Back in January, we talked about getting to know your values in order to live life with a little more intention. The new year is a natural time to evaluate where you are in comparison to where you want to be, and we often set some pretty hefty goals. It can be exciting and energising to feel as though you have a new purpose and track for achieving what you want. And now, in the blink of an eye, it's almost August! Half a year has gone by and more likely than not, we've barely glanced at that list we were so passionate about creating in January.
It's time for a 6 month check in. A chance to re-evaluate what's happening in your life - the good, the bad and the ugly. So, here's a little checklist to go through that will hopefully reignite that purpose and help you stay on track coming into the fall.
1. How do you feel?
First and foremost, it's important to see how you are feeling. When we discussed goal setting in our previous post, we recommended that instead of focusing on a task-based list (which can often be unfulfilling or driven by what we think we should be doing), focus on a feelings-based list and work backwards from there. What are the things that you can do in your day to day life that will make you feel the way you want to?
Do you feel healthy? Energetic? Happy? Motivated? Passionate? Challenged? What are the buzz words that get you excited? If you're feeling a little lacklustre, pick two of your most valued feelings and jot down a few simple ideas that can help bring you those feelings on a daily basis. Remember these don't need to be profound ideas; they can be simple steps that point you in the right direction.
2. Do you have your committed actions?
Creating committed actions is one of the most important parts of setting a successful goal. It's great to create a list of goals that you want to achieve, but what are the things that you need to do daily, weekly, monthly to create that change? This is also an important step in realising whether your goal is (1) realistic and (2) going to make you happy. Create a list of easy, motivating habits that you can introduce into your daily life.
2. Are you putting too much pressure on yourself?
Although I love the idea of dreaming big, sometimes we can put a little too much pressure on ourselves to achieve some pretty hefty things in a short period of time. I've seen a lot of new years resolutions that look like this: 'Lose 20 lbs. Run a marathon. Buy a flat. Meditate everyday. Eliminate sugar. Become financially free. Learn how to surf.' That's a pretty tall order for anyone (let alone anyone working and living in London). When you set goals out of a desire to not feel how you are currently feeling, we can often create a blanket syndrome where we think if we tick off a few key fundamentals we will be forever happy. But creating big goals without looking at whether they are all realistic or not or acknowledging the underlying desire can create a lot of pressure and feelings of failure if you haven't hit them yet. Go through your goals and see if they are realistic or causing you to feel undue stress or pressure. There's no point in having a goal if it's going to create anxiety and it's better to change your outlook to something more motivating then to punish yourself for not being where you think you should be. Can you modify it? Do you need to shift your focus? Everyday we have the chance to start again. To reset and do something well. Just because you aren't exactly where you think you should be right now doesn't mean it's futile. You can make big goals, but make small ones too. Don't let a quest for perfection get in the way or close you off from possibility.
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