It’s the time of year when resolutions are rife - even if you’re not the one making them, you’re likely seeing others around you making attempts, or at least talking about, changes they’d like to make this year. From new gym memberships to clean eating, digital detoxes to morning meditations, but did you know… in 2020, only 26% of people said they actually managed to stick to their resolutions? So while we’re getting giddy about goals, are we really making ones that work for us? Should we even bother at all with rates like this? Keep reading to find out if goal setting is for you.
Resolutions, goals, aims and ambitions can really separate a crowd, especially around the new year. Some of us love the idea of resolutions, seeing the new year as a new chapter and a chance to mix things up.
Others find the indulgence over the festive season a real motivator to pull ourselves out of lounge mode and into productive mode come the 1st Jan, whether it’s from one too many mince pies or just enjoying the time to switch off.
And then there’s those of us who would rather do a bungee jump than consider making resolutions. Seeing everyone post about their goals on social media, hearing talk in the office or even getting an earful about how you should make some makes you want to run for the hills.
But if we know anything here, it’s that we’re all different and goal setting isn’t for everyone. Now that’s not to say it doesn’t work for everyone, what we mean is the tradition of making resolutions you know you won’t keep might be a waste of your time. But setting effective goals throughout the year that work for you and suit your needs, might actually be the key you’ve been looking for.
So how do we know if goal setting is for us?
Take a moment to think about the following questions, grab a notebook, jot something down on your device, or just ponder (or you can always come back later!)
What’s important to me right now?
What am I willing and able to do right now?
What time do I have to dedicate to goal setting and getting?
Start simple, think about what is important to you to achieve. Try not to pay attention to what others are doing or compare your ideas against others, and focus on your needs. This might be some time to rest and recover as we start the year, rather than trying to be super productive. It might be to make a start on that career move you’ve been thinking about for the last year, it might not be.
Then consider what you are actually willing and able to do and how much time you can put into goals right now. Be realistic about it, otherwise, you’re likely to drop the goal more quickly. Perhaps there’s a course you could do in the evenings to work towards that career move or maybe you could work on improving your work-life balance and feel ready to put the emails down when you’re at home and focus on time with your family.
Think about the following questions - they do get a little more serious but can be really helpful in deciding if goal setting is for you right now.
Am I in the right frame of mind to dig deep, commit and put effort into goal setting?
Are the goals I'm considering aligned with me and where I want to be?
Is my desire to change from a positive perspective?
Now, if we can’t answer these questions honestly, they won’t be so helpful. So consider how you’re feeling right now, mentally, physically, and emotionally. Is it the right time to think about change, be productive, or add more to your plate? Or is it a time you need to be compassionate with yourself and take a break from the pressure of life? Perhaps that’s the goal for you!
If the goals aren’t leading us to where we want to be, we’ll struggle to stick to them or end up on a different path entirely. And often, we set goals from a negative perspective - we want to change something because what we’re currently doing isn’t enough. This makes meeting it that much harder than if we’re considering change from a positive perspective - we’re adding to what we already have.
Don’t forget to be realistic! If you’ve answered these questions idealistically, you’re setting yourself up for a trickier time. Being realistic might create smaller goals - that may not seem as worthwhile - but make it much easier for us to actually achieve them! And then we can move on to another small goal, that all adds up in the end.
If you’ve had time to consider or even answer these questions you should have a clearer idea if goal setting is for you right now. And if it’s clear that goals aren’t on the cards right now, don’t force yourself to create them because everyone else is.
But do come back soon and review these questions, it might be that January actually isn’t your month for resolutions and goal setting.
But maybe that community spirit, the element of competition and a desire to join in with them is firing up your motivation.
It’s less about whether goal setting is really for us, and more about whether it’s the right time for us. We’re not all spurred on by seeing everyone and their dog talk about what things they want to change, steps they're taking towards goals or even where they feel they need to improve! January isn’t the right time for everyone, despite the trend of resolutions, it’s cold, dark and not as sparkly as December! So take some time to answer these questions - and then check out this month's webinar, coming soon!