These are tough times. You might be starting the new year lacking energy and motivation. You’ve been through so much this past year, and some days it feels like the light at the end of the tunnel is still far off.
I’d love for you to take a moment to reflect on your resilience in 2020. It hasn’t been easy, but you kept showing up. You made it through so many challenges. You’re stronger than you realize and you deserve to be proud of how you’ve coped.
It’s not a typical New Year. We’ve been reminded over and over during the last few months that our lives are not in our control. So, why bother with resolutions?
I believe that a new year calls for a restart, even on a small scale.
The new year is an ideal time to create new priorities and identify clear goals that are meaningful for you, maybe ones that have changed dramatically from where you were at the start of 2020.
You may dream of increasing your professional impact, or slowing down your pace, renewing the love and connection in your relationship, or finding true self-acceptance.
One way to help you navigate the year ahead is to create a vision for your life. When you have a clear vision, it acts like a compass guiding you to take the steps and make the choices that are most aligned with the life you truly want.
- What are the goals that you’re passionate about reaching?
- What support do you need to help you reach your goals?
- What are the values that you hope will guide you through this pandemic?
- How will you take care of yourself in 2021?
- What new habits could set you up for more balance and happiness?
Let’s get started with 8 tips for making your 2021 vision a reality.
#1 Be Specific
When you clearly define your objective, your chances of realizing it grow significantly. For example, instead of saying “I’d love to enjoy my work more,” identify a few clear and specific changes that would contribute to your career satisfaction in 2021 (for example, collaborating on a team, having a chance to be creative, deepening your knowledge).
#2 Put it in Writing
Writing helps to delineate a clear picture of your vision, to turn it from a vague idea into something concrete. When you write, you’re activating both sides of your brain: your imagination and your logical thinking. When you see your goal on paper, you’ll be readier to take action.
#3 Keep Moving
One of the most effective ways to reach your destination is to stay in motion.
The path to your objective is full of obstacles, twists and turns. Especially during a global pandemic.
But when you maintain consistent, deliberate motion – in the direction of your goal – you’ll focus on what’s possible and not on what seems impossible. Even small steps move you forward.
#4 Find the Essence
Ask yourself in the early stages of goal-setting: Why is this dream important to me? What would achieving it mean to me? How will I feel when I reach the goal?
Be honest with yourself to be clear that your dream is really yours, and not one that you inherited from others or feel pushed towards by your environment.
At intervals along the way, ask again: Does this goal still serve me? Does this goal feel relevant? Does this goal make me happy?
#5 Keep it Simple
Aspire to reach the stars (whatever that means in your life) and to dream bigger than today’s reality.
But if the path is too vague or complicated, you may become discouraged in the early stages of your journey.
Keep a realistic perspective on your destination, or on the time it may take to reach it.
Choose a dream that you’ll feel proud to realize, and that’s straightforward enough to reach.
#6 Create Accountability
In order to stay motivated and monitor your progress over time, draft a concrete list of tasks and mini-goals for each day, week, and month. Keep your list handy!
Check off each task that you’ve completed and you’ll feel a sense of accomplishment.
Even a qualitative aspiration, like ‘be more generous’, can be identified with concrete actions (for example, take the afternoon shift with the kids so my partner can get more work done).
Keep your list simple – you can add new items gradually.
It’s hard to do this alone. Seek out partners to help you stick to your tasks and be accountable to your larger goals.
#7 Be Prepared for Getting Stuck
You will most likely experience some frustration along the way to your goal, blame yourself for not being focused enough on your goal, or maybe want to give it up altogether.
In those moments, you can pause and reflect on what’s causing you to feel discouraged and understand that it is perfectly normal to hit an impasse. At any time you can go back to the steps above and review the essence of your goals and refine them to be more specific or realistic.
Be kind to yourself and grateful for the vision which inspires your life.
#8 Think Positively
A positive approach is essential when you’re setting goals – large or small.
Find pleasure in taking steps towards your goal and believe in your power to succeed.
Positive thoughts lead to positive action.
As a coach, it’s my passion to support and empower you to dream big, set clear goals, learn from your setbacks, and make your vision a reality.
Whether you want to create a plan for 2021 or you have a vision for the next five years, having an experienced and compassionate coach to guide you along the way is a valuable investment in making your dreams come true.
This is a fantastic time to begin coaching and to start the new year with a commitment to yourself, your emotional well-being, your career, or your relationship.