The New Year is such a glorious time. Everyone is still in holiday mode (or actually just on holiday), Sydney is super quiet and everyone is planning the year to come.
Do you like to start the year with resolutions? Or a plan? Or any idea of what you’d like to achieve this year? Or a picture of where you’d like to see yourself in 12 months time?
If you’re like me, you might like to set some intentions for what you want to achieve in the coming year. Or are you new to the whole ‘intention’ thingo? I know that it can be a bit daunting at first. All of the #newyearnewyou pullava seems to require a few too many dieting/gym-going/world-domination vibes to seem like a long-term viable thing. Instead, I like to check-in with my inside people and figure out what I INTEND to do and what my VALUES and GOALS are. And perhaps visualise what I would like to achieve in the year. But really it’s as easy as popping on the kettle, having a brainstorm and drawing some mind maps or dotting out some bullet points.
So…..are you ready to get started?
Essentially, our INTENTIONS are what we what we ‘intend’ to do or would like to achieve and they’re the first step to figuring out our action plan. Our GOALS are the actions that we would like to achieve (begin a new job, paint a picture everyday, travel to Italy) whilst our VALUES are the principles and standards that we find important in life (i.e. intimacy, freedom, creativity, independence or belonging).
HOW TO: Put the kettle on for a cuppa and grab some paper and a pen. Once you’re settled, begin to visualise what you would like your year to look and feel like. Are there any outstanding emotions, images or even colours that stand out to you? Write them down. If you feel like it, perhaps make a mood board, or begin collecting ideas, quotes or images that express what you’d like to achieve during the year. Can you pick out 3-5 that really stand out to you? It’s best not to pick too many because then your focus could become too thinly spread. Instead, it’s best to focus on a few things and make sure that you cover them fully. Write them down and make them fully formed ideas. More structured intentions like ‘train to swim 1km continuously by July to compete in a swimming competition’ tend to work better than loosely woven ideas like ‘start swimming’.
Once you’ve figured out your intentions for the year it is time to move onto the next step - your Goals and Values! By defining these areas and making sure that they’re aligned it’s possible to begin making an internal plan to achieve our dreams.
HOW TO: Begin by using your intentions to begin imagining what you would like to achieve in the next 12 months. Think about and then jot down what your 5 main goals and your 5 main values will be for the year. Once you’ve settled on what you’d like to achieve, work backwards and figure out the main steps you need to take. Do you need to update your qualifications for a new job? Save up the money for a flight to Italy or invest in some painting classes?
Once you’ve figured out your action plan the only thing to do is get started! The sooner you begin taking those steps the sooner you achieve your goals. I manage this by getting myself a super snazzy diary every year. That way I can keep everything together and set myself reminders for when I need to check in. Last year I went a little overboard with the planning/intentions thing (yes, that is how many notebooks I had going). This year though, I’ve gone with a single Passion Planner as it seems to have EVERYTHING a gal (or guy) could possibly need to keep in touch with what you want to achieve.
And you’re done! The only thing left to do is get started on achieving your intentions and goals.
P.S. It also might be a good idea to RE-EVALUATE where you’re up to throughout the year. I like to do this quarterly to see if I’m meeting my goals, and also reassess if my original goals still work for me. Sometimes my focus begins to change, and so I reassess what I want from the year. This evaluation and change is completely okay. After all, they’re my goals!