It is 2019 and you have rung in the new year with gusto; this year is going to be the best year yet, right? Yes! You are going to achieve all your goals, you are going to get that promotion, buy that house and go on that awesome vacation. But wait, do you have a plan, or will you just be ‘winging it’? Winging it may sound very hippie and allowing the ‘universe to decide’, very cosmic and spiritual, but let’s be real; without a plan you would simply be left to wishing it all into existence.
You may also want to fall into the same act of making New Year’s resolutions because that is what everyone does, right? Well resolutions don’t always work. It is time to ditch the resolutions, to resolve means to find a solution to a problem and you are not a problem. It is time to reflect, learn and create an intention. Plan, act and manifest.
Here are the 4 steps to being more deliberate about your intentions this year.
1. Make lists: Many people would head straight for their phones and laptops to their faithful list app or word processor programme, but to me, taking up a pen/pencil and writing it down makes it more real. The tactile feel of pen/pencil on paper has been proven to strengthen connections in the brain, so making a list this way cements it even more in your brain than using tech.
2. Set goals: So, you have your pen, and paper and you are making your list. What is on this list? Are there tangible goals listed? Compare: Visit Mexico vs travel more. Which sounds more intentional; visiting Mexico, right? Yes, it does because ‘travel more’ is very vague; setting a goal like this makes it easier to lose sight of it and forget. When you set a major goal of visiting a specific country for example, then what you do is set smaller goals or benchmarks to reach that major goal. So, your intentional goal setting should look something like this:
Major Goal: Visit Mexico
Minor goal 1: Save $100 a month
Minor goal 2: Research Mexico
Minor goal 3: Get necessary vaccines
This can go on until you can identify everything that you need to realize in order to achieve your major goals. This way your goal achievement becomes intentional as you will be attaining notable benchmarks on your way to success.
3. Set target dates: We all know how a deadline date shakes us up enough to make a move towards doing the work that we need to do to achieve a goal. Why not set target dates or deadline dates for the achievement of your goals? These dates in a lot of instances can be fluid; some not so much. A target date, however, gives you something to work towards that is clear and concrete. So, even if you think you may still want to be vague and say I want to achieve X goal by ‘the end of the year’, try saying something like ‘by November 20th, I should have saved 90% of the money needed for my trip.’
4. Keep checking in: So now that you have been intentional and made your list, set goals and target dates, and you are off with a bang and feeling energised. Take a moment ever so often to check in. Check in with that original list and see what needs to be modified, what needs to be crossed out, and what needs to be added. This way you would know how attainable your goals are and how close you are to achieving them. Checking in also allows you to have a more realistic view of how your year is going and whether you need to re-evaluate. Sometimes we start a year with a foot-long list of things to achieve by the year’s end, but we allow lack of intentional planning and checking in to cause us to not achieve even half of the list; sometimes none.
When we add intention to our goal setting, we can create the reality we want. We then set ourselves on to the path of intentional living and goal achievement. So, take a moment this January and write that list; be intentional and achieve those goals!