I don't know about you but I always feel the weight of January coming and the need to have my goals and action plan in place to march forward into the new year. I used to get stressed (ok and sometimes I still do) thinking I need everything ready to hit the ground running starting January 1st with my yearly goals in place to have a successful year. This is totally false thinking.
After all, sometimes our thoughts get clouded as we have been high on holiday cheer- planning, preparing, executing for the past few months to say the least. The new year brings hope and anticipation of a brighter future. Ironically, it also quite quickly brings us down from the sugar rush of the holidays. The song that always pops into my head this time a year is an old one. It is a song by British R&B band Soul II Soul and you may know the lyrics.
Back to life, back to reality
Back to life, back to reality
Back to life, back to reality
Back to the here and now, yeah
Oh yes, back to reality, school, our routines, and yes our life now.
For many, the new year signals a chance to start fresh, create new goals and start getting things done.
We are ready BUT are we?
Have we allowing ourselves time and space to even dream? To really reflect on what it is that we even want to accomplish for the year ahead in the first place? Are we to wrapped up in chasing other people's dreams for us or ensuring others are moving forward with their dreams?
In our busy lives, we focus more than ever on getting things done and moving forward fast, no matter what. We are incredibly busy at work, with life chores, and scheduled activities that we don't even have time to stop, wonder, and reflect. We are hardly ever alone with free time and on a leisurely pace to have a moment to think about who we are, what we want, and how we want to live our lives.
We get social validation from friends, family, coworkers, and even strangers when we show status symbols like job titles, awards, big houses, fancy cars, top companies, and so on. That validation keeps us moving in that direction even if it goes against our inner desires.
Then the months fly, the years disappear, the decades continue to move, and some of us finally find ourselves confused and asking ourselves what we really want.
That is why the goal-setting process needs to start before the goals are set. You need to start with dream setting and dream alignment. That change alone will give you motivation, courage, and the compass to achieve and adapt your goals.
Have you allowed yourself time to dream before putting together your goals and writing your action plan to go after them? Dreaming is the first step in creating your goals and we often forget about this step and jump right over it to get to the action!
Dreams give birth to goals. There would be no true goal without a dream. Dreams are so very important. As human beings, it is essential to have a goal. We all need somewhere to head to, and something to believe in. Dreams are like bumpers in bowling and keep us on our path in life. Of course, we might not have the same dream that we carried with us when we were little, after all, we are always evolving and growing as people, and new experiences can nurture different passions. However, without a dream or a goal, where are we heading? Whether our dream is related to our career or a personal mission, believing in something and wanting to achieve brings with it a certain enthusiasm for life. It is the opposite of simply drifting along—it is change for the better.
When we dream, we allow ourselves to see beyond the reality, and possibly the ugliness, of now. When we dream, we allow ourselves to explore the possibilities of what could happen, how things could be.
Dreams help in aiming for bigger goals and ultimately your goals are something you're going to act on. Your goals are the things that you work toward to help turn your dreams into a reality. You can only reach your goals if you take action and have focus.
Give yourself permission to take time - to dream and prepare yourself to achieve your greatest dreams.
DEFINE YOUR DREAMS
If you need to block time on your calendar - I mean we do this will every other activity that we want to do so why not block out dreaming time? We want to be more physical active we schedule time for the gym, we want date night with our spouse we schedule the time and why don't we do the same with dreaming?
If you think you forgot how to dream because you are an adult now and are used to jumping right into goal setting don't worry I got you.
I like how Manal Ghosain simply explains where to start in his article - Allow yourself to dream.
SET AND ALIGN YOUR DREAMS
Get clear on your values will help foster your dreams. Understand what matters the most to you. That way you won’t get to the end of a year, decade, or life feeling regrets because you pursued someone else’s dream, not yours. Think through your key values at this stage in your life. Yes, they may have changes over the years and that is ok. Be true to yourself and what your values are now. After all our values set a solid foundation for our dreams.
If we have learned anything with this pandemic still looming it is to be flexible and have the ability to change. Setting yearly goals is great however often time people get into their task action mode and don't take time to reflect on IF the goals they are going after are still key prioritizes for the year. Are you wanting to simplify check off a goal or is your goal something you still strive to accomplish? Stop yourself from going down the perfection paralysis poral - give yourself the leisure of space and time and see what you come up with! After all NO goals are set in stone, commit to a 60 or 90 day check in to see how things are going. They adjust as needed - I give your permission if you need it.
You've got this!
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