Written by Aida Rejzovic
We are so lucky to live in a country where the world really is your oyster. Being able to decide what you want to do with your life is such a privilege, especially when taking into consideration that this is not the case for many parts of the world. With so many options at our fingertips, it can be easy to feel overwhelmed and lost, resulting in dissatisfaction and even depression.
Your goals for this year, the future and how to plan for them
Each new year brings new possibilities. A chance to turn over a new leaf, start a new venture, or continue forging the path you have created. While each and every day is a chance to make changes, the beginning of a new year brings about a feeling of renewal. Hopefully, you have had a chance to take some time off, relax, unwind and enjoy life. During this time you may have reflected on the year that has passed. Perhaps you look back fondly on a year of achievements, or maybe it was a year to forget. If it was the later, can you learn from the year? If you had setbacks, are you able to grow from those experiences?
When we are still, we open ourselves up to new possibilities. When we meditate, we open our mind to receive. Perhaps this is why after a holiday we can take an objective look at our life and what we really desire becomes clearer.
Start the year off fresh
It’s always exciting purchasing a new diary for the year. The little book which starts off blank soon has dates marked on the calendar. While technology these days sees most of us using a digital calendar, there is something very satisfying about having a hard copy. The act of writing down your goals with pen and paper is quite therapeutic, especially if you are unsure of what you really want. Just start jotting down whatever pops into your head and you will soon find your rhythm.
Write down your dreams and aspirations
Did you have a vision when you were a child of what you wanted to be when you grew up? If so, what was it about that vision that drew you to it? Do you still feel the same way? And if you did not pursue those dreams, why not? Was it because you thought you couldn’t, or because it wasn’t a stable career choice? If it was not possible to do as a career, could you do it as a hobby? One of the best things about being an adult is that you have the power to create your own life. While as a child you may not have had the opportunity, as an adult you now make your own decisions.
Are you where you want to be in life?
It’s so easy to get caught up working in a job you loathe. We all have bills to pay, you may have a family to support, and at the end of the day, you need to be making money to survive. Take a minute to reflect on where you are at the moment. Is it where you thought you would be at this point in time? Is it where you want to be? If not, why is that? Did something get in the way, or did you get swept up in the business of day to day life and forget all about your dream? Or maybe you never had any real dream. That is ok too. You don’t always have to know exactly what you want, so long as you are happy along the way. If you are not happy, it’s time to take a look at your life and how you can change that.
What do you enjoy in life?
Make a list of everything you enjoy in life. It may be spending time with family and friends, travel, getting out in to nature, exercise etc. How many of these things do you actually get to do regularly? Can you turn any of them into a career? If money was no issue, what would you do with your days? Can any part of that be used to facilitate a new business venture?
Once you have worked out what you want, it’s time to put together an action plan. There is no point forever dreaming without any sort of call to action. An action plan makes us accountable and ensures that we stay on the right track. To write an action plan, firstly define your end goal, ensuring it follows the SMART criteria.
- Specific – well defined and clear.
- Measurable – include indicators to track progress.
- Attainable – realistic and achievable considering your experience, time and resources.
- Relevant - align with your other goals and lifestyle.
- Timely – set a finishing date.
Write your goal down and put it somewhere you will see every day, such as beside your mirror or on the inside of the bathroom door. Having a constant reminder or inspirational quote will help you during times where motivation and moral may be lacking.
Once you have defined your goal, list all the task that need to be performed to achieve that goal. Make sure to include due dates for these tasks. If you find some tasks are too big and become overwhelming, break them down into smaller ones that are more manageable. Reorganize your list by prioritizing which steps need to be achieved first before moving on to the next step.
Set important milestones along the way, and make sure to treat yourself each time you achieve a milestone. Lastly, continue to monitor, evaluate and update your progress along the way. Set some time aside each week to reflect on how you are going and if any of the tasks or deadlines need to be altered in any way. If you have to move your timeline, make sure you have a good reason for it, otherwise, you may never reach your goal.
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