning, perhaps design your morning routine so that once you get up and make your bed, you put on your workout clothes that you’ve already put out the night before. Therefore you’re training yourself into the pattern of getting into your workout clothes rather than jumping straight in the shower, thus encouraging you to get active!
5. Other things to review in the new year! While goal setting and routine developing is a major part of starting the new year off right, here is a quick idea list of other things you might want to look into before you head back to work or school.
Whether you’re a chronic planner like me or prefer to go with the flow, the new year is a great way to start afresh and turn a new leaf. Not everyone has to live up to the ‘new year, new me’ stereotype, but find a personalised way to encourage yourself to make this year the best yet.
What are your rituals for getting inspired for the new year, I’d love to know! Share them with me in the comment section below!
From my home to yours,
Hi there! Thanks for checking out the Live Lively blog. I am so excited to share my passion for productivity, personal growth and wellbeing!