This image shows a woman sitting on a day bed, wearing light blue jeans, a white shirt and a burnt orange sweater. She has a journal in her lap and is smiling at the camera.

Setting Personalized Goals, Without the Overwhelm

The new year is here, which often means setting new goals, and making changes in your life to support healthier habits and personal growth. New year, new you, right? It should be fun and motivating, right? You should get started NOW… right? Or at least those are the messages we often receive from external sources around us.

If you’re still feeling the frenzy of the holidays, and the pressure and overwhelm of “New Year’s resolutions”, you’re not alone. And more importantly, you’re in control. New goals and resolutions don’t have to be overwhelming, and you also don’t have to follow anyone else’s exact roadmap. And rather than just jumping from one phase of life to the next, especially during such a prominent transition as entering a new year, it’s important to take the time to reset your energy and reflect on the past year before moving forward. 

This image has warm colors, and is taken from an aerial viewpoint looking down on a woman in jeans and black sweater writing in her journal, with a computer open in front of her. She is sitting on a couch.

How to set personalized goals that work for you, without the overwhelm:

  • Start out by taking the time you need to rest and recover. Disconnect in order to reconnect by doing what brings you joy, fills your soul, and provides inspiration (preferably electronic free activities!). 
  • After resetting your energy and perspective, reflect on the past year. Celebrate all your accomplishments (big and small), address and process anything that is still lingering and holding you back (emotions, unhealthy habits, limiting beliefs, etc.), acknowledge what worked well and you’d like to continue, and what didn’t work so well and that you’d like to change and why. Let this process take a few days if needed to dig deep and really cover it all. 
  • With clarity from your reflection, now revisit your personal values and lay out your current priorities. Both of these will help guide you in creating goals to support what you value and what’s most important to you at this time.
  • Next get clear on how your next few months will look. What are your commitments and responsibilities? How much time and when will you have to devote to working on your goals? Set yourself up for success by being realistic and bringing awareness to your current reality. 
  • Now set your goals! With all that you learned from your reflection and your values and priorities leading the way, create measurable goals that will support you in embodying your very best self. 
  • Last but not least, make a plan to stay the course. Acquire the support and accountability you need, set your schedule or routine, and communicate your goals and needs to your trusted friends/family so they know what you’re committed to and how they can support you. Plan ahead. 

Remember, you make the rules and the whole point of this is to facilitate growth and healing. If your goals cause you mental and emotional distress along the way, adjust! Find the balance of compassion and honoring your needs in each moment, and staying committed and dedicated to the vision you’re holding for the future.

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