2009 commitments & goals – breaking it down

Did you reflect on your 2008 accomplishments and discover anything new about yourself that you will bring into this new year? In this post we look at what your new year resolutions might look like and how you can be most successful in keeping them.

Firstly it is worth noting that a ‘resolution’ means to set an intention or make a commitment and one of the reasons why so many resolutions are broken early on in any new year is that while there might be a commitment there is rarely a desired outcome so the plan to lose weight, to stop being late or to do better at work starts to feel like a burdensome ‘should’ opposed to something you are compelled to do.

However attaching a metric turns this commitment into a goal which gives you a clear vision of success, for example you could commit to losing weight or you could set a goal to lose 10lbs so you can feel healthier and feel confident in a bikini by Memorial day or the working parents out there could plan to be home for baby bath time 3 times a week so that you experience and share more of your child’s young life or we could choose to do one brand new, never experienced activity once a month to broaden our horizons.

The next tip is to choose things that truly nourish you, don’t pretend, there is absolutely no point in creating a goal if you don’t intend keeping it, instead you will find that you will torture yourself when you could be spending that valuable time doing something that has a positive impact on your life.

The number of goals can also impact success. If you have a huge list it can become overwhelming, instead you could write out your goals for the year and then choose which you will do per month or quarter and again be authentic, if you know that your summertime is going to be full of entertaining the kids don’t leave the more challenging goals until this time, instead use your year wisely.

Think big picture, this is just one year in your full wonderful life, goals you set this year can build on the last and help you in the future, I like to look at my goals with the next couple of years in mind; what would be useful to put in place this year so you can live the life you choose to live?

Don’t suffer the disease of ‘terminal vagueness’, it is easy to be coy but these are YOUR goals and the only person judging them is you. If you want to earn a sum of money, buy a home, have kids, what ever your dream…own it and then begin to create it.

Get some help and support around accountability, you don’t have to tell your friends and family every detail of every goal but you can give them some very specific elements to check in on and if things get a little tough remember that they are checking in with you from a place of love and because you asked them to!

It can also be useful to set an ‘intention’ for the year along with your goals. Goals tend to be ‘doing’ things so also consider who you want to be in 2009, it can be a great filter for how you show up in the world. To be more serene? To be abundant? To be in community? To be professional? You will notice that this is more likely to be a commitment (you can attach a ‘desired outcome’ if you choose); having a mix of goals and commitments might just be what works for you, just as you would prioritize anything in your life.

There is also such a thing an ‘over operationalizing’, it is called the OOPs effect. There is a nifty little graph that goes with it too which looks like an inverted ‘V’. For a while effort and making plans really pays off and we increase our effectiveness but if we over plan and create our effectiveness begins to plummet so once you have written your list of goals feel it out. Stretch yourself by all means but remember to also hold an intent of success, joy of life and room to make a few mistakes along the way…..

Lastly, a note on fulfillment. A fulfilling life is not one that comes along once you have ‘such and such’ the point of goals is to keep you growing and living the life you desire. Fulfillment is here and now, in this moment, you just need to open your eyes and see it.

Wishing you every success and a fulfilling life in 2009.

This article was also featured on The ‘Advice for Women’ January blog Carnival.

© The Red Barn Cooperative – Working together to nourish lives
A Red Barn Coaching initiative www.redbarncoaching.com

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