***I have a few posts in my back pocket about goal setting, passion planning and dream living. I don't claim to be an expert but I do spend a good deal of time thinking about how to live my life to the fullest and have some thoughts and ideas to share. I thought today would be the perfect day to share part one of this occasional series. Hope you enjoy it. ****
A couple of years ago, I resolved to going back to a vegan lifestyle. The idea was just one I grabbed from the air on New Years Eve and wasn't something that I truly intended to make part of my life. I didn't really have a good reason for why I was doing it and because of that, I couldn't even manage to keep it up for a whole day.
The Importance of Writing it Down
Throughout my life, I have had journals and would write in sporadically. My journals are super boring and kind of sad. Horrible self loathing (during my disordered eating days), boy obsessions, friend and sister drama and list of things I wanted to do.
Sometime in college I realized that things I had written down that I wanted to do had magically happened.
I wanted to be in a band.
Voila! I was in a band.
I wanted to go on tour around the county.
Poof! It happened.
I wanted to be a concert promoter. I wanted to work on a commercial fishing boat. I wanted to move to Japan.
Abracadabra! They all happened.
It was so confusing to me at the time because I didn't understand that just the act of writing it down was triggering my sub-conscious and setting the intention for what I wanted out of my life.
I did realize that writing it down was important but I didn't realize why.
I truly believe you need to have a plan in mind for the future you want to create, in order to be able to get there. You are never going to get to where you are going, if you don't even know where you are travelling to. Even with a goal in mind, the path may still be bumpy, you may change your mind or take longer to get to your endpoint than originally expected.
How about intentional goal setting, instead of resolutions?
I talked to a few people about why they don't set goals or intentions. This is what I heard:
" If I set goals and fail, then I will just let myself down."
My thoughts: Goal and intention setting isn't meant to be restrictive or scary. These goals are not there to harass you but to serve as a gentle guide to what you truly want out of your life. It could be a simple thing like brand new linen sheets or it could be something bigger like reconnecting with a estranged relative.
"I prefer to let the universe decide the path of my life. "
My thoughts: Not setting goals is a decision too. If you don't set yourself in the direction you want to be, you will never get there. If you want to blame the universe for lack of progress, go ahead but until you take responsibility for your actions and choices, you will not see progress or growth. Take control and start leading your life!
"New Year's Resolutions are too trendy and destined to fail."
My thoughts: Instead of making big public resolutions, use the end of the year as a time for reflection, goal and intention setting. You don't have to even tell anyone about them. Think of it as an "end of year review" or "annual report" for your own personal self. This isn't intended to be a tedious task but something fun and to connect you back to your dreams and those of your loved ones.
End of Year Review or Personal Annual Report--This should be fun!
I actually end up doing this many times throughout the year. I work on this each month on a smaller scale (monthly review in my passion planner) and more comprehensively at the new year, near my birthday (end of April), and at the beginning of the school year (September). (I think the school year thing is just ingrained from being in school for so much of my life. September was always about getting organized and moving forward and it still is for me.)
For the past three years, our family has done a end of year review on December 31st. We read our goals and intentions from the previous year(s) and we work on them for the next year.
We are all given three questions:
What are you proud of from this past year?
This is really fun to do because it is important to acknowledge and be grateful for the year that you had. It is also really neat to read with the kids because you just never know what is going to make an impression on them. For example, last year Sawyer wrote that he was proud for hiking the Koko Head Stairs in Hawaii. I thought he was going to hate me forever for making him do that hike but instead he felt it was important enough to include in his end of year achievements.
What are your goals for the next year?
In our family, our goals tend to be sports, business or related to personal matters. Nova has a list of gymnastics goals and Sawyer and Aaron have lists of surf goals. Last year, Nova set and achieved her goal of watching every episode of Dance Moms! Yay! My goals are related to The Surfer's Kitchen (growing it), SURFit (growing it), and myself (weight loss, financial, home remodel, write more, general peace and happiness).
What things would you like to do this next year?
This is a more loose section and is just kind of a laundry list of things we want to do. I am super forgetful so if I don't write it down, it will likely be forgotten. This year, I want to buy myself my first pair of Tieks, watch old movies, go camping in the Keys, paddle more, and vacation in Miami, Japan, Vermont and Hawaii. The kids listed things like, Busch Gardens, go backpacking in Washington, and help me decorate my office. I like this question a lot because not only does it set intentions for what we want to do, it can help set plans for the following year. Don't have much going on next weekend? Maybe we can head up to Busch Gardens. Not sure which movie to watch? Maybe "Singing in the Rain" would be a good fit.
Good luck with your goal setting! I would love to hear what you come up with!
Looking for tools that can help?
These are some of my favorites: