Monday, 31 December 2018

CLARIFY YOUR 2019 GOALS WITH THESE 3 QUESTIONS



Photos by √Čireann. Outfit details below the full-length photos.

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It's that time of year again, that time when we all take a notion to write down our goals and resolutions, only to abandon them before February flies in. Whatever your goal — whether it's to meditate, lose weight, or even find your soul mate — it's all too easy to write down what you want to achieve, and even easier to forget all about it two weeks into January. Each year we declare "this time it'll be different"! Each year it's the same. But it doesn't have to be that way.

With one day left until the New Year, you probably already know your resolutions by heart, and that's great. 2019 can be the year you finally achieve them. To increase your chances of sticking to your goals this year, grab a pen, a notebook, and a cup of tea (optional, but very much recommended)! Jot down your resolutions or New Year goals, and for each one, write down your answers to these three questions...

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1. Why is this goal important to me?

One of the most powerful ways to achieve your goals, is to get clear on your why. Why is it that you want to achieve this goal? How will you feel when you achieve it? How will your life be different with success in this area? Reflecting on these questions will help you understand why your goal is important to you. And with a greater understanding of why you're bothering to pursue a goal, comes greater motivation to actually put in the hard work and excel at the task at hand. When the 'why' comes first, the 'how' naturally falls into place.

Your 'why' should be crystal clear to you, you'll need to review it throughout the year to remind yourself when times get tough and you feel like giving up. If at some point your 'why' no longer speaks to you, you'll need to revise it. This is something I realise now, with one of my reoccurring goals being consistent blogging. Considering my last post was in June(!), it's something I'm still working on. At the beginning of the year, I actually posted about why I bother blogging, and for a while, it helped me make blogging a part of my routine. I realised that even though my readership is small, I do it because it's a way for me to practice marketing, design, and writing, and acts as a portfolio of work to show prospective employers. Identifying this 'why' lead to a couple of months of consistent blog posts. But, as time would tell, my motivation trailed off in the second half of the year. So what happened? Well, my 'why' was powerful at first, but I got less motivated when the reason behind my goal became less meaningful to me. Guess what? June was the month that I started my full-time job, a marketing role where I get to write and design. Now that I was practicing these skills at work — the same skills I'd wanted to learn through blogging — working on my blog didn't seem all that necessary any more. So I stopped. But now, with a new 'why' for blogging (which is more about documenting my life and having something to look back on) I have a renewed motivation to put the hours into creating content here.

As you can see, I've a lot to say on the importance of why, and I've actually written even more about this topic, so there's some further reading for you personal development nerds (like me) out there!

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Top: New Look | Skirt: Depop | Shoes: Office | Necklace: Topshop

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2. What does success look like?

Now that you've a clear idea understanding of your 'why', it's time to clarify what success looks like to you, if you were to achieve this goal. This is especially important with New Year's resolutions because they are often so vague. Take a common New Year's resolution: to eat healthier. Well, great, but how will you know if you've achieved your goal? Is it cutting out meat from your diet on weekdays, or is it more about eating your greens? It's time to get specific with your goal.

As you write down what success looks like to you in this area of your life, you'll find that some points actually help reinforce your 'why' ("I'll know I've been successful in eating healthier when I feel less sluggish") and other points will help you with your 'how' ("a healthier me eats five portions of fruit and veg every day"). These 'whys' and 'hows' build up to paint a picture of what you're looking to achieve, and offer a road map to get there.

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3. What is the one thing you can do to achieve this goal?

Finally, for each of your goal areas, choose one specific action you will do to work towards your goal. This can be one big step — say, taking a cooking course to learn how to make healthy home-cooked meals — or it could be a daily or weekly habit that you will incorporate into your life, like meal-prepping on Sunday nights.

This step is inspired by a book I recently discovered, The One Thing by Gary Keller and Jay Papasan. The authors suggest that to help you achieve your goals, you should ask yourself: What's the ONE thing I can do such that by doing it everything else will be easier or unnecessary? This allows you to focus your efforts on the one step that could lead to success. By choosing your one thing, you get to ignore the unhelpful and less effective tactics, and put all your energy into something that will make a difference and propel you towards achieving your goal.

Even if you have the same goal as someone else, your 'one thing' might be different to theirs. This question is all about reflecting on your life and your own personal motivations, quirks, strengths, and weaknesses, and ultimately coming up with one actionable commitment that works for you.

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There you have it, three simple questions to ask yourself to help you achieve all your 2019 resolutions. Thank you for reading and have a happy New Year and a successful (goal-getting) 2019. Hope it's the year you live your wildest dreams! xx

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