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Rethink the way you create your goals

I’m not a fan of New Year’s Resolutions. (Just even writing that, made me shudder).

Here’s why.

From all my google research and lived experience, the conclusion is always that by February, as many as 80% of New Year’s resolutions will have been abandoned.

The root cause of the failed New Year’s Resolutions tend to fall into one (or more) of these five categories:

  • Too restrictive and/or too intense — e.g. eating 500 calories a day and going to the gym 6 days a week for 2 hours a time.

  • All-or-nothing mentality — e.g. Any sentence with ‘I MUST’ followed by this personal pressure you put on yourself.

  • Overly ambitious — Like, I am talking unrealistically so e.g. becoming Beyoncés backing singer, when you can’t sing for 🍬 toffee.

  • Not specific enough — e.g. I want a new job vs I would like to be working X company, in X role with X salary by June 2023. To get there, I need to a, b and c.

  • Does not address habits — e.g. If you are still snoozing your alarm, running late or drinking too much coffee… you’re not addressing the habit-elephant in the room.

All in all, none of the above are sustainable, actionable or even do-able. So how can you be successful with your New Year’s Resolutions?

The answer.

You can’t!

But let me tell you a (not so) secret.

As a qualified coach, I learnt a few techniques as part of my training. They completely changed the game to when it comes to succeeding with goals. And I now do this EVERY year. This week, I am going to use this space to take you through what I do, which I hope helps you set your own sustainable, actionable and do-able goals.

So, say goodbyeeeeee to News Years Resolutions. And a, how you doin’ to Goal Setting for Success .


💡 You are going to need a pen and notebook for this article. You may also want to set aside 45mins to 1hour to work through this.

Where are you now?

Have you ever used the Wheel of Life? It is a well known and flexible coaching tool that offers a 360-degree view of your current situation. It quickly identifies areas of imbalance and helps you to create goals and set priorities based on your life vision.

Thus, being a great place to start to when it comes to goal setting. Example of a wheel of life.

  • Start by labelling each segment that represents aspects of life. E.g. Work, Health, Money, Development, Family, Sports, Home, Friends.

  • Consider each segment in turn, and on a scale of 0 (low) — to 10 (high), write down how you are feeling about each segment?

  • Mark each score appropriately to how you feel and how much time you give to that area.

  • By now you will be starting to see some areas of the wheel that feel and look imbalanced. Now join up the marks around the circle. It may look a little bit like this:

Example of a completed Wheel of Life: Mind Tools

Coaching extras: 💡 Think about:

  • Segments over 8 — what makes them more fulfilling than the others?

  • For Segments under 8 — What can you do to increase that fulfilment within that segment?

Reflect on:

  • How do I feel within myself?

  • What kind of relationships surround me?

  • What kind of home do I live in?

  • What is my profession? Do I enjoy it?

  • What am I most proud of?

  • What do I want to change in my life?

  • What do I want to keep?

  • What does success in the segments look like for me?

Visualising where you want to be

Visualisation is the practice of imagining what you want to achieve in the future. Immersing yourself, as if it was today.

The process involves using all five senses of sight, smell, touch, taste, and hearing. And science has shown, that this process, directs your subconscious to be aware of the end goal you have in mind, thus making it achievable.

Cool huh?

💡This isn’t all woo-woo. Did you know this technique is used by world-class sport folks — swimmers, football players, athletes and even race car drivers. I KNOW! Here are some questions to consider when using visualisation:

  • Scene setting: What month are you in? Where are you? How are you feeling?

  • Sight: What can you see? What do you look like? Who is there with you?

  • Sound: What can you hear? What are you saying?

  • Touch: What are you holding? Can you feel anything? e.g. Sunshine

  • Taste: What can you taste? e.g. Coffee

  • Concluding: How do you feel about your success/change? How did you get there? Who helped you? and What resources did you use?

Now for the magic to happen.

Using your all the above work and answers, you can break this down into a goal, with targets and actions.

As mentioned, this is about seeing yourself in a future state.

💡 And writing your goal as a ‘I AM’ statement is a great place to start and a great practice to begin.

So, there you have it, a goal with targets and actions. The eagle eyed among you would have seen that some actions are linked. You may find this with targets and actions — don’t worry, it just means you can tick two off your list instead of one.

Extra, extra, read all about it

In addition and to compliment your goals, why not try vision boarding?!

Here’s a useful article to explain how to get creative when it comes to vision boarding, what it means and how it works ⬇

And if you liked this way of setting goals, then you might like:

  • Manifest by Roxie Nafousi

  • One Small Step to Change your life by Robert Maurer

  • Believe, Build, Become by Debbie Wosskow and Anna Jones.

And here’s to your success

Of course, you can use this process every year. You can fine tune it to fit your own way of working.

But like most things, the more you put into it, the more you will get out.

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