How to Set Realistic Goals for the New Year

how to set realistic goals

I say it every year, but seriously, this year has been passing me like a super fast race car. Damn, time flies!

I know the world is divided into people who plan and want resolutions, and people who hate resolutions and the people making them.

I used to be a “resolutions” kind of person. This is what my list looked like in 2005:

  • I want to buy an apartment.
  • I want a husband-material boyfriend.
  • I want a promotion.
  • I want to lose 10lbs.

These days I don’t do it anymore. I learned that my list only meant some grandiose statements for how I really wanted to feel:

  • I want to buy an apartment. In fact, I want to feel like an accomplished grownup.
  • I want a husband-material boyfriend. Actually, I want to feel deeply loved.
  • I want a promotion. I’m eager to be recognized and appreciated.
  • I want to lose 10lbs. Truth be told, I just want to feel lovable and worthy.

Goals are great, they give us the map of where we want to go, but if we’re not clear about how we want to feel, they will not bring the satisfaction we so desperately seek.

If I buy an apartment to feel accomplished, but don’t realize that that’s what I’m actually hoping to feel, I will be disappointed that I focused all my time, energy and finances into a purchase that didn’t trigger the feeling I was expecting.
So instead of resolutions for the sake of ticking boxes and being “mainstream” accomplished, I make a list of DESIRES. More precisely, Desired Feelings.

So here are the main two questions:

How do I want to feel?
What will I do to feel the way I want to feel?

I go through every aspect of my life, from Family, Relationships, Health, Body, Career, Finances, Home, Spirituality, Learning and Creativity and dig deep to uncover what is it exactly that I want to be feeling.

Let me give you an example. One of my most important areas of focus is parenting. I want to feel like I am a good mother. I want to feel like I am involved daily – on the floor playing with my kids, going on adventures, capture the little moments. I want to feel patient, holding my little ones when they cry, molding how they handle the overwhelming times and embracing gracefully their feelings and my own. I want them to remember me smiling, being close to them, building enchanted worlds.
If I just write on my list of resolutions, “be more patient with the kids” or “play more”, I set myself up for failure, because it is not something I can successfully mark as an accomplishment. I fail at that every day.

In order to achieve these feelings, I first identified what stands in my way of being a good mom. For me, those are really simple:
priorities: overwhelming housework and cooking
distractions: my iPhone (mostly Instagram addiction)
connection: too many small kids with too many demands add to overwhelm and losing my patience.

So for me to be able to feel like a good mom, certain systems had to be put into place:
-I will batch-cook ahead of time, once a week, on Saturday, when my husband can spend time with the kids. If I had the basics covered, everything else can be quickly made.
-I will make and follow a meal plan
-I will make a follow a standard shopping list
-I will pre-wash and cut (if possible) the vegetables
-I will do a load of laundry every day
-I will involve the kids in picking up their own toys at the end of the day
-I will remove excessive clutter from all areas of our life and house
-I will keep my phone on a shelf in the kitchen instead of my pocket
-I allow myself 45 minutes on Instagram (with a timer) during quiet time
-I will delete all notification alerts (including Facebook and email)
-I will spend individual time with each one of my kids on their birth date.
My older daughter gets a mama date of at least 1 hour on the 6th of the month, and the twins will get to share their day and month, my son getting the 10th and my youngest daughter the 17th.
Individual time with each one of them will strengthen our connection and of course give us the memories I long for.

None of these separately might be worthy of a yearly goal, but they are the essential actions necessary to accomplish the BIG goal.

I hope you’re ending your year with the feeling of hope – there is a new chance, a new opportunity to be the person you want to be, no matter what.

Happy New Year!

Truthful desires before list ticking goals... Share!

How do I want to feel? What will I do to feel the way I want to feel? 

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