NEW YEAR + NEW YOU
At the start of every new year, we have new dreams and goals that we want to achieve and things in our lives that we want to positively change.
Setting goals and writing a long list of resolutions that will make our lives better seems like a great idea at the time – we feel motivated about making these positive changes and we feel like the year ahead will be different to all the years in the past because of our new list of goals.
But a few days or weeks into the new year we often struggle to keep up with the commitment’s that we made to ourselves, and often we feel overwhelmed by them… soon it’s easy to stop practicing the small things that will help us to achieve our big goals that we’ve set, and then before we know it we’ve given up – because it all seems impossible and too hard to do.
GOALS FOR DAYS
These goals can be anything from getting fit, living a healthier life, losing weight, making positive changes in our business, learning to play a musical instrument, learning to paint or simply making more time for friends & family – we all have things that we want to change in our lives and we all have dreams of a better future.
I know that every new year I have always set a long list of things to change in my life, things to do and things to achieve – and I get so stressed and overwhelmed by my long list of things to do that eventually it all dwindles into nothing… and then I feel like a failure. But I have discovered that it does not have to be like this.
LIFE ON REPEAT
Every year we say “this year is going to be different” and then turns into a sad repeat of the past. If you’ve ever struggled to make changes stick (I know I have) then this might help… because sometimes it’s better to under perform than it is to over perform.
Dr Ned Hallowell, psychiatrist and author of the popular books Delivered From Distraction and Driven To Distraction says that “it’s best define clear and specific goals”.
JUST 3 GOALS
Hallowell recommends choosing 3 goals to accomplish and suggests focusing on those 3 goals only so that we don’t waste our time on unimportant things that could distract us from our goals.
He recommends choosing 3 short term goals, 3 medium term goals and 3 long term goals.
Hallowell’s theory is simple, effective and easy. When I first heard about Hallowell’s 3 goal theory, I put it into practice immediately and quickly forgot about my long “to do” lists because I have come to realise that sometimes less is actually more.
When you pick 3 goals to work on instead of a lot of goals, it forces you to prioritise & it forces you to only focus on the things that you really want. If you try to do everything at once, it can all turn into a big mess – you can feel really busy but you can still feel like you’re not accomplishing anything.
3 ways to make + keep goals
1. Choose 3 goals for the year.
Select 3 long term goals that you would like to achieve in the year instead of a long list of goals. Example: losing 30 pounds, implementing positive changes in your business and spending more time with family & friends.
2. Choose 3 goals for each week or month.
Select 3 medium term goals that you can achieve in a week or month. Choose 3 new goals every week or month that will help you to achieve you long term year goals. Example: If one of your year goals is to lose 30 pounds, then setting small milestones of losing 10 pounds every month or 3 pounds every week will keep you motivated and on track with your goal of weight loss.
3. Choose 3 goals for each day.
Select 3 short term goals that you can achieve each day. Every day have 3 goals to accomplish that will help you to achieve your medium term and long term goals. Example: If one of your long term goals is to lose 30 pounds and a weekly goal is to lose 3 pounds then a good daily goal would be to exercise and eat a healthy diet while remaining mindful of calories.
To help you select your long term year goals, it might be helpful to select 3 lifetime goals – these lifetime goals would be 3 things that you feel are the most important things for you to achieve over your life. By choosing 3 lifetime goals, it’s easier to choose 3 year goals that would make a difference in your life.
Sometimes it’s best to simplify, cut things down and only focus on a few things at a time. Remember that sometimes less is more. Choose 3 new years resolutions instead of lots of resolutions, by doing this you will be more likely to keep these resolutions and accomplish your goals.
The best thing to do is to define clear and specific goals, so that you don’t waste time on the unimportant things.
Liezl Jayne xo
Photos by Liezl Jayne for liezljayne.com