Forget New Year's Resolutions: five tips to make sure your goals actually come to fruition this year
Admittedly, this is one of our favourite times of year. We LOVE planning, dreaming and creating (especially Amy, who would spend 100% of her time doing this if she could!). This time of year lends itself to reviewing accomplishments, identifying where we have got off track, clarifying intentions, and pointing ourselves in the direction of our best life.
Not only is it a new year, but in the northern hemisphere it is the dark time of the year. From nature’s perspective it is a time for rest, rejuvenation, and dreaming about the seeds we wish to plant and the harvest we hope to reap later in the year. This is no small task, and it is certainly not a quick task!
Our planning begins in early December, when we start reviewing the accomplishments of the previous year. This bleeds into dreaming about our desires for the year to come. Usually those are pretty flushed out by January 1st. But the work doesn’t stop there. The entire month of January is devoted to figuring out how to make those goals happen!
What habits do we need to implement?
What actions do we need to take and by when?
Then these all need to get scheduled. If you haven’t started planning your year yet, don’t fret! There is still plenty of time. Here are the resources we use to help make it happen for us:
Review your year
This is a crucial step. Often we repeat the same mistakes over and over, and it is not until we look at the pattern that we start to see where we are missing the mark on our goals. We use Leonie Dawson’s “Create Your Shining Year in Life” to help us with this (the entire first section is about gaining completion on the previous year) but you can also do this by simply journaling. Our friend Jamie Ridler has a number of great free resources to help guide this process.
Decide to change the area(s) of your life that are causing you the most suffering
When you review your year, it usually becomes clear what areas of your life have been suffering. Everyone tends to have their Achilles Heel – maybe it is love, career, relationships, family, health or finances. Whatever the area is, decide to change it. Then set an intention and be specific about the goal you want.
For example, instead of “Find a romantic partner” try “My intention for 2016 is to find, recognize and sustain a healthy relationship with someone who I could share my life with.” Or, instead of “Be healthy” try “My intention for 2016 is to find a way of eating that helps me feel my best, and to find a health practitioner who can successfully support me in reducing my symptoms of acne, migraines and menstrual pain” (or whatever your personal symptoms are). Write it down. This step is important!
We find that when it comes to the areas where we've been struggling the most, it’s actually been more effective to surrender our intentions to the universe and wait for guidance. If there's an aspect of your life you have been struggling with for a long time, chances are you have tried a lot of the obvious solutions and found them to be ineffective. So why not open yourself up to the possibility that your solution is something totally outside your current knowledge or experience?
Be open to how and when that solution shows up.
Amy remedied her twenty year old health problems this year using this technique. ;)
If you do know the solution to the thing you want to address, but you’re just struggling to make it a habit, then you’ll need to call in some reinforcements. There are some great apps to help with this. Amy uses Way of Life, and Kim uses the newly released Habits by our friends at the Ultimate Health Podcast.
We also use an electronic daytimer that allows for recurring tasks so that daily and weekly tasks automatically get repopulated. Amy uses Opus Domini because it is similar to the Franklin Covey paper planning system she used as an O.T.
Some habits need even more reinforcement. For those you’ll want to work with a professional (hint, hint.... that's why people hire us!) For example, one of Amy’s goals is to integrate shamanic journeys into her life on a more consistent basis. In order to ensure some accountability on this, she has signed up for Shamanic mentorship.
Curious what habits are on our regular to-do list? Check them out below.
Find someone to be accountable to and review your goals regularly
We all know that having someone check up on us decreases our likelihood of procrastination. So why not use this to your advantage to help you accomplish your goals? Find a buddy who will hold you accountable. Just be careful not to choose someone who will be overly sympathetic to your excuses ;)
Sometimes our goals change – that’s okay. But make sure it is intentional and not that you got distracted. This seems to be a particular problem for women, who have been socialized to please others. Frequently we say yes to other’s requests and these commitments come at the expense of our own goals.
Looking for more ways to help ensure your success this year? Check out Leonie's free goal setting webinar.
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Kim & Amy Sedgwick love to discuss sex, periods, and all the other things we’re not supposed to talk about. The co-founders of Red Tent Sisters and ecosex.ca, they’ve been featured in every major Canadian news outlet and have become a trusted resource for women seeking natural (effective!) birth control, a more joyful sex life, and an empowered journey to motherhood.