The arrival of a new year can inspire us to set goals. Whether it be taking up a new hobby, going for that promotion at work or eating healthier, this time of year can inspire us to make changes to our lives. But, with many of us losing sight of our hopes and dreams beyond January, it's fair to say that goals can be hard to stick to.
Here, yoga teacher and health coach Vanessa Rivero discusses goal setting and shares her tips for sticking to your targets well into 2021.
How to set goals
Focus your goals
Many of us are guilty of setting too many goals. Yes, we have 365 days of the year and that seems like a long time, but time flies! Having a lot of goals can be encouraging at the beginning, but it can soon feel overwhelming.
Think of it as a busy day. When you have too many things in your schedule, your mind gets nervous because it wants to accomplish everything. It can create stress and anxiety, and we can also end up avoiding having to deal with so many tasks.
Instead, have a few goals that you know you are capable of doing. This will prove more positive than having a list of 100 things to do.
Two years ago, I decided to learn another language and on December 31st I said my goal would be to speak Italian. However, I soon lost sight of my goal as this was not specific enough.
If I was to say that my goal would be to be able to introduce myself in Italian, that would have been specific enough. If I was to say that my goal was to be able to have a small conversation with a person in Italian, that too would have been specific enough.
Being specific allows you to see what it is that you need to work on.
Make a plan
Many of us are guilty of writing down resolutions and hoping they'll just happen. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work like that!
We need to sit down and figure out how we’re going to achieve our goals. Write down a due date and work backwards so that you can create a schedule. This will include your daily tasks and give you a clear plan that you can follow.
Be kind to yourself
We can often ask too much from ourselves when setting goals. Sometimes we over plan and push ourselves to uncomfortable mindsets where we focus more on doing rather than living and enjoying.
Our goals lose their magic and end up being tasks or duties we have to do. Enjoy the road, be flexible, and remember the answer can be found in the stillness.
Find a friend
We need support and community to accomplish our goals. It’s important to think about the people who are present in our lives and can help us accomplish our dreams and goals.
Think of someone that you know you can talk to about your goals. Talking about it regularly will spur you on, while also keeping you accountable. Plus, if there's someone willing to do the dishes while you're working on your craft, it'll make achieving your goals easier!
Keep those people close and buy them cookies now and then to show them love!
Vanessa is based in Florida and has a BSc in Applied Psychology, with four years of experience in the field. She's also a yoga teacher and is currently transitioning to helping others through yoga, ayurveda, and health coaching techniques to bring a holistic approach to a person's health.
Vanessa encourages people to get to the root of the problem instead of treating the symptoms. She's passionate about how stress can influence both our bodies and minds, and specialises in stress management, helping clients return to their natural state of well being by listening to their bodies.