With the end of 2020 swiftly approaching, our minds are starting to turn to the festive season and looking forward to a new year and a fresh start. For many, 2020 has been a challenging year, with a series of substantial twists and turns, which has derailed many a goal or intention.
"Traditionally, as the calendar flips over into January, we state our goals and intentions for the year ahead."
A new year represents a blank page in the diary, an opportunity to make good all those intentions from the previous year which we never got round to doing. Studies have shown that less than 25% of people actually stay committed to their January resolutions after just 30 days, and only 8% accomplish them. (Forbes) The broad nature of resolutions means people set themselves up to fail, whereas more specific goals are more actionable and measurable, meaning you’re more likely to stick to them.
"Imagine however, goal setting and making your goals for the next year in December. Right now."
Starting a new year already accomplished, clear on your goals and achievements for the next year. Counting down to midnight, knowing that you’re already on a clear path to success for the next 365 days. No decision making needing to be done in January, just pure action and taking steps to ensure you achieve your goals – whether its getting fit, finding a new job, spending more time with your children, you’re already half way there if you’ve intentionally committed to yourself that’s going to happen.
One of the greatest challenges you might find over the festive period, is over committing yourself to visiting friends and family. Driving across cities, perhaps even state lines, can be exhausting as you trudge around trying to keep everyone happy, laden with presents and food to share. You’re already exhausted from a busy year and you might be thinking you’d rather be sitting on a tropical beach relaxing.
Consider using digital technology to your advantage to reduce the need for you to travel – can you have a Zoom Christmas breakfast with Grandma instead of driving across town? Or Facetime Uncle Jim who lives two hours away? Especially for families this year, where travel has become more challenging, and the inherent health risks to our more vulnerable have increased due to the pandemic, technology has become our friend. Our connection to the outside world. A time saver.
"The key to December goal setting is using the pockets of time which crop up during the holidays, to purposefully sit down and think."
Set your goals, both immediate for the festive season, and long term for 2021. Create your own quiet moments - with a cup of coffee in the early morning, while the family is at the beach, while you’re lying in the hammock on the deck - to imagine what it is you need. Wake up on January 1st, 2021, safe in the knowledge that you’re already one step ahead.