So. Here we are, almost a whole month into 2024 already. How are you and how have you been doing so far? And did you commit to some ‘new year new you vibes’ that you may - or may not be - keeping up with?
Starting afresh at the beginning of the year and setting new intentions – while a traditional time of year to reflect - can feel like an almighty challenge to think about, commit to and then stick to. Especially with the unpredictable (and also predictable!) variables and challenges everyday life throws into the mix – not to mention January being quite a tough month on finances, chilly weather, heating bills, surprise pot holes and more... We get it.
What we do and what we achieve are so closely linked to our feelings and sense of self. So it’s worth making time to consider what makes us feel our best – and plan in steps to do those things more. Often the hardest bit is finding time to decide what they are – and then sticking to them.
So, what can help with making positive changes, steps forwards and sticking to them, to help you feel your best – now and in the future?
It’s all about the goals…
In simple terms, how do you know what you’ve achieved, if you don’t know what you were aiming towards in the first place? - It’s all about working out what you want to achieve to feel your best and working towards it. In other words, setting goals. Goals don’t always have to be intimidating or work focused either. They can also be selfish and pure joy focused. Prioritising you is the aim of the game, right? So think about the bigger, positive picture.
Sometimes this is easier said than done, so we’ve been reflecting on just this at Peppersmith HQ; what motivates us, when do we feel at our best, what would we like to achieve more and what gets in the way…
It can be hard to make time to plan these things and then maintain focus. There are lots of goal setting techniques out there, we know. We’ve pulled together our very own mini goal setting steps, to help improve our sense of achievement throughout the year – so we thought we’d share the goal-setting love to you lovely lot too… Best bit is, this can be looked at any time of year – so, if there’s a lot going on for you right now, check in with these steps and with yourself another time.
📝 Get a pen and paper out if you want to give each of the six simple steps a go. Or even better, go find a friend to do it with together – this can help motivation and ideas – and also helps accountability for whatever we then set our minds to.
⏳Goals can be focused on any amount of time – so, if this is new to you, why not break it down to what you’d like to achieve in the next month, to help get into the habit with a smaller, comfortable timeframe in mind – and see how you get on. But if you want to go big – then think about what you’d like to achieve by the end of 2024 (or beyond). You must define the timeframe though.
💚Let us know if they help – or what we’ve missed that’s helped you, we can add.
Ready? Let’s go…
1 – Reflect and Refresh. 10 mins.
This is what I like to call the bucket filling step. Time to stop, reflect and refresh. What did you love doing and achieving last year? What brought you joy? Was there a particular thing you had been working towards that you completed? How did it make you feel and why did it feel so good?
📝Write a list, draw pictures, create a colourful mind map or just jot it all down. Anything from home life to work life, trips abroad to trips at home, new hobbies, old hobbies, catching up with friends and spending time with family. No answer is a wrong answer. What did you achieve that made you feel good?
2 – Reach Forward. 10 mins.
With all those positive reflections in mind, what would you like to do more of or feel more of in future? Are there new things you’d like to start doing? Are there new places you’d like to visit? What’s in your reach that you’d like to achieve…
📝Building on from what you have just reflected on in step one, write these future focused ideas and ambitions down. You may want to circle some of the key points from the first step that jumped out at you to help kick this bit off, that you could do more of. Or you might have a clear vision of something new you want to do, already. Some ambitions might be easier to reach, others may feel further away – it’s always great to have a mix.
👉 To help structure and focus, categorising 3-5 key areas can really help focus, such as; home, work, travel, finances, health and fitness etc. and then listing out your ideas under those categories.
Once you’ve got a few ideas on paper, how does it feel looking at it? Can you imagine doing each of those things – and what would achieving one/some of things look and feel like once complete? - It would feel pretty good, right?
Are some jumping out at you more than others? If so, circle a top 1-3 that you’d like to focus on for now.
3 – Reframe. 5 mins.
Now, let’s remember to be kind to ourselves here. While these ambitions might all be very exciting to think about achieving – we still need to make sure we are being realistic before we commit. Growth happens when we stretch ourselves beyond where we are today – outside of our comfort zones. The key thing here is to make sure you are not committing to an over stretch scenario. It still has to be achievable. No over stressing or burnout here please, folks!
👉 So, of those top goals you circled previously, can you think of any barriers that could get in the way of your success – whether time, skill, mindset, confidence, just getting started… Understanding any potential, pesky challenges - big or small - and considering ways to navigate around those now, can have a huge impact on what can realistically achieved.
📝Starting with one at a time – list one of your goals and then write any barriers down you can imagine getting in the way already. Next to this, can you then write down a solution to that barrier which then makes it achievable?
For example – a barrier could be that you expect you’ll forget to do something each week, so a solution would be to set a timer on your phone for the same time each week, as a reminder to do that thing.
4 – Be Real. 5 mins.
With the considerations you’ve made so far - it’s time to decide when you will achieve your goal/s by – and break down each into achievable (yep, we love this word) smaller steps or check-ins that can work in real life. By doing this, you’re giving yourself the time to not only track progress each day/week/month. But also revaluate how things are going and amend any steps if you need as well. It’s OK to change things up in the short term, if it is going to help you achieve your goal in the long run.
👉 One goal at a time, and with any barriers or challenges you know about already, consider: when will you know you have completed the goal? When can you start working on this goal? How often or how long can you dedicate to this goal and when do you see smaller steps being completed? What does completing each step look like?
5 - Review. 5 mins.
It’s time to summarise all of the points you have considered into one clear list.
Mapping these points out and simplifying each into achievable steps, starts to bring these goals into your everyday life and makes them feel real before they have even begun.
📝 One goal at a time, answer the below steps.
- What is your goal?
- When will you know you have achieved this goal?
- How will achieving this goal feel to you?
- When do you want to have achieved it by?
- What steps will you take to achieve this goal?
- When will you start?
- How often will you check in with yourself (and others) to make sure you’re keeping track?
- What will you do when you achieve this goal?
👉 That last point is an important one – and something we haven’t touched on as yet. What you will do when you achieve your goal? All too often we finish things and are straight on to the next without any time for contemplation. So. Make time to acknowledge and celebrate your achievement when it happens – a big old pat on the back, a happy dance, a big cheers over bottle of bubbly? - it’s all part of the motivation in the first place, right?
6 – It’s GO TIME.
You’ve thought about what you want to achieve, you’ve worked out how you are going to do it, and when you are going to do it by. And also when you are going to start – well done.
Now. It’s go time…
👉 Make sure each goal you decide to do, is actually going to be achievable.
👉 Break down your goals into smaller steps and timeframes, to help see and feel the progress as you go.
👉 Take time to reflect on how things are going.
👉 There will be little knock backs and that’s okay – they don’t need to totally throw you off balance. Re-evaluate the plan. Replicate what works. And reframe what doesn’t to help keep that motivation flowing…
👉 And finally. Enjoy the journey to an even better you…
Marketing Manager & Chief Oomph Officer