As we near the end of another year, we often start to think about our New Years’ resolutions. We reflect on the year that was and what we hope to achieve in 2020. We usually create goals related to work, family, health, holidays, money… which is all well and good however, we often drop the ball within weeks, if not days!
Well, lots of reasons. Perhaps the goal you set seems too big to ever possibly achieve and you have become discouraged. Maybe your circumstances were different when you made your goals (head here to learn more about Why NY Resolutions fail: https://www.psychologytoday.com/au/blog/modern-mentality/201812/why-new-years-resolutions-fail), or maybe you aren’t sure of your goals anymore….and this is where a lot of people get stuck.
The question “What do you want? What will make you happy?” can be tricky to answer. Sure, most of us would love to win the lottery and live a life of leisure, or at least a life whereby there is financial freedom to do as we please but let’s be honest, a lottery win is unlikely and also, we know that money doesn’t always equal happiness.
That in mind, let me ask you some questions (you may want to get a pen and some paper):
- What would you do if you KNEW you could not fail?
- What would you do if you had all the knowledge, courage, and resources you needed?
- If you had all the time and money you needed, what would you spend your days doing?
- In the last month, when were you the happiest What were you doing? Who were you with? Where were you?
Okay, next step, let’s start thinking about what you can start doing TODAY to move you closer towards the things which bring you fulfilment. Think about each question and start brainstorming. Start off small if you like, and work your way up to bigger things. Our goals are usually achieved through a series of smaller achievements, but when you string them all together, the outcome can be incredible!
You may also need to think about the things which you are doing which are not bringing you happiness, and think about the ways to do less of those things.
Another huge barrier to actively working on your happiness is the age-old excuse “I have no time” (I am also guilty of this!) The harsh reality is, we probably do have time, but we typically end up looking at our screens, doing low-energy tasks like flopping on the couch and doing something to zone out because we are exhausted and want to reward ourselves with some kind of “rest”. But here’s the thing, resting won’t energise you anywhere near as much as working on your happiness, and non-productive rest is unlikely to help you reach your goals.
What I propose is scheduling in time to refocus on your goals. Prioritise this! Find a time at least once a week where you will have time to yourself, interruption free, to refocus and plan some things to do in advance which will move you towards your goals.
Planning is key, otherwise we won’t “find the time”, but really, we just haven’t prioritised it.
So…you know what you need to do.
Go grab a coffee, some pen and paper, answer the questions and start planning you best year yet!