It’s the start of a new year. Research shows that as many of 50% of the population will make a New Year’s resolution; additional research shows that roughly only 8% of people will meet their goals each year. Whether it’s to lose 30 pounds, save $1000, boost your sales skills, or forge a new career path, if you plan on setting goals this year, there is one simple thing you can do to set yourself on the right path to achieving your goals. That first, super simple, yet often overlooked step is...don’t overthink things! Don’t overthink, overanalyze, and overwhelm yourself as you begin your goal-setting journey. Don’t make it this big daunting task that stresses you out.
Be intentional. Set aside 15 minutes and start writing down the things you’d like to accomplish this year. Run a warm bubble bath, curl up in your favorite chair with a cup of tea, take a walk around the neighborhood, or find some other way to clear your mind and let a stream of consciousness start flowing. Don’t worry about grammar or punctuation or even if what you’re writing makes sense or is realistic. Just get those thoughts down on paper. There is immense value in doing this, as studies have found that “people who very vividly describe or picture their goals are anywhere from 1.2 to 1.4 times more likely to successfully accomplish their goals than people who don’t.” This is thanks to a biological phenomenon in our brains called encoding, which basically means you have a greater chance of remembering something when you write it down.
There are a number of different areas you can focus on when it comes to goal-setting, including but not limited to spiritual, physical, family, social, career, financial, education, health and fitness, etc. Think about which of these categories you’d like to tackle and just start writing.
It’s important not to judge or overthink your goals. No goal is too big or too small. If your goal is to fly to the moon, don’t dismiss it. Write it down and we’ll figure out the next steps later! 2020 was a tumultuous year, so it’s ok to be lenient with your goals. Write them in pencil. Be kind to yourself and give yourself grace. We’ll share the next step next week.
FUN FACT: Stream of consciousness (also known as internal monologue) writing is a method of literary narration that describes the thoughts and feelings in the minds of the characters. In literature, it differs from a monologue or soliloquy, which is where the character is speaking to the audience and a third person.