It’s a new year so naturally there is all this pressure to be a “new you” and to make resolutions you will give up by tomorrow and set goals that you will fail to hit and give up on by the 13th. That doesn’t make you want to get out of bed but instead encourages you to hide under the covers until next year! But what if it didn’t need to be that way?
I haven’t made resolutions since 2006. I haven’t set unrealistic goals for myself in about 2 or 3 years. Instead, I set my goals for the new year starting in October of the previous year and do the Last 90 Days challenge hosted by Rachel Hollis and her Start Today brand. I then solidify those goals the last week of the year and start the year in full execution mode!
With each goal, I use the SMART goal format (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timed) so I am able to keep myself accountable for them. I ensure at least two of the goals are ones that scare me and feel out of reach despite being realistic for my skill set and how God has gifted me. I don’t set goals that make me a new me but instead focus on improving myself and becoming a better version of myself.
Below I share with you my intention for 2020 as well as some thoughts and resources for you so you can have a powerful, productive, and better year as well. Where do we start?
For 2020, I’d like to encourage you to stop limiting yourself with silly traditions and instead develop an approach that works for you! Take time today and this week to go through various articles and see which ones really resonate in your spirit and heart. Which ones make you feel good and encouraged? Which ones leave you feeling like you could become better? Let’s face it, we all can be better regardless of where we are in life today. So whatever you are facing, however you are feeling, and regardless of how you feel about the new year falling in the middle of the week (really, some people are feeling pretty salty about that!), clear your mind and keep reading to see my intention for 2020, various ways others approach intentions and goal setting, and practical productivity strategies to help you accomplish your goals.
Instead of giving myself resolutions, I make goals. To know where my goals are leading, I choose a word for the year and scripture that I set as my intention. This guides my decisions and ensures I keep my goals front and center, even when life happens.
Word word of the year for 2020 is “YES”. My intention for 2020 is to say “YES” to God and myself in a new way. “YES” to every opportunity that comes my way that He doesn’t say “no” to. “YES” to living intentionally and not feeling bad when I say “no” to things that don’t align with my goals and what I believe God is saying to do. “YES” to all that is on my table so nothing remains at the end of each day or at the end of the year. “YES” to establishing goals, plans, and a vision for the year while also living fully in the moment, being present in each task wholeheartedly and excellently. “YES” to a better version of me. “YES” to the best version of me that I am capable of being in this moment.
Because my intention is to become a better version of myself by stepping out of my excuses and into my possibilities, I am focusing on the scripture a friend’s mom shared with me when she first met me, stating she was praying it over me.
“A generous person will prosper;Bible Gateway. https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Proverbs+11%3A25&version=NIV
whoever refreshes others will be refreshed.” ~Proverbs 11:25
Once I had my word, scripture, and intention, I was able to sit down and create my goals for 2020 in the following areas, as inspired years ago by the book Oola: Find Balance in an Unbalanced World:
I am starting the year with a 543 on my Oola Wheel. Whether you’ve read the book or not, these are standard areas for which most people set goals. I was previously calling them by different names (Health instead of Fitness for example) but since the book came out many years ago have been able to keep track of my progress in various areas of my life throughout the year by using the Oola Wheel tool to score my satisfaction with each area. I’m big on tools, systems, and tracking due to having ADHD and losing focus when I am not using such resources.
For each area, I set 1 – 3 goals that I want to accomplish by the end of the year and then I will have quarterly progress meetings. I do this for myself and with my youngest daughter, who also sets her own goals in each area. We then look at our goals together and establish 1 family goal for each area that we work on together throughout the year.
Does it sound exhausting? That’s okay! This is my system and what works for me. The point of this post today is to share other resources and suggestions that can help you where you are!
How you do it is less important than that you do! Here are some suggestions from friends and leaders I follow online.
Nancee Marin, The Language Agent, who you met Monday in our Fireside Chat if you follow my creative blog or YouTube Channel, calls her New Years resolutions “(re)solutions”. This excites me because it’s an improved way of looking at an idea that is based upon crap. The truth is you need more than a resolution to accomplish things. You must set intentions and goals. You must put thought into them and back it up with planning. By looking at them as (re)solutions, you can look at what you want to do and develop solutions to them. I’m sure you will be hearing more on that in a future post, as I really liked this idea when I heard about it and think it will be helpful for people.
Crystal Burchfield of The Oily Home Companion shared a blog post today about how she is approaching 2020 goal setting, complete with a free downloadable goals sheet. She listed the various areas in life where we should set goals and shared some suggestions for goals in those areas. And because she is an essential oil lover who lives and breathes Jesus and oils, she even shared some oils to help you meet this year’s challenges and conquer your trials.
Connie Stemmle offers valuable information about SMART goals and examples of goals for several areas within your life. I enjoyed reading her article to help me with reviewing the goals I’d set and ensuring I’d considered my full year and not just what I was actively thinking about due to current situations and roles I serve.
Robbin Marx, a music producer from New York (who you will meet Monday on The Fireside Chat series), shared earlier this week about a plan he had for conquering distractions this year. He starts each day now with a few minutes of prayer and meditation to clear his mind and then spends three hours focused on “heavy rocks”.
Darren Hardy, international best-selling author and Success Mentor for high achievers, shares his Sunday Planning System year round. Similar to Robbins methods, he suggests you focus the first 90 minutes of each day on the most important tasks. Imagine how productive your day will be when email isn’t the first thing you will read! Another great resource from Darren is Darren Daily. Be sure to sign up for those if you would like a 5-minute or less jump start to each day.
Rachel and Dave Hollis shared shared this infographic today in an email following the Last 90 Days challenge. As part of their #NYDY2020 campaign, they are offering tools, tips, and strategies to makes this next decade the best one yet! They will be a great resource for those of you looking for honest, fun, and relevant ways to reach your goals and become a better version of yourself.
Steven Furtick offers a 1MM series that offers one-minute motivational videos sent to your inbox daily. They are snippets from sermons he has preached and are great for reminding you to put faith first. You can sign up by scrolling to the bottom of his “About” page.
YouVersion (aka the Bible App) offers a variety of Bible Study plans under its “Plans” section that will give you faith-based guidance from scripture for fulfilling you goals and staying productive. (If you are on YouVersion and like to complete plans, add me as a friend so we can read some of them together. I enjoy the discussions and learning with others.) Here are some plans friends and I have done in the past, together or individually that have been helpful:
You won’t accomplish just by reading blogs or scrolling through social media. Now is the time to pull the information together, make a plan for the next week, and see how it works for you. Modify things as you go. Perhaps the productivity hacks you thought would work don’t. That’s okay! Pick new ones. For example, I used to be a to-do list gal. I LOVE LISTS. Making lists. Reading lists. Checking things off lists. But there was a problem: I loved making lists so much that I would make lists for the sake of making lists. So in my life, I use my planner as my assistant. If it’s not in my calendar, it doesn’t happen barring an emergency. I plan my free time, my tv time, my downtime. I plan when I will rise and when I sleep. This helps me overcome my ADHD and stick to what I am supposed to be working on. When something pops up as an opportunity that I want to take, I have room in my calendar for those things and the day or week moves around as such. But at the end of the week, I did what I planned to do and I feel great about life. (Shout out to Beth Perry for her training on how to do this!)
Do what works for you. Try a few things out this month and makes notes about which ones are successful and which ones aren’t. Then in February you will have a list of goals, strategies for accomplishing them, and a wonderful feeling about the year ahead as you see yourself progressing.
Until next time,