Happy December! It’s the final month of the year, and there are two different ways to look at December.
You can relax into the new year. Rest on your accomplishments for the year, and take it easy. Nothing wrong with that if it aligns with your goals.
The other option is to take this month and reflect on this past year, both the good and bad, and decide how you want 2021 to look.
Nothing wrong with doing your goal planning in January, but I’ve always felt rushed when I do that. Instead, I like to take the whole month of December to figure out what’s coming next.
So the Pulse Check series for December is all about goals.
Before we plan our goals and how to accomplish them, it’s essential to reflect on how to choose goals that align with your life.
A lot of times, we get caught up with the shoulds in life. We should accomplish this. We should do that. We should… But we never take the time to figure out if that’s what we want.
And I believe most people fail to achieve their goals because they arbitrarily pick something they think they should do. Whether that’s making more money. Getting another degree. Go on more vacations. Or whatever else we hear everyone else doing.
But is that what you want?
I’m not here to tell you what’s right or wrong. That’s unique to you but make sure those goals are what you want.
One thing that helps me decide is going a few layers deeper by asking myself why I want to achieve that goal and asking myself why a few more times. The five whys is a powerful exercise that will help you get to the core of what you want.
From here, I think it’s best to narrow things down to 1 or 2 main goals that you want to achieve. If you have too many, the likelihood of accomplishing them falls dramatically. And I bet if you do the five why exercise, you’ll find that there’s one core motivator behind all of your goals.
Maybe you discover at the heart of your goals is spend more time with your family. That could narrow down several different goals into just that one and make it much easier to focus.
Then the lens at which you look at everything else is, “Will this allow me to spend more time with my family?” Quitting that 60-hour a week job becomes an easier decision. Saying yes to a movie night with your kids becomes an easy yes. Scheduling more date nights with your partner becomes a no-brainer.
Or maybe your goal is to create more freedom this year. Now that decision to start a business becomes an easier one. Cutting out other obligations will be easier. Choosing to read a book on personal development instead of watching the latest Netflix series is a no-brainer now.
Your buy-in to those goals will be so much more significant when you have that underlying motivation figured out. It’s usually not the goal that we want; it’s something deeper.
Kind of like becoming a nurse or a doctor. While that might have been your “goal,” there was likely a deeper, stronger, and more significant reason behind that.
For now, spend some time thinking about what you want 2021 to look like. If you have any goals you didn’t accomplish this year, take a deeper look into why that might be. Were they a goal you thought you should do but didn’t really want to? Or maybe you hadn’t discovered the deeper motivation for achieving that goal.
Next week we’ll talk about how to make it simple to achieve any goals you want.