Do you ever struggle with your goal setting, especially for the new year?
Many people do. Many people do, sometimes, they get the feeling of failure for not achieving some of their goals.
Some people feel so bad that they stop making goals. Others try to use negative energy to push them to work harder. Yet many times, they don’t enjoy the process. They feel negative and overwhelmed, which decreases the chances of achieving those goals.
Before I started using this Goal Setting process, I used to feel that way too. I used to look at all the areas that I did not do well that year and pushed myself to be better the following year. Meanwhile, I felt overwhelmed with all the things that I wanted to do. I also had difficulty choosing my focus.
Since I started using this process, I feel good about the passing year and excited about the coming year. Instead of feeling negative, I enjoy the process. It increases my desire and motivation to achieve those goals in the new year.
This year has been very eventful for me. Yet I was feeling overwhelmed as I was not able to do so many things I wanted to do.
To help my sanity, I started this process of reflection early this year. I did not begin the process with a plan to write about it but when I noticed the contrast in how I felt about this process, especially how my feelings changed from overwhelm to excitement, I wanted to share it with you in case it might help you too.
Would you like to learn how you can also transform your overwhelming feelings into a sense of excitement?
If so, read on.
For this process, I used five techniques from my best-selling book, “Stress to Joy.” (Please check the book for more details if you have the book. If not, you can get it at Stresstojoy.com)
STEP 1: PURPOSE CLARIFICATION:
To start, I took a bunch of papers and spread them on my dining table.
I wrote different headlines on each paper like: Personal, Professional, Family, Community, business, etc.
I wrote a purpose statement for each ( as Stephen Covey advises). For example;
Personal: “to live a healthy life.”
Family and community; “to have a harmonious and happy family and community.”
Business: “to have a business that makes a difference in many lives while giving me financial security.”
STEP 2: GRATEFUL ACHIEVEMENT:
Before doing this process, I used to look at my achievements, but my focus used to be more on what I was not able to achieve.
This time, I focussed on what percent of my goals I was able to achieve. I said “Good Job Rozina” in my head. I also added unexpected or unplanned achievements too.
So I started my second step with the prompt:
I am grateful that I was able to …
Personal: “start regular exercise, make doctors’ appointments and take my medications.”
Family: “spend some great times with family. Community: Volunteered at the food lifeline and helped some hungry neighbors.”
Business: “I am grateful that I was able to:
- Give a keynote at the Northern Occupational Safety and Health Association annual conference.
- Publish my article “7 ways to dodge work stress” in Contentment- a magazine of the American Institute of Stress.
- Get my online course “Transforming Stress to Joy,” certified by the American Institute of Stress.
- Get the Top Psychiatrist Award for the fourth time.
- Successfully launch the new team building program, “Well mind Well team; Focus on Both Sides of the Brain.”
- Start Shifa Pearls, a monthly newsletter for Shifa Health.
- As part of the Shifa team, we were able to make a difference in almost 2000 people with mental illness and their families.
- Make a difference in many lives through community talks.”
STEP 3: GRATEFUL VISION:
As I was able to achieve 50% of my goals from last year, I felt excited about setting new goals.
Research shows that affirming and visualizing your goals increases the chances of success.
For affirmations to work, you have to say them in the present tense. As if you have already achieved those goals. I had difficulty with that. How can I say, I have the second best-selling book published when it is not.
I found a way around by adding the phrase, “I am grateful in advance that” before my affirmations. Now I can use the power of affirmations and visualization without my mind questioning it.
I wrote my new year goals in the form of advanced gratitude; “I am happy and grateful in advance that….
For example, “I am happy and grateful in advance that I am able to continue my exercise every day. I am a healthy 115 lbs. My second book is helping to save millions of lives. etc.”
The above two steps, Grateful achievement, and Grateful Visions are called “Advanced Gratitude.” (You can read more details in “Stress to Joy Guided Gratitude Journal“)
Next Steps: Brain Dump and Prioritization:
Once I had my advanced gratitude listed, I was able to brain dump my to-dos and prioritize them based on my goals. It helped me pick the most important tasks; Tasks that are likely to bring me closer to my goals. It helped me avoid feeling scattered or worse, going in the wrong direction.
No matter how hard you try if you are going in the wrong direction, you are not likely to reach your desired destination. Right?
Once I completed this process, I felt like a big burden was lifted off my shoulder. I was so overwhelmed before this process yet suddenly felt rejuvenated after the process.
Would you like to give it a try?
If you don’t choose your direction, others will choose it for you. If you do reflect and choose intentionally, you will be able to move in the direction of your desire.
This process works for me. it may work for you, or some other method may work.
Use whichever way works for you but find some way of reflecting and planning, and your new year will become more purposeful, successful, and enjoyable. Let me know what works for you by responding to this post.
Have a wonderful, happy and healthy new year!
Dedicated to your health and happiness,
The Stress to Joy® program is available in
I share many tools and techniques that I have found to be helpful. They are not intended to replace treatments. Please seek treatment from licensed medical or health professionals as needed. I change all names for privacy.