How early is 'too early' to start setting your goals for the new year?
Many people wait until they have flipped their calendar to January to start thinking about what they'd like to accomplish in the new year, and some people (let's be honest) won't think about it at all.
But I am a firm believer that we control our destiny, and that means planning ahead instead of just dealing with what life throws at us.
If you really want to become a goal-getter, it's time to become a goal-setter and that involves giving yourself plenty of time to think about and plan for your new goals.
Please don't leave your future to chance.
Your Brain Hates Big Goals
How many times have you thought about setting an ambitious goal for yourself, only to have doubt swoop in and tell you all the reasons why it's not possible? When this happens, we are quick to believe it -- these words are coming from our own brain after all. But what if I told you that feeling doubt after setting big goals was completely normal? And that believing your doubt was completely optional?
Remember that our primal brain's job is to keep us in our Comfort Cave where we never grow and nothing ever changes.
Setting ambitious goals threatens these two things which makes the primal brain nervous. It responds by sending thoughts of doubt your way because it knows that doubt has usually worked to stop you in your tracks in the past.
But it doesn't have to this time. Rationally and intellectually, you know that growth is good. So instead of believing your doubt and giving in to it, you can choose to doubt your doubt and get growing.
Journal Your Way to Clarity
Don't know what goals to set for 2024? Grab your journal or a notebook and spend a few days reflecting on these six questions and jotting down your answers.
Come back to these questions several times over the next weeks and deepen your answers with more insight.
Journaling is a great way to uncover what's hidden deep down where all of your dreams are hiding.
Six Questions to Help You Dream Bigger in the New Year
What is my overarching vision for the next year? You can use a variety of life domains to set your aspirations and goals: Personal, professional, health, social, financial, spiritual, and hobbies. What do you see each of these areas looking like by this time next year? Stretch yourself and go bigger. No one is stopping you but yourself. What would be really cool to make real?
What are the most significant accomplishments I want to achieve in the next year? One of my goals is to write a book in 2024. Some of my clients want to start businesses or podcasts next year. Others want to travel a certain number of times or volunteer over 100 hours. What is most meaningful to you? Are the goals you've set comfort goals or stretch goals?
What goals would align with my long-term aspirations and values? Do you have a 3-/5-/10- year plan? If so, what steps can you take this next year to move closer to the goal line? If not, consider making it a goal to create these long-range plans.
What impact do I want to make, and on whom? This connects your goals to your strong why. Your why is your anchor for when the going gets tough. Consider your potential impact on those around you -- and yourself.
What skills do I need to develop to achieve these bigger goals? What do you need to learn? What resources do you need to acquire? Answering these questions right now will help you avoid the doubt-fueled thought "I don't know what to do." Don't settle for this excuse. Get on Google and find the answers.
How will achieving these bigger goals contribute to my personal growth? Goals are all about growth. What will your big goals mean to you becoming the person you want to be?
2024 is YOUR year to SOAR! Set goals that stretch you and lead you in the direction you want to go.
Anything is truly possible for you if you dream it, plan it, and take action.
Want help making this easier? Join me in The Goal Getters Club here.
Jen Laffin is an Accountability & Success Mentor for people who like to finish big goals, a master teacher, host of The Flight School Podcast, a possible thinker, and a recovering procrastinator. She helps goal-SETTERS become goal-GETTERS. To learn more, visit www.jenlaffin.com, or find Jen on Linkedin.