Success in 2015
As the holiday season hits its stride and the New Year approaches, it’s important to spend some time (as little as an hour or as much as a day) reflecting on the past year. This is an opportunity for you to take stock of the year and really identify and acknowledge your achievements and/or letdowns. This is also an occasion for setting intentions for the next year.
1. What are the successes I am most proud of?
2. What goals, that were important to me, did I not reach? Why?
3. What actions have I taken to better my life in some way?
4. What strengths do I possess that I can use at a higher level next year?
5. What obstacles must I work through so that I reach my goals for 2015?
Goal setting, in my opinion, is too formal. It can become stressful trying to reach a quota or cross goals off a list. Most importantly, once you deviate from a goal, there can be a feeling of failure which prevents you from trying to reach that (and other) goals. I prefer setting intentions. The difference is, an intention is broad (“I would like to lose weight”), the goals are how you are going to get there (“I will exercise twice a week” or “I will stop drinking soda”). If you deviate from one of the goals, you still haven’t missed your intention for the year.
Throughout this process remaining flexible is of utmost importance. One should develop an attitude that allows you to fall back into your intentions as easily as you fell out. Being flexible to your intentions allows you can use goals as a way to measure your commitment and progress. When you get too attached to goals there’s a tendency to get stressed out, and forget why I set them in the first place (to reach my potential and to be happy).
Areas to focus your yearly intentions are: Career, Financial, Fitness, Health, Personal, Relationships, and Spiritual. Creating one or two intentions and actions for each group will be plenty for you to concentrate on throughout the year. I highly recommend that you try this exercise this year. Even if you don’t end up using your plan, or following it to the letter, it will still give you a clearer picture on what’s most important to you, and the direction you want to take your life.
Yours in health,
Dr. Eric O’Connell