Every start to a year comes with clean and new energy, a list of intentions, and some “resolutions” you may have set for yourself. But every year, you might see yourself drift from those resolutions by February. For many of us this sets us up to feel like we have failed in some way and that we can’t commit to a resolution and see it through. When in fact, this isn’t the case at all. What we need to learn is that setting an intention and a resolution is only the BEGINNING to achieving that bigger goal. You are an ever changing individual, and when you have an intention for yourself, we should be more open to creating a space for that resolution to expand into. You might find that by the end of the year, your resolution turned into something so much better than what you originally envisioned.
Some of us might even be saying “I don’t even know how to set a realistic resolution for myself.” Well, we are here to guide you through that too. The biggest tip we want you to take away from this is to be patient, identify your intention, envision it and be open to it taking a different shape than what you might be thinking right now. Also, be open to allowing more time for a resolution to take shape. Maybe you don’t have anything until February! If you are setting a year long goal for yourself, don’t you think you deserve to give it the time and space it needs to evolve?
So where do we start? Let’s first start by asking ourselves “what is my intention for this year?” This is what you are aiming for or what your intention for this year might look like. Your aim can be anything that inspires you. It could be to live a healthy lifestyle or feel satisfied with your finances. It is the emotion or feeling that you can base your goals off of. It helps to differentiate between your aim and your goals because this is where the map is created for you. This is where you figure out what your first step to achieving them will be! Your aim is the foundation of your desired outcome.
Goals are more tangible and can be measured. Goals can end and be achieved. You can then create more goals. Aims generally don’t have an end. Aims like, “be happier,” will continue your whole lifetime. Your goal is activities or ways of being that can help amount to your aim. Let’s say your aim is to be happier, then you set goals that you can do daily or weekly that make you happier.
Your aim is your vision of your life that helps guide your goals. New Year’s resolutions are often set as an aim or a goal, but end up being too broad to reach them. For instance, many people's resolutions focus on losing weight or living a healthy life. While these are great aims, they need more tangible goals to achieve them.
How to Develop Aims and Goals
Sit in a comfortable seat, close your eyes, and connect to your breath. Try to connect with yourself and your deeper self.
Start to focus on your intention for your life in a year, five years, and ten years from now.
Bring your attention towards any negative thoughts or limiting beliefs. Do you have a part of yourself saying, “You can’t achieve this because…” or “You don’t have the time because…” You have the power to live any life you wish. You can make the time it it’s a priority. Trace these thoughts back to their root and ask, “Why do I think this?”
Look at the different areas of your life from health, family, relationships, career, spirituality, to personal development. Ask yourself how you want to be living in each of these areas. Try to envision yourself living your fullest in each of these categories. How are you spending time? Who is there? What’s your energy level like?
After looking at each area of your life, begin to picture what characteristics or qualities you would need to cultivate to reach your aim. Do you need to cultivate strength, persistence, consistency, or compassion? Focus on some qualities that you can work on.
The next step is to identify a goal from those aims. Choose one goal that you want to achieve in the next three or six months. Remember that your goal should come from your overall aim. Write this goal down. It doesn’t have to be a drastic change, like “lose 40 pounds” or “work out every day.” This goal can be waking up at the same time every day, eating unprocessed foods, or doing yoga three times week. Whatever it is, make sure it is manageable.
Now to support your goals, create action steps. Action steps are small ways of being that aid and support your goals. It can help to set one to three small action steps for your chosen goal. If your goal is to wake up early, then an action step could be to not be on your phone an hour before bed. This will help you fall asleep more easily and aid in waking up. If your goal is to not eat sweets, an action step could be to not keep sweets in your house. Your weekly action steps will continue to keep you on track and make progress with your goals.
A key thing to making progress is prioritizing that goal or aim. It can be easy to say you don’t have time with kids, work, school, etc. You make time for the things that are important to you. At the same time, remember that starting small is important and keeping to goals is challenging. Start where and when you can and continue to build up to your aims from there. It’s not a process of a few weeks or months, but the rest of your life!
As you begin to visualize your life, aims, and goals, allow yourself to envision what is possible for you to achieve. What are your dreams? Keep coming back to these to inspire your goals!
Lastly, these goals and aims you set are for you. They are here to make you feel more positive and live with more energy. Never punish yourself or get upset by not fulfilling a goal. Keep trying and do it out of love and compassion for your higher self.
Once you have these aims and goals and feel them in your body as authentic to you and what you want to gain from this year, WRITE THEM DOWN! Writing them down gets them out of your head, and onto a piece of paper, making them real! This step is so important to solidifying everything you just worked hard to understand.
Always allow for space when it comes to your goals! Know that as the year progresses, you will also progress and your goal may steer into a slightly different direction. Allow for this change and you will never feel like you failed or were not able to commit to your resolution. At the end of the year, look at what you originally wrote down and then write down how it ended up coming to life! This is a great way to reflect on the year and celebrate your accomplishments. Happy New Year!