We are already halfway through 2023! I know I’m not the only one that feels like this year has whizzed by. Once we hit this point though, it’s a great time to look back at what we had planned when we started setting goals for the new year. Certainly, a process helps so here are 4 steps to reset your 2023 goals.
FLOWING WITH LIFE’S GOALS
First, we need to remember that goals are not stagnant. They should flow within our lives and adapt to life’s hurdles. People often forget that part. On the other hand, intentions centre around how you want to feel in any area of your life and that doesn’t change.
Let’s take a closer look. The intention for your personal realm may be: “I will nurture quality relationships with family and friends”. The goals you set will feed that intention but you can revisit and adapt them as the year goes along. For example, your goals may be to take an overseas trip to visit friends or sit at the table for three family dinners every week. Or, to write a monthly letter to people that are special to you.
Consequently, if family dinners are too difficult or not fulfilling your intention, you can change the goal so it’ s fluid and meaningful.
All too often, people start off the new year strong and life gets in the way. That can take the steam out of what you want to make happen and it can be tempting to give up on 2023. But, we are on this planet to live life and sometimes it doesn’t look like we expected. On the flip side, it can be beautiful if we take stock and reload to achieve, celebrate and share.
In other words, all is not lost if we take the time to reflect on our original intentions for the year and adapt it to our new world. Here’s a guide with 4 steps to reset your 2023 goals.
THE 4Rs: A 4-STEP PROCESS
First, go back and review what you wanted to achieve in 2023. That may be specific goals you set out or it could very well be reflective thoughts of what you wanted to change. What were your hopes? How did you want to feel about the year? Either way, they meant something then and mean something now. However, you may have to change it up for this new reality. Likewise, some of your plans may not work anymore. So, let it go. Move on and ponder what else might bring achievement, joy or success.
Next, consider what has occurred over the last few months if you found yourself derailed and on a different path. What actually felt good? What don’t you want to change? There are messages there and you can choose your own life.
One of the most common things people learned over the last few years (aka pandemic lessons) is what happens when we get off the spin cycle of a fast-paced life. Did you find that you had time to focus on the things that meant the most to you? Or perhaps you actually felt anxious about having to slow down. Either way, there are messages in both and it could be time to better understand what that slower lifestyle offered and weave it into your plans for the rest of the year.
From there, merge these reflections with the review of your original intentions for 2023. Next step – move on to reload and reset.
The third of four steps to reload your 2023 goals is to blend the past with the present. So, that means focusing on short term and asking yourself the following questions.
- What is important in the short term? Of course, hold on to your longer-term objectives but refine this year’s goals into digestible pieces. Thus, you will create achievable ones to set you up for success when the future comes into clearer focus. Here’s an example. Your long-term goal is to launch an online course on business strategies by August 2023. However, that may not be realistic at the present time. Therefore, support that vision with this revised goal: “I will learn how to create, launch and pre-sell an online course over the next two months.”
- What can I do right now? Small steps may be all you can tackle at present so practice self-compassion. What can you realistically do over the next month? Take an online course if you need more knowledge to achieve your goals. If clutter is holding you back, purge your office or organize your computer files. Tackle what you can.
- What do I need to be accountable? Accountability is a powerful force so ask for support. Tell some trusted friends or colleagues about your goals and set up a plan to share progress. Ask them to check in with you. Look into mentorship programs or work with a coach one-on-one.
Finally, reset your 2023 goals based on your own unique (and perhaps new) circumstances. Things may look differently now than they did when you created all your plans for the new year. And, whatever you decide depends on many factors. Namely, the opportunity to alter your goals so they suit current emotional, financial and life situations. Adapting to your reality will keep you moving forward and that means working through your goal setting process again.
Some ideas. You may have to revise your budget to accommodate changes in income or costs. Or, your exercise routine looks different as you want to work out at home rather than join a gym.
Again, that’s where blending what you aspired to achieve at the beginning of 2023 with short term goals adapted to your current reality will help you put your energy and effort into what counts.
ONE LAST PIECE OF ADVICE
The best advice I can offer is to be gentle with yourself. I see it time and time again – people beat themselves up over not achieving their goals. Or over not doing enough. But really, your capacity to achieve goals is a unique thing and spiraling into a negative cycle isn’t going to help. So, focus on the positive and do what you can do.
Time management guru Laura Vanderkam, highlights the need to fixate on the positive. Negativity bias is a well-known phenomenon in psychology and in fact, humans are hard-wired to dwell on the negative. These days, no one needs to look far to find bad stuff. It jumps out at us from everywhere in this online world.
An annual poll conducted by American Psychological Association shows stress levels for spring 2020 were higher than the same time last year (5.4 versus 4.9 on a 10-point scale). As well, 46 percent of parents rated their coronavirus-related stress between eight and ten.
So, what works for you to move from negativity to positivity? Again, different for everyone. Some ideas: get outdoors, be mindful, journal. And, savor! Vanderkam’s article suggests, “savoring is the counterpart of coping.” In fact, psychological studies found that very happy people weren’t just happy, they noticed that they were happy.
FOLLOW A PATH THAT WORKS FOR YOU
To sum up, these 4 steps to reset your goals for 2023 will guide you to make the most of the rest of the year. After all, there is still half the year to go!
Oh, and if you need any tools, resources or inspiration, I just revamped Lighthouse’s website with a robust toolkit of free goodies. Take a peek and download as many tools as you want right here.
Now, it’s YOUR TURN: Please take a moment and share one thing you can do to reset 2023.