In 2016 I decided my goal was not to set myself any goals. It came after a year of busting a gut to achieve 15 goals which were overly prescriptive, often unachievable and some which I didn’t really care about by mid-year – nevertheless I worked myself up on the prospect of failing myself, the unnecessary stress it caused me led me to ditch goals altogether for 2016 – and surprisingly?
I hated it.
2016 has felt like a non-event for me, I’ve floated and drifted and lost my focus and my marbles. As J reminds me I’ve still achieved some great things this year, I started a new job and I’ve progressed well in my role, I achieved good grades for my 1st year of uni in both my subjects, we’ve had a few holidays, we had a lovely engagement party, we’ve made good progress on renovating the house etc.
But something still feels off, mentally I’ve not been at my best, I’ve been constantly questioning my choices and how I use my time, I’ve felt at a loose end, my commitment to running has long gone and I’ve eaten terribly for most of the year. I’ve just not felt on top form and I truly feel like it’s because I didn’t set any goals, I didn’t have priorities, I didn’t know where to focus my spare time, I lacked direction.
So for 2017 I’ll be setting goals again, but slightly differently to the way I have set goals in the past. I have listed all the things that I want to focus on or achieve next year and then grouped them and finally I came up with a theme for the year.
So 2017 is my year of accountability. Being accountable for my own health, my time, my relationships, my impact and my consumption.
Broken down the main areas of focus will be on:
- Running again
- Eating healthily and cutting down on fizzy drinks
- Utilising more of my spare time for hobbies instead of idle TV watching or social media surfing
- Making time for my friendships
- Focusing on my relationship with J and putting in the effort that I used to
- Making time to see my family regularly
- Considering the impact my choices have on the environment
- Reducing my environmental impact through recycling more, producing less waste, growing my own and reducing my meat intake
- Buying less and being more mindful about my purchases
- Continuing to reduce the items in my home and wardrobe to cut the excess and appreciate what remains
I also plan to journal each month, noting my reflections on the past month and my intentions for the month ahead. I hope to be in a position where I do things in alignment with my theme for the year, where each activity I take up is considered in line with the areas of focus I’ve listed above. I’m not setting prescriptive goals like run for one hour three times a week causing stress and upset in my effort to achieve it, rather I am just committing to holding myself accountable to my intentions and focusing my time and energy into this.
I hope this has helped you to consider how you might be happiest in the year ahead, of course there’s no wrong way to structure your days and different things work for different people, I think I fall in the middle ground between firm structure and full flexibility. I’d love to hear how you approach the New Year and whether it gives you the same thoughts and feelings around the need to set goals and reflect back.