It’s Goal Setting Time. So how can you do this effectively, with a positive mindset? Here are my Top Tips!
Okay, I know there are heaps of blogs out there about planning your goals for 2019, but (and this is a BIG but), there aren’t many out there which give you tips, based on science, to help stop nasty overwhelm and anxiety come knocking.
So, if you’re likely to be run ragged over resolutions; inundated with intentions; in a tiz over targets or engulfed in a goal funk then you NEED to read this post! You can interrupt that cycle of overwhelm and anxiety triggers.
Well, I’ve been there year after year. I’d make resolutions that would be forgotten by the end of January and endless to do lists that grew overnight. That was just at home! At work I’d have pages of lists and plans for every second. But, my professional targets would be in a folder until a week before my progress review!
I spent years making lists about lists and overflowing lists of things going round in my head, often keeping me up at night. I’d get distracted and put off doing what would move me forwards and achieve my goals. But now I know how to keep on top of my to do lists and manage my busy brain so I don’t get overwhelmed! You can too!
When Change Was Needed
When I fell ill in January 2014, you can imagine there were no resolutions being made. My focus was all on the one thing that was out of my control – getting better [I’ll come back to that]! I made a conscious choice not to make resolutions the next year, as they’re just too broad for me. I’d put too much pressure on myself, over-thinking and having negative experiences as it felt unachievable!
When I started taking my own business more seriously, even though it was mainly a pain distractor and boredom buster, I still wanted to succeed so I joined a new Facebook group, run by a coach called Josie. I was really excited by what she was saying about living with less worry, especially learning about the science behind my feelings. It was just what I needed to hear! Now I’m going to share some of what Josie’s taught me with you! You can read about what she does here: Worry Free
I soon realised I was still trying to do too much, leaving me drained when my husband and 2 boys needed me. I ended up giving myself just 1 goal: ‘I Will Be Kind To Myself’! I learnt so much about myself, mostly, that my family come 1st – Always! I’ve worked with Josie on my goals for the last 3 years now and each time has been different. From her amazing live videos, small group conference calls and support.
This year I’ve used her brand new Goal Creator download and video, which I’ll tell you how to get for FREE at the end of the post….
How To Write Awesome Goals for 2019 without being overwhelmed!
The Big Review
One of THE most important parts of Goal Setting is looking back at what’s worked well for you in the past and what you could improve. It’s really important that you don’t skip this bit! Here I’ll share 2 exercises that might help you. Try it and see!
- Look back at 3 of your biggest achievements and 3 experiences that didn’t go well (avoiding triggers). List what stands out on both occasions?
- List all that went well for you in 2018. Do this quickly, without thinking too much. Is there anything from your goals that you didn’t achieve as you wanted to? Do you notice any patterns that could help with planning goals this year?
Finally, don’t worry if you didn’t achieve all of last years goals. You can be flexible.
Before doing anything, take a moment to think about your needs. Are you thinking how to create what you want more of or less of in your life? Overwhelm occurs if you don’t create balance. This exercise from Josie’s 6 week goal setting course can really help you zoom in on your needs. She explains it in more detail, but have a go!
- Roles – family, worklife, hobbies and community/your tribe.
- Relationships – family, friends, loved ones and other positive interactions.
- Self Worth – positive mindset/thoughts and how you value yourselfY
You may have a long list at this point. Now narrow it down to just 3 or 4 goals. Try rating these areas from 1 to 10. This is based on an exercise from The Goal Creator.
- Personal Growth
- Emotional Well-being
- Family & Friendships
- Self Care
- Hobbies and Fun
- Your own Environment
- Health, Nutrition and Fitness
Which of these score the lowest number? The lowest of these should help you prioritise 3 or 4 goals. What do you need more of? What do you need less of?
What Might Be Holding You Back
Jot down the 3 or 4 goals you’re thinking of. Now take a step back and think of what might be holding you back from achieving them? Have you got any fears or worries?
There could be a few reasons for this. Ask yourself these questions:
- Is this goal out of your control? Remember when I said ‘Getting Better’ is my ideal goal, but I can only control some aspects of this. Yours could be ‘Becoming a Millionaire’. But things you can’t control at all, need to go. If you could control parts of it, then make the bit you can control your goal.
- Is it jumbled in your mind? Is there too much going round in your head and you can’t work out what to focus on? Too help, can you see how the goal you’re thinking of fits into your Roles, Relationships and/or Self Worth?
- Is it too much to do? It’s quite possible that in your excitement, you’ve forgotten these aren’t your long term goals. Realistically is it something you can do in under a year? If you don’t think so, then making this a goal could make you feel overwhelmed. Break it down into smaller chunks and try again.
- Is something already bothering you about this goal? Maybe you feel overwhelmed by how much you’ve got to do. Or maybe you feel pressure to succeed. Jot down everything you’re worrying about, then come back to it. Here’s a bit of science about Fear when setting and achieving our goals.
When under too much stress, the body’s natural response to fear may trigger the fight – flight response. When triggered, our bodies release chemicals which cause a burst of energy and strength, raising our heart rate, blood pressure and breathing rate. This primal response to fear or stress is because our bodies can’t tell the difference between real or perceived threats. This may lead responses such as – anxiety attacks (flight), guilt (fight) or procrastination (freeze). The Fight or Flight response occurs when we are overwhelmed by everything we need to do. Want more? Click this link
Now you should have some clarity on the goals you need to set. However, this is just a taster of the process that Josie takes you through with her Goal Creator training that you can get FOR FREE! So if you’d like more support then check out what she has to offer you at the end of this post!
- Write down the 3 or 4 goals you’ve chosen to focus on. Why have you chosen these? What positive effect will working on these goals have?
- Write down the steps you need to achieve each of your goals. Include everything that will accomplish your goals, especially the little things that may seem obvious – they’re important.
- Use definite language for each goal – using ‘I will’ instead of ‘I want to’. Using this language helps to set your mindset and believe that you will achieve your goal in 2019!
- Go back to each step and set a date that you think is reasonable for completing that step. This holds you accountable for your actions and keeps you focused.
- Write down your goals where you’ll see them daily. Get creative! This ensures you’re thinking of your goals each day and will encourage you to act!
- Choose a reward for completing each goal. How will you celebrate? It doesn’t have to be a material reward, you can get your a manicure or have a date night, for example. This might seem silly, but it’s a really important part of the process. Josie has kindly explained the science behind using rewards:
The brain loves rewards. It loves to feel like it’s getting somewhere. So, when we reward ourselves for small actions, we are sending positive brain chemicals around our bodies. The more we do this, the more we create these positive chemicals which encourage us to do more of the things that keep us safe and well. The more we do this we are creating positive reinforcement. So the more positive actions we take, the greater success we will have. This will keep you focused, motivated and feeling good!
When you have lots running around your head you can get into a negative cycle of overthinking. Having a busy brain can affect both your physical and mental health! Getting your ideas down on paper will help you to stop worrying about everything.
Then you can work around your strengths and create a positive mindset for goal setting. When you consider your priorities you can create meaningful goals, which can be broken into small, manageable steps. Finally, by rewarding wins, you create a positive cycle which leads to more and more success. Now go and create your awesome goals for 2019, without feeling overwhelmed!
The Goal Creator
Yay – you’ve found the link to Josie’s FREE Goal Creator training, that’s brand new for 2019! Whether you’ve read all my tips or skimmed your way here; It’s a win!
The Goal Creator workbook and video will help you get clarity of mind by getting things down on paper. You’ll be able to move forwards and take small actionable steps to stop overwhelm and lead you to success.