Every year, come January 1, we set goals for ourselves. We look back on the past year, and we make some decision to change something moving forward. Some of us call them New Year’s Resolutions. Some call them Intentions. Or just goals. It doesn’t matter what you call them, or what they are, or even when you make them, but it is important to make them… someway, somehow.
Going into 2020, I was ready for it to be my year. I set some lofty business goals, I wanted to pay off debt and buy a house, travel to Paris, have my best half marathon time. At the beginning of the year, I finally felt like things were starting to line up. My business was doing well, I wasn’t struggling so much paycheck to paycheck. I had new opportunities to teach, and I was starting a new contracting position to teach yoga. I was breathing a little easier. I was ready.
By March, things were continuing in the direction I had hoped. I signed up for a big business course to propel me even further forward, I signed up to work with my first coach. Then, what seemed like out of no where, everything stopped. I was out of work, my business, as I knew it, had to close, and it was time for me to make a change. I looked at my goals for the year, and still wondered if I could make them happen. I continued to hold onto them. I pivoted, started more online offerings, started teaching classes via zoom, and after three months, I was able to reopen my doors in a reduced capacity. I went from seeing over 100 clients in January to only about 50 a month throughout the summer and fall. I raised my prices slightly to help cover the added costs, I moved locations to have a space conducive for other offerings. I felt like I tried all the things, but people just weren’t in the market to come back for massage services yet (and to be honest, many still aren’t, and really I hold no judgement for those decisions).
In August, I finally sat down and reassessed. I went back to my goals from the beginning of the year, and I looked at what was working, and what wasn’t. I kept some, I added some, I got rid of things that were no longer important to me. What I didn’t do was ditch ideas just because it probably wouldn’t happen by Dec 31. I knew we wouldn’t buy a house in 2020. We signed our apartment lease for another year, but I left it on my list, because I wanted to keep working toward that goal - to get myself even more ready for when it could happen in 2021.
This was in August! The year was almost over. Why waste time on the few months left in the year? Because with my new goals, I crossed things off that list over those few months. I hit goals that I didn’t even have on my radar in January. It is NEVER too late to check in and create new goals.
I don’t say any of this as a pity party to me. I’m an open book here. The reason why I share these stories is because I know that there are probably a lot of you listening who have felt the same way. You might not be a business owner in a pandemic, but you still had to pivot your life, and change your ideas of 2020 and your goals of the future because of it. Your life today, most likely, does not look like you thought it would have in January or February 2020. Some of you might feel it’s gotten better, some of you might still feel like you’re in the midst of a train wreck. Again, there is no right or wrong here. Your feelings are valid. I share this all because I bet that there are many of you out there who are looking at the year (or maybe month) ahead and thinking, now what? Where do I go from here? I hear you. I see you. I’m here for you.
Now that I’m out of let’s call in my funk of January and also February, I’m feeling more energized and motivated to make changes. I had set some goals at the beginning of the year, but my heart wasn’t really in them. Now I’m ready. And you can be too - there is no date you have to set goals by. If you already have some, check in on them. Do they still feel right to you? Are you doing things to help you get toward those goals? Or are you just coasting along?
When I think of my goals for the next month or year, I like to think back in terms of the eight areas of wellness (check out Episode 2 of the podcast if you need a refresher!). I think about each area, and think about how I want to grow in that field. I look at my emotional wellness, my career, my finances, my physical body, all of it. First, just brainstorm everything that comes to mind. In a perfect world, where you could do anything, what would you do in each area? What would make an impact on your life? What would bring you closer to the life that you have always wanted to live? There is nothing to big or too small. Then after I have my brain dump, I go through each section, and pick out the things that feel most important to me TODAY - key word here, TODAY - it can change, and it probably will change. There’s no limit on how many I choose. Some areas might have more than others. I take these ideas and I make them specific. I’m a huge believer in manifestation - I put the intentions out into the world, and they come back to me. I take each idea and put a number or a measurement to it, something tangible. This year my goals include buying a house that I love, making a specific dollar amount in my business, and taking care of myself. I write them down - usually in bright colors - so I can see them every single day. And I look at them every day. I remind myself what I am working toward. When I journal in the mornings, I sometimes dream about what achieving these goals would mean to me, what they would look like, how they could change my life. The more important those goals are to us, the more progress we will make toward them.
So this year, I set goals in January, and I’ve changed them already in April. I’ve created some big picture goals for the year, and I’ve created a list for the month. It’s not always about crossing every single thing off the list, it’s about the progress we make. But if we don’t check in on our goals and our values, and just ourselves, we’ll never know what progress we are actually making.
So whether you set goals this year, or not, let go of the idea that if you didn’t yet, it’s too late. It’s never too late to set goals or change goals. And if you’re one of those people who every year sets new resolutions only to forget about them and give up by now, take this as your sign to try again. Maybe change them up, find something that works better for you. No matter what last year looked like, or even the beginning of this year, this is your chance, right now, today, to make a change, and get yourself moving in a better direction.
To hear more - check out my podcast episode!