The year 2020 will be remembered for many things. A pandemic, hand sanitizer and masks, zoom, homeschooling, the frenzy to stockpile toilet paper, social distancing, lockdowns, working from home. So many things! And then there is 2020 in review: the year of unachieved goals. What we set out to achieve wasn’t always achievable – or even that meaningful all things considered.
To Set Goals or Not
Nonetheless, setting goals is a hot trend. And not setting goals is a hot trend. This doesn’t even cover resolutions! After all, New Year’s resolutions often fall flat with very few people actually achieving goals set at this time of year. In fact, studies have shown that less that 25% of people actually stay committed to their resolutions after just 30 days, and only 8% accomplish them.
No matter whether you follow the mainstream adages about goals and resolutions or not, there is no denying that it’s a good feeling to start the new year with a clean slate and some direction of what you want to achieve. Especially after a crap year like 2020.
On one hand, the problem is that people succumb to pressure to kick off lofty goals on January 1 and therefore, those objectives are often not grounded in reality. We are a society compelled to achieve more and more but it’s always good to remember that without realistic goals and some planning to achieve them, overwhelm can kick in.
Full disclaimer here: I am a goal setter and a goal achiever. It works for me even if it doesn’t work for others. Thus, I have spent years honing a process and fully attribute my success to following it (along with a lot of hard work too!)
2020 In Review
A powerful way to push the ‘overwhelm’ away and abandon the year of unachieved goals is to – ironically – start with self-reflection. Set aside time to assess your personal and professional development over the past year and use that to determine your future path.
To that end, here are questions to drive that process and ultimately, increase your chances of success.
- What did I set out to achieve in 2020 and did I do everything possible to support myself in achieving those goals? If not, what can I change?
- What worked in 2020? Did I take time to celebrate those successes?
- What gave me pleasure in 2020?
- What was missing? Does it matter that it was missing?
- What were my roadblocks and how can I overcome them? Did something or someone hold me back in 2020?
- Did I reach my financial targets? If not, why not? How can I have a different outcome and financial success in 2020?
- Who inspired me in my professional life? How can I build a meaningful connection with that person in 2020?
- What are my values? Is what I created last year in alignment with those values? Have my values changed in some way as I start the new year?
Why Not Set a Theme or Word Instead?
A motivational ritual is to set a word or theme to catapult you through the coming year. Did something jump out in your answers to the above questions? Ask yourself this: “When I’m standing here on December 31, 2021, what does my life look like?” Your theme might resonate through that visualization and when that happens, it is clear as day! Using that word or theme throughout the year will keep you grounded and on track to achieving your goals and targets.
So what do you want to achieve in 2021? Take those introspective answers to the above questions and write down clear and realistic goals. To avoid seeing your goals fizzle, break them down into smaller, achievable steps and schedule them in your calendar throughout the year to keep you on track.
We All Need Help Now and Again
And if you want to delve deeper, you can download my popular ‘Set Your Intentions for Your Best Life’ online course. These three modules come complete with worksheets and me guiding through it all step-by-step. I’ve discounted it to $21 so you can chart your course for 2021.
Now It’s Your Turn
And I’d love to know: How are you feeling about making plans for 2021? Inspired or maybe reluctant with hopes that things will get back to normal soon. Let’s come together to share and support so tell me in the comments.
Here’s to a year of making dreams come true. Happy New Year!