It’s that time of year again. The time were we try to squeeze in our goal setting activities for the coming new year between trips to the mall, wrapping presents and family gatherings. Not to mention all the extra time at work this time of year seems to require. Anyone who does goal setting at the end of the year knows that this isn’t necessarily the best time of year to do it. It’s harder to find a quiet time to do it without distractions. It’s harder to focus and it’s easier to put it off.
So why do we do it now? What’s the big whoop about setting goals now?
First, we are conditioned by the idea of New Year’s Resolutions. Those are the things most people think of as goals that are quickly abandoned because they didn’t take them seriously or underestimated the dedication they required.
Second, it’s a new beginning that rolls around like clock-work every year. OK. Bad pun. But it is a built-in reset to how we measure things. Almost everyone looks at the new year as a time to start over or a time to reset things to 0 and begin counting again. Most businesses begin a new fiscal year on January 1 for instance.
Finally, it’s the point in the calendar where we start a small period of time without major interruptions to our routines or events to prepare for that are hyped and sensationalized by the media and retail establishments. Sure, we have St. Valentine’s day in a couple of months, but that’s small potatoes compared to the time leading to Christmas and New Year’s. We can take this time to begin again and make a fresh start on what we want to achieve.
This time of year is a great time to start thinking about where you want to go and evaluating where you are now. It’s a time that leads to reflection because it is the end of a year and it’s a time where we get together with our loved ones who often give us a reminder of why we want to achieve and do better.
Rather than use this time to set the goals you will move toward, spend the time on reflection about where you are and where you want to be in 5 or 10 years. To go anywhere we need to know where we are starting and where our destination is. That’s why resolutions are a joke for most people. They rarely know at least one of these two things, sometimes they know neither. They have a resolution to lose weight maybe, but don’t know how much, how fast or what is healthy for them do.
That’s because they don’t know where they are or where they want to go.
Don’t let that be you. Take stock of where you are in all areas of your life, emotionally, financially, education, spiritually, in your relationships, abilities, etc. Get an honest picture of this. Then work on where you want to be in each of these areas you evaluate. Take the time between now and the beginning of the year to do this. Reflect. Contemplate. Be hones.
The gap will tell you what your goals should be. Then start creating the plan to get from here to there.