Welcome to a brand-new year! Do you feel refreshed and energised after the holidays, ready to slay your goals in 2024? Awesome, you’ve landed in the right place. This article explores five goal-planning tools to help you live your best life in 2024.

Master Five Goal Planning Tools to Give You a Head-Start to a Successful New Year

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For those who may not feel quite as ready to step into the new year yet because the echoes of last year still ring too loud, don’t despair. The times we are living through compel us to be mindful and gentle with ourselves and those around us. It calls for a pace that works best for each of us. You may just need a little more time and support to find closure after soul-draining year that impacted our global community in life-altering ways.

Here’s a quick question for all readers. Feel free to share your answers in the comments section.

What is your ritual to start and end each year?

As an INFJ introvert, one thing I do after the bustling festive season is to gently reflect on the past year. I take time to think about all that’s been, and to acknowledge the big and small moments, and notice the things I’m grateful for. I reflect on the challenges of each season to notice how these impacted my growth, relationships, and views on life and the future. This type of reflection helps to bring closure to the year and clear the inner clutter before stepping into the future.

Once you’re ready to step into 2024, where do you start?

Here are five simple planning tools I found helpful to get the year off on the right track.

1. Life Purpose Statement

In recent years, I ditched the vague New Year’s Resolutions and opted instead for a life purpose statement and a personal manifesto. These describe the way you want to live, work, and relate to the world. It includes your deepest passions, life interests, natural abilities and skills. It can serve as a guide for making decisions, big or small. This is particularly helpful in midlife when the way you spend your time, matters more.

2. Seven Wellness Domains

The seven key dimensions of wellbeing include physical, emotional, intellectual, spiritual, occupational, social, and environmental wellness that enhance your overall health and quality of life. A quick check-in with your wellness domains can help you identify specific areas you need to focus on as you step into a new calendar year.

3. A Word for the Year

A word for the year is another useful way to stay focused on your goals. Think of a single word that captures your manifesto, wellness domains and specific goals. When life gets frantic, and you lose sight of what is most important, your theme word can help you re-set.

4. SMART Goals

A SMART goal is an acronym for goal setting that is specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and timely. SMART goals add structure to vague, wishful declarations with no clear plan. It can better ensure you reach the changes you desire.

5. Personal Mind Map

Finally, you combine the previous four elements in a personal lifemap to serve as an inspiring snapshot of the year ahead. Armed with this lifemap, you can now step into the New Year, armed and ready to go!

You may be thinking: That all sounds great, but does it actually work?

The next article in this summer blog series explores why research shows that approximately 80% of New Year’s Resolutions fall by the wayside. That’s a staggering figure, isn’t it? Do you ever wonder why?

You get off to a great start early in January, while festive euphoria and optimism are high. Then something happens – an unexpected change, a crisis at work or in your personal life that causes you to stall. You get side-tracked, lose momentum, your hope dwindles, and all your best intentions fade along with your summer glow. You find yourself back in that old, familiar place wondering, why does this keep happening, and how will it ever change?

The Problem with the Comfort Zone

It’s a basic human need to feel safe and secure and seek harmony in our lives, as depicted in Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. Anything that threatens that harmony makes us uneasy. It sends us scrambling back to our comfort zone – that safe, cosy inner space with the easy rhythm of familiarity. The place where risks are low and predictability high. Granted, life here isn’t always easy, but you know what to expect and how to handle it.

While a comfort zone isn’t all bad, the problem, says Gina Milicia, is that nothing new ever grows there. How do you break this double bind to become your best self while still holding on to a sense of emotional safety? The good news is it is possible to do both.

That’s what we’ll explore in the next article, Master 3 Mind Shifts to Reach Your Goals.

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