A new year brings fresh energy, resolutions, and reflections. If you’re anything like me, you love the feel of this time of year. It’s a chance to get clear on what you want to create, let go of what no longer serves you, and choose again.
However, I recognize that there’s a scale when it comes to new year goal-setting. Some people don’t love to get too specific, while others thrive on all the journal prompts. So regardless of where you fall on the spectrum, below are my favorite goal-setting hacks to call in more of what you want in the new year — and leave behind the rest.
Goal-Setting Hacks for Non-Planners
For those who don’t get off on planning every spare detail of the year ahead, I offer a simpler path:
Choose a word of the year
What do you want to FEEL more often? What do you wish you had more of? Maybe abundance. Love. Peace. Confidence. Freedom. Choice. Power. Romance.
By choosing one word to keep front and center, you can choose to feel more of that every day. You can ask yourself in moments of decision whether one path leads you closer or further from your word, and choose accordingly.
One caveat: choosing a word isn’t always for the faint of heart. Any time I have chosen a word, it has taken on a life of its own. One year, I chose the word (or phrase) ALL IN. I wanted to feel more present in my life and like I was really playing full out. Oh, did that word deliver. That year, without planning for any of it, I ended up leaving corporate America, diving into entrepreneurship, selling my belongings, traveling the world, living out of Airbnbs… it was a YEAR. And I was most certainly all in, even if it was extremely challenging at times.
So word to the wise: pick a word, and be prepared for the word to take YOU along for the ride. The universe delivers on a clear intention.
Goal-Setting Hacks for Planners
For those who LOVE a good plan, here are a few more detail-oriented ways to call your dreams to life this year.
Determine what you want in each area
A practice that I’ve done ever since I was a young girl is write out the key buckets of my life, from health to career, relationships, finances, spirituality, and so on. I then either free write or bullet about what I want that area to look like.
Once I have my list, I quantify the things. For example, if I write down, “Be healthy,” I get more specific on what that means. Does it mean losing 10 pounds? Drinking a green smoothie every day? Meditating for 5 minutes? Running a half marathon?
I get clear on a measurable result so I know whether I hit my goal or not at the end of the year.
Break goals into smaller chunks
Then, I break things into smaller pieces to actually take action. For example, if I decided that I wanted to meditate every day for 20 minutes, I don’t start with 20 minutes. Instead, I start with maybe two minutes per day, and then add on two more minutes each month until I’ve reached my goal.
The new year brings such temptation to make big promises, but those promises are hard to keep if you haven’t yet built the muscle. So instead, train your body to get into the HABIT. The way to lock in a habit is to be consistent, and the way to be consistent is to make sure something feels easy enough that you can actually show up for it every day.
A good gauge that I use is whether or not something sounds easy to me. Aiming for 20 minutes of meditation sounds like a stretch, but two minutes sounds like a slam dunk. I know I can find two minutes for ANYTHING. It’s just two minutes. That’s a good sign that I have a good starting place that I can build from — but first, I can cement the habit.
Choose one focus per month
Another way to lock in a new habit is to focus on one focus per month. You may have a list of things you want to accomplish in all of your core areas, but you don’t have to do them all at once. Even dedicating each new month to a new habit gives you 12 new habits by the end of the year. That could be two new habits each in your health, relationships, career, and so on.
I’ve had great success when I’ve focused on ONE daily habit each month. For example, maybe one month I focus on the meditation. Once that habit is locked in, the next month I focus on journaling for ten minutes per day. The next month I focus on giving a compliment to my husband each day. And so on.
You would be surprised how much easier it is to lock in new habits when it’s the ONLY thing you have to complete for the day. Instead of trying to keep track of 20 things, and only half-succeeding at all of them, you can NAIL the most important thing. Then stack another habit once it’s as integral to your day as brushing your teeth.
Make new habits intrusive
A final piece of advice that really helps when establishing is to make it intrusive. Make it get in the way of your day so you can’t possibly miss it. Your brain doesn’t automatically remember new habits, so you need to make it easy to build consistency.
For example, if you have a habit to make it to the gym each morning, try wearing your gym clothes to work or laying them out in front of your bedside so you literally step over them when you get out of bed in the morning. If you want to start taking vitamins, put them in front of your coffee machine, bathroom sink, or keyboard. Make it so obvious that you have no chance of forgetting.
You can also use tricks like setting recurring alarms on your phone, leaving sticky note reminders, putting things in your car, and so on. Whatever helps you remember your daily task until it becomes second nature.
Ready, Set, Gooooal
Regardless of whether you love a good planning sesh or would rather do anything but, the new year can offer a chance to take stock of where you are and where you want to intentionally go in the coming months. Take what works from you for the suggestions above, and then send me a DM on Instagram and let me know what you choose!
I will be cheering on your biggest, brightest life this year and always.
Whether you love making new year’s resolutions or simply want an overarching vision for your best year yet, this episode offers tangible ways to create the life of your dreams.
Hear the exact steps I use to get crystal clear on goals, break them down into doable daily behaviors, and make it easy to incorporate new habits and achieve major milestones.
Ready for Your Biggest, Brightest Life?
Listen to the episode here! Would seriously fall out of my chair over a review! 🥰
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