It's at this time of year that our thoughts naturally turn to pondering our lives.
Re-evaluating :: Assessing :: Planning.
Now that Christmas is behind us and we only have a few days to go before the new year kicks in, I'm looking forward to taking this significant date in the calendar year and setting it, as billions of others do, as a bench mark for implementing my 'new start' (well, I've actually already started on a few of my goals).
I thought I would share my process with you, show you how I go about assessing areas in my life and setting a course of action.
I am a great believer in the process of evaluating and setting life goals, as the saying goes, 'Fail to plan then plan to fail.' I also believe that there is very little point in whinging and complaining about things in your life that you are unhappy with - things you can change I mean. If you don't like your job - then look for another one. If you there are relationships that suck the life out of you - address them.
Of course we all have circumstances in our lives that are beyond our control and for those circumstances, while we may not be able to change them or where change will take a period of time to take affect, we can choose the attitude with which we face and deal with those situations - so we still have a choice.
If you are ready to get your life on track in 2017 then grab a cup of tea or coffee, a pretty journal, your favourite pen and lets get started.
Step 1: Establishing Areas For Change and Improvement
In looking forward I have looked at each area in my life and evaluated how the past year went, what worked well and what didn't, things I want to change and improve. Here are some of the areas I have brought under consideration, addressing 'easier' areas before delving into the more complex area's of ones life.
* Attitude and Mental Well Being
* Physical Well Being and Appearance
* My Environment
* Our Homeschooling
* My Business
* My Dreams and Goals
* My Blog
Action: ~Make a list of the areas in your life that you feel could do with a bit of a make-over.
Now your list might be shorter or longer than mine and probably different - we all lead different lives.
Step 2: Explore It
Action: ~Choose a category to tackle first.
I chose to address the less complicated, easier-to-action, bits first. For example, I picked 'Homeschooling' first. Our homeschool runs fairly well but is constantly being tweaked according to what is happening in our lives and what goals we need to achieve.
Action: ~Write down all your thoughts about this area of your life in your journal bearing the following in mind:
~Think and ponder on how you feel about it and why you feel that way.
~ Look over what worked over the past year and what you would do differently going forward.
~ How has this area affected other areas in your life? How has it affected the people you love and care about in your life? Has it had a positive or negative influence?
~ Has this area contributed to your (and others) general well being or made you feel sad, anxious, angry etc.
Step 3: Define It (set goals)
Now that you have fully (emotionally and practically) explored this area you are ready to set a tangible goal. For example, when I was looking at my health and well being, one of the things I really am not feeling great about is how unfit and lethargic I often feel. So my goal here is 'Get Fit & Toned.' I'm also carrying a little extra weight that has got to go as it makes me unhappy in myself and gets me down when I go clothes shopping. So this goal is added onto the Get Fit and Toned one to read ...'and loose 3 kg's'.
Action: ~Define what it is you wish to achieve - this is your goal.
Do make it realistic, for example I really don't think that I could realistically loose 10 kg's and keep it off. I am a women in her 40's and biologically it would mean having to maintain a food and fitness regime that I don't think would make me happy. I want to feel strong and healthy and to wear my clothes well without them feeling snug. I'm quite content with being a British size 10 (US 6). It's achievable and most of all I am able to maintain it while still enjoying good healthy food and the occasional treat.
Step 4: List It
Now here's the part where you turn your thoughts and discoveries that you made in step 2 into a working plan to achieve the goals you set in step 3.
Action: ~List the steps that you need to take in order to achieve your goals.
For example, in order for me to achieve my goal of getting fit and toned. Here's my list of the steps I will take in order to achieve my goal.
1. Get on the exercise bike at least 4 times a week, slowly building up the time I spend on it as my fitness levels improve.
2. Spend 10 minutes after each exercise session doing toning exercises as per those set on my Pinterest board. Slowly increase the time spent or reps done on toning as I get stronger.
3. Be strong and firm with yourself! Don't give into laziness and shrug off your exercise session. Remember how much time and energy it took to build up your fitness levels and how quickly you can loose that fitness through laziness.
Reward: You will feel strong and healthy with more energy. You wont get out of breath while participating in outdoor activities. Your toned body will look slim and trimmed in your clothes, you will be able to confidently pull a size 10 off the shelves without getting that despondent feeling that the item looks better on the hanger than on you. Shame will no longer be a part of your shopping experience :)
Action: ~ list a reward at the bottom of your steps. This could be something that you will actually buy yourself or a natural consequence reward.
This process is less about setting 'New Years Resolutions' and more about looking at your lifestyle and life goals and then re-calibrating in order to achieve the life you want to live.
We all have within our own power to be all that we can be and live the best life that we can. It's knowing the destination and making choices that are in line with that goal or vision that is the difference between whether or not we achieve our goals.