Goal-setting for the new decade and the new year


This is the perfect time to reflect back on the past decade to acknowledge what went right, and to flesh out our dreams for the upcoming decade.

Although this kind of exercise can be done any time, it seems to come more naturally for me at least, when the decade turns over. Remember how as the year clicked over from 1999 to 2000, we were all worried about the Y2K disaster? A decade ago the ipod and the Wii were not a part of our consciousness, and no one had heard of Susan Boyle.

What will the next decade bring? I hope that we will come together as a people and do what we need to do to protect our shared home from the ravages of global warming. Hopefully there will be lots of cool inventions that will help us do that. I think it is possible that "localization" will become the trend and "globalization" will wane, because the cost of shipping stuff around the world may become too expensive, and more and more people will seek out local alternatives for food and products, which will have the side benefit of helping local economies.

I think gardening will continue to grow in popularity as more people will want to grow at least some of their own food. Hopefully as food-quality consciousness grows, smaller farms that have a variety of crops and animals will make a comeback, and as a result we will finally be increasing and improving topsoil again, and pesticide run-offs into waterways will reduce.

I’m hoping that every one of us will have a way of generating our own power via solar panels, wind or whatever, and what we don’t use will be plugged into the grid for others to use. We will pay for the power we use, and power companies will pay us for the power we provide the grid.

GOAL-SETTING GUIDE: Enough of my thoughts. What about you? Time to get out any goals you have previously written down and review and update them, and if you do not have anything written down, get yourself a pad of paper. Got it? Okay.

  • What is your dream?
  • What makes you happy? 
  • What were you put on this world to do? (What will be your legacy?)
  • What are the 5 things you want to do in life before you die?
  • What values are important to you?

Write down any thoughts that come to you and flesh them out with as much detail as possible. Goal-setting requires a lot of time, soul searching, and understanding of self. A question like "what is your dream?" or "what makes you happy?" can be surprisingly difficult to answer. It might help to think about what you liked to do and what made you happy as a kid before responsibility and "reasonableness" took over. It might help to take some walks alone in nature to ponder these questions. But it is worth taking the time to sort those questions out, because once you know the answers everything else in life will probably fall into place. You will know what you want, and the path to your destination will be clear.

Now let's look at where you are now by creating a Wheel of Life. So draw a big circle on the piece of paper and divide the circle into an 8 piece pie. Label each piece as follows:

  • Personal Growth (continuing education, improving your relationship with yourself, self image, creativity etc.
  • Health (fitness, nutrition and wellbeing)
  • relationships (family and friends)
  • career
  • financial
  • community (giving back, volunteering etc.)
  • spiritual
  • recreation

The centre of the circle can be given the number "0" meaning completely unsatisfied, and the outside of the circle can be given the number "10" meaning extremely satisfied. Keeping in mind your dream and your legacy, look at each piece of the pie and think about how happy you are with that aspect of your life, and try to give each section a number. Put a dot in the center of each pie piece corresponding with the number you gave it. Connect the dots. How round is your pie? Most of us have areas in our life that we feel great about, and others that we feel far less good about. This will give you a visual on not only how balanced your life is, but also on which areas of your life can use a commitment in order to improve. Now you have a starting point from which to set some goals.

Each component of the Wheel of Life has a role to play in your dream. For example, is your current career taking you towards your dream? Does it fit with your values? If not, perhaps making a change in career path will make you happier. Start with the section that you feel is the most at odds with your dream or the section you feel needs the most work. Think about and write down what it would take for you to be able to label it a 10. Keeping in mind your ultimate dream and what makes you happy, where do you want to be in 10 years with this aspect of your life?

Once you know your destination, break it down. What can you do this year to move towards your goal? What can you do this week? Today? Write down specific, measurable baby steps that you can take to move you towards your goal, and set deadlines for those baby steps. Put them in your day-timer. Focus on doing the baby steps and over time you will make big strides towards your goal. Repeat the process with each section of your pie.

I did better with my goals last year, because I met up with a friend of mine once a month in order to review our goals, and set targets for the following month. We would acknowledge our successes and refocus if we slipped up. When we got stuck, we would call each other to get a pep talk. It is so easy to get caught up in the day-to-day, and completely lose sight of the big picture. So having someone to be accountable to on a very regular basis is extremely helpful.

When setting goals that seem to be no fun, like starting an exercise program for example, I think it is really important to keep in mind the big reason WHY you want to be successful at achieving that goal. If you succeeded in creating that exercise habit, what would you be able to do that you now cannot? Be around for your kids? Pick up and run after your grand kids? Hike Machu Picchu? Pull off wearing that nice outfit to the reunion?

Lastly, schedule the time needed to accomplish weekly goals into your daytimer. You are far more likely to do something you have made time for. By scheduling it you are focusing on it, and it will get done.

Look below for books on achieving your goals, and I also included and fitness/nutrition log that may make staying motivated easier. Happy New Year, everyone!

If you want to subscribe or search for other posts by title or by topic, go to www.wellnesstips.ca.

Related Tips:
Make happiness a New Year’s Resolution this year
Creating new habits
Courage and persistence
An attitude of gratitude

Strelecky, John P The Why Cafe: A Story Da Capo Press, Cambridge MA, 2006.

Chek, Paul The Last 4 Doctors You Will Ever Need The Chek Institute, Vista California, 2008.

Covey, Stephen R. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People Fireside, New York NY, 1989.

Bach, David The Automatic Millionaire: A Powerful One-Step Plan to Live and Finish Rich Doubleday Canada, 2005.

Canfield, Jack; Hanson, Mark Victor: Hewitt, Les The Power of Focus Health Communications Inc. Deer Beach FL, 2000.

Covey, Stephen R. Principle Centred Leadership Fireside, New York, NY, 1992.

Covey, Stephen R. Living the 7 Habits : The Courage to Change Fireside, New York, NY, 1999.

Robbins, Anthony Unlimited Power : The New Science Of Personal Achievement Fawcett Columbine,
NY, 1986.

Cheng, Emily FLogg DAILY Food and Fitness Journal, classic black

Copyright 2010 Vreni Gurd

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  1. htc one s cover said,

    May 12, 2012 @ 6:32 am

    I have trouble reading tiny words, do you think you may have an easy method I can build the text bigger so I could read your site effectively?

  2. Vreni said,

    May 13, 2012 @ 12:17 pm

    Hit control + on your keyboard and that makes the type larger.

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