It’s January, so naturally the internet is flooding us with resolutions and goal-setting and how we’re going to achieve greatness in 2024. I don’t know about you but I’m ALLERGIC. I’m also aware that as a coach, my primary purpose is to help clients to identify and clarify goals and create roadmaps for how to achieve these goals. If I had a euro for every time I mention “goals” in my coaching I would be typing this from the Maldives.
So, why the sudden change of heart? I just don’t feel comfortable with goal-setting when it is deemed the thing to do. It’s a pressurized situation that makes many people feel the need to pick something they’re going to improve, by hook or by crook. The problem is that when you approach a goal with this less-than-willing attitude and more of a “I need to show some desire to grow and improve so I’ll just try to exercise more and eat healthier and get up earlier and journal for 30 minutes a day and still have time and energy to work and care for my family and actually enjoy life?” it doesn’t bode well…it is not feasible or sustainable. And there we have it. We set ourselves up for failure by approaching it in this manner. The key ingredient to working towards any desire is to commit for the long run and stay consistent with your approach, and that simply is not possible unless you’re really ready and excited to start.
As well as excitement and thinking we’re ready, we must also be clear on our “why”. Why are we chasing this goal? I hope it’s not because it’s January and you feel a bit meh and therefore put yourself through the torture of taking on new habits in what is considered the dreariest month of the year? Excellent, I know you know better than to do that! Instead, what I suggest is to embrace January as a cozy, hibernating experience. Don’t fight it, embrace the dark days and wintery weather by dedicating your evenings to reading those books you got for Christmas, or catching up on Netflix series. Try some at home workouts in the comfort and warmth of your home. Lean into this season for what it is. I guarantee you’ll feel the better for it by the time February and March come around and then you can lean into the season of growth and thriving. Move with it, use this time as your rest and reset period. Imagine how much more prepared you’ll feel for the rest of the year (mentally and physically) if you allow a month or two of slowing down.
For me, I have a few little work projects lined up that I want to succeed in and therefore have little expectations or goals for those. Outside of work, I have no expectations whatsoever other than to ensure I prioritize enjoyment in my spare time. It’s that simple, I’m not over-complicating things. Whatever brings me contentment and joy (be it reading, writing, practicing Pilates, creating blog posts with no purpose other than the enjoyment of writing, time with family and friends) is my main focus. Uh-oh, does that mean I actually do have a goal?