What Do You Want 2021 To Be?Jan 06, 2021
By Ambila Nath
The joy of a new year brings in lots of new possibilities and everyone is bursting with productive energies, making plans, setting up challenges and writing resolutions. With everyone hoping and thinking that this year will be different from the year before. If only we could keep this wonderful energy into February whilst the nights are still long, cold and dark.
By the time most of us are walking into spring, we have lost track and motivation of the goals we set ourselves. All of the amazing adventures we envisioned we were going to have and all the things we were going to accomplish in our life. Before we know it, we have settled back into our everyday routines and all that motivation and drive are gone, along with the goals list which will be somewhere at the back of a drawer or a corner of your office.
If that happens – the great thing to know is that it’s never too late to change things.
The best way to ensure that you do not lose sight of your intentions or goals, as people like to call them, is by planning, organising, pursuing and always leaving room for spontaneity to come in.
So, how can you make this year different from all the others? You must DO THINGS DIFFERENTLY to that of last year. If you do the same things you did last year then you will have the same year as last year - as if you are walking into another ‘Groundhog’ episode.
So, before starting with your intentions, take some time and reflect back on the year before and see:
- What was good about it? What did you accomplish?
- What things didn’t work for you?
- What would you do differently or change?
- What positive things do you want to carry into this year?
OK, now let’s start…
You can do this by yourself, with family/friends or with your life partner/significant other. It depends if you want to do some shared intentions or just your own.
Set aside a decent amount of time for this - about ½ a day. It’s better to have too much than too little. It’s OK if you break up the time into multiple chunks! It can be as easy as taking 15 minutes each day to work on it. But the important thing is about scheduling a time(s) so that you can be clear and focused.
Find an inspiring space with minimal distractions. Where do you do your best work? There is no right or wrong, just whatever works for you to bring out your inspiration and creativity.
Gather all the items you’ll need for a productive brainstorm ahead of time. Here are some ideas to get you inspired:
- A charged laptop set to airplane mode (to eliminate distractions!)
- Records or data from the previous year - these may just be your handwritten notes
- Pads of paper, notebooks, planners
- Lots of pens, pencils, and markers
SETTING YOUR INTENTIONS (GOALS)
So, this is the creative side and meant to help you to get flowing and not to block what your plans are for the new year.
- What big dreams do you want to make happen this year?
- What would you like to put in your yearly bucket list?
(Examples: travel to Bali / earn £50k / buy a house / go on the Orient Express, etc)
If you are struggling with inspiration, then use the categories below to help to give you some clarity and focus:
- Personal Intentions
- Professional Intentions
- Money Intentions etc.
This is the time where you can begin to visualise your year and really get creative in how you want to mark this. You could do a vision board, painting, song writing - anything that will get you excited about what you want to bring into your life.
A dream without a plan is just that - a dream. Intentions (goal) setting is the crucial part of making your dreams come true. Look through your brainstorming and what you’ve said your dream year consists of. Now think about what you need to do to make those dreams come true.
Some researchers say it takes at least 60-90 days and constant dedication for a new habit to stick. Do not demotivate yourself by expecting to change everything within 2 days. It is not realistic to set intentions to give up smoking, eating sugar and comfort food and start training as an athlete all in one go. It took months or years for your bad habits to become a part of you, so know that it will take time for the NEW habits to become a part of you.
Our brain and willpower have a limited capacity and we have to be very strategic with how we learn to use it.
Make a plan with actionable tasks that you can stick to. Remember how marathon runners prepare for their big race. They don’t start running 40 km from the first day - they break it down into smaller sections, gradually increasing the distance or speed.
It’s the same with your new intentions or new habits. Set your intention and then work backwards and list the steps you need to take you towards that becoming a reality. For example, Your Intention - 1st May 2021 - launch new product. So, what do you need to do from January to April to make this launch happen?
Open your calendar and schedule a time for when things will occur. Certain intentions may only be on the calendar once, for example, travelling to Italy, while other goals like ‘do social media posts weekly’ will be on there repeatedly.
This is a great opportunity to see if those intentions are achievable. We don’t always realise how much time something can take but once you make it visual and actually see it, it makes it simpler to plan and not be disappointed. It is also OK to just increase your timelines because at the end of the day it’s your intention and you have the power to do that!
Keep a note of anything you aren’t able to accomplish this year so that you can add it to your plans for the following year. That’s if you still want to.
Planning out a whole year can sometimes become overwhelming - that’s why working in 3-month chunks is a great solution to helping you stick to a plan and achieve a lot more.
TRACK YOUR PROGRESS
Set yourself a mid-year review. Tracking your progress is important because you can see how far you’ve come from where you started. Use this review to see where your life is and whether this intention is still as important as before.
So many people give up on their resolutions because they lost the motivation, focus and discipline to follow through. They find the journey tough to handle or have an early feeling of failure. Concentrate on just meeting your daily intentions and before you know it you’ll end up achieving what you set out to.
HAVE AN ALTERNATIVE COURSE OF ACTION
Life never goes to plan and things happen (take this year as an example). Expect the unexpected. If you find that you’re losing motivation then look to try something new. Think of alternative methods to achieving your goal.
If your intention was fitness and you have a busy schedule, then set time to exercise and make it a priority. If you’ve hit a plateau in any intention then go out and seek the help of a professional such as a life coach or personal trainer to get you moving again.
TIME TO CELEBRATE
YES, you are done! What a relief! Great work taking time to plan out your year!
Now for the fun part - time to celebrate! This step is very important and should not be missed.
It’s really important to acknowledge your achievements and provide yourself with rewards for your hard work. Whether you decide to do that with something large like a weekend away or something small like a glass of wine; choose a reward that is meaningful and exciting for you.
Take the time to honour this accomplishment and enjoy it fully, then get back to work! Remember, each time you meet a goal throughout the year or complete your weekly steps, don’t forget to celebrate!
Ambila Nath is a Spiritual lifestyle coach, serial entrepreneur, tarot reader, energy healer and a paid international speaker. She has worked with clients for over 2 decades helping them to build the life that they deserve by finding their life path, gaining self-confidence to just be themselves, starting successful businesses and trusting in love again.
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