Goal setting. Intention setting. Declaring a word or theme of the year. Whatever your thing, this time of year is great for reflection. Although you know I believe this ought to be done every few months, what better time to get crystal clear than at the start of a fresh page of your book.
Last year I wrote about goal setting and the feelings associated with those goals (thank you Danielle Laporte!). Then earlier this year I shared my career plan template. So obviously the idea isn’t lost on me. However, I’m tired of the same old way of doing it.
This can be a sensitive subject, one that holds fears and feelings beyond a simple goal written on a page. So many feelings come up when setting goals that can excite us and then deflate us within minutes. Some people already feel behind simply because it’s one week into 2015 and their colleague had her vision board done in November. Annoying!
This year I’m trying something new. Yes, I’m reflecting and I’m setting intentions. Only I’m not setting rigid guidelines to reach my goals. Instead my measurements are “more” and “less.”
Based on the past year, what’s worked and what hasn’t, and considering how I want this next year to go, I’m listing out what I want more and less of in my life. Many of these are specifics and some of them are feelings.
You see, goals are addictive to me. I love them and because I’m a competitive nutcase, I have to be careful. Often what happens is I have my sight set on achieving the goal and I ignore my gut and obvious signs to change course. The more/less list is my work-around for this problem.
For some people goals instantly make you feel bad. Like, great now I’m noticing I’m a huge fatty and if I want to achieve my goal of losing weight it looks like life will totally suck for the next 6 months. I’m going to have to change EVERYTHING in a big way. Right this very minute. Not very motivating, is it? This process will help here too.
Your goals will still drive your more/less list but instead of ONLY hard facts and specific steps, consider what you want to do, have or be more or less of. Those actions can be motivating. That perspective feels fresh and fun.
For example, if you want to lose weight, your more/less list can be things that excite you and bring you closer to your goals: more trying new healthy recipes, less sugar, more taking the stairs, less eating out, more yoga.
Use the topics of work, relationships, health, spirituality, personal…or any that are relevant to your life.
Here are a few of mine as an example:
Goal: to broaden my influence to help more people find career happiness
More: speaking, guest writing, working with motivated and ideal 1:1 clients, feeling impactful and meaningful in my work by being transparent.
Less: doing it the way it’s been done, allowing pressure to drive my decisions, fear around the unknown.
Your work more/less list might include: more speaking up, more asking for what I want, less complaining and negativity about my boss, more money, less client interaction, etc. My idea here is to avoid goals that sound good in theory but don’t feel right in practice. For example, getting a promotion is a great goal. But if it takes you away from the work that lights you up, it might not be the best choice.
I’ve set out my more/less list to include all these topics. I noticed that in general, I want to have more fun, to be more creative, to connect, to travel, to have firsts. I want to follow suit less, I want less rigid, numbers-based goals, I want to feel less fear of putting myself out there and possibly screwing up.
However you want your life to look, be and feel is the right way. Only you know what will make you happy (the ultimate goal, am I right?).
If you need to set specific steps to do more or less of something, do it. Tighten it up or loosen it so that it feels right for you.
You’ll know if you’re not pushing yourself and taking the easy way out. You’ll know because you’ll feel it.
And if you set a word or theme for the year, let that inspire your more/less list too. I’ve never done it but why not! My word is FAITH – what a beautiful word with a powerful meaning. Faith can help me overcome my fear of the unknown when it comes to creating new offerings for my business, in turn helping me trust myself. It can help me listen to my body when deciding how to be active having faith that it knows best. And so on.
There have been studies upon studies on how to change behavior and habits- most people quit their resolutions at about 2 weeks. The best way to stick to yours is by repetition, by consistent behavior.
Remind yourself of your more/less list daily. Remind yourself of why your goal or your word is important to you. Bring it front and center as often as you can as a reminder. And for the love of all things holy, don’t let slip ups detract you from moving forward!
Here’s to 2015, my friend. May it hold for you challenges, surprises and happiness and my you find joy in being along for the ride!
What’s your take on resolutions, goals or words of the year? What tips can you share? Let us know in the comments below!
Is 2015 your year for a career change? If so, I’ve got your back! As a former VP for a Fortune 500 recruiting firm and as a career and leadership expert, I’ve helped hundreds of people change careers, get promoted, negotiate job offers and raises, crush new leadership roles and interview like a pro. Use my insider knowledge to get happy at work! Email me here to inquire about working together. Don’t wait. You deserve a career you love. I can help!