Written by Jen Endacott, M.A., P.C., Mindset Coach
Ahhhhhh, the start of another new year. It seems to always bring a sense of renewed hope, a fresh start, and the chance to begin again. For most of us, it gets us thinking about how we can do better, be better, and accomplish more. It feels like a clean slate where we can begin rewriting our story. Especially this year.Let’s face it. 2020 took a lot out of us. It is as if life threw a huge curveball to the entire world when none of us knew we were even playing a game. It brought chaos, fear, sadness, anger, and frustration daily. It also brought kindness, love, and appreciation for life and humanity. Showing us how to appreciate the small things that make us genuinely happy. It allowed us to re-examine our priorities and find what was truly important to us. With this new understanding and acknowledgment, I think the whole New Year’s Resolutions and goal-setting process should be re-examined or at least tweaked for 2021.
What is Goal-Setting?
When you get down to it, goal setting is typically pretty straight forward. The method that most savvy people use to set goals, are as follows: Goals must be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound, aka, S.M.A.R.T. This process is time tested and works because it allows you to chunk bigger goals into smaller ones and have a plan to work towards them. You can have several S.M.A.R.T goals at one time for different areas of your life. You can have a S.M.A.R.T goal for healthier eating or one for improved self-care. The list goes on and on. The trick is to make sure you are willing to follow the plan, stick with your action task, and make sure you have not taken on more tasks than you can fit realistically into your life. Consistency is always key. Whatever your goals are, this is a practical way to go about achieving them.
With that being said, I want to offer a slightly different approach to goal setting that I think is mentally healthier and allows for more growth and success. My approach takes the S.M.A.R.T goal framework and adds a very important mindset shift.
The Mindset Shift
Being a Mindset Coach, I help my clients challenge, pay attention to and reframe thoughts all the time. It is the backbone of my practice. So, I challenge you to think about your new goals in a completely different way. Don’t allow your mind to think in terms of pass or fail, achieve, or don’t achieve. In fact, don’t even say you are “setting goals”. Instead, I want you to say, “I am implementing new practices in my life”. Take a minute and think about that. How does it make you feel when you say “I’m practicing”? When we “practice”, there is less thinking about failing. When we “practice”, it means we are trying and giving our best every day. When we “practice”, we allow ourselves to make mistakes. When we “practice”, the opportunity to succeed is always a possibility. When we “practice”, learning is always occurring. Practicing is consistently working towards getting more proficient in what we are trying to do.
Doesn’t that sound more doable? It means that we have every day to try, learn, grow, and succeed. The difference in thinking occurs when we have those days where we don’t do as well as we want. We “fall off the resolution wagon” so to speak. If we are thinking in black and white, that “fall” creates a sense of failure, which in turn discourages us and turns our thoughts into a self-defeating spiral. When this happens, it makes it more difficult to continue. No one wants to continue to fail. It makes us feel bad which in turn causes us to eventually quit. Let’s face it, quitting is NOT what we are trying to do when we are attempting to improve ourselves.
Map it Out
So, let’s map this out and hit the high points:
- Decide on one to three new practices (goals) you would like to incorporate into your life. Use the S.M.A.R.T goal worksheet for each practice and decide on what action task you will commit to doing. Find your S.M.A.R.T Goal Worksheet Attached.
- Put your action task on your calendar so that you will be held accountable. I am a firm believer in if it is not calendared it will not get done. Make time in your day to incorporate your new practice. The action tasks should not be an afterthought. They should be scheduled. When you see it on your calendar, simply do it.
- Don’t go it alone! Employ friends or family to help keep you on track. When they know what you are trying to do, they can encourage you along. Better yet, find a supportive group, a few friends, or an accountability partner so you feel like you are supported throughout the process. This helps you stay committed to what you are doing and makes it way more fun! Being able to share your wins and successes as well as get encouragement when things have taken a turn, is vital for success. Find a community that works and stick with it!
Using the strategies discussed above will help you achieve what you want to achieve. Alas, you have to provide the commitment and willingness to do what you say you will do. Otherwise, success will be a challenge. If you want guidance, help and coaching through this process, I am here to help. Find Out How!
“By taking the time to stop and appreciate who you are and what you've achieved - and perhaps learned through a few mistakes, stumbles, and losses - you actually can enhance everything about you. Self-acknowledgment and appreciation are what give you the insights and awareness to move forward toward higher goals and accomplishments.” Jack Canfield
By Jen Endacott, M.A., P.C., Mindset Coach
Jen is a Certified Life Coach that focuses on personal development, communication, and mindset. Through her experience as a therapist, now coach, she has helped many clients become aware of and understand how their thinking affects their daily life. Jen believes that everyone’s perception of situations direct and dictate their choices and actions. She works with clients on understanding the power of their thoughts and how they can actually challenge them and change them. Working with clients on understanding the largest asset they have, their mind, Jen helps clients create significant, genuine change in their lives. Jen can help with eliminating negative thinking, building self-confidence, goal setting and achievement, communication improvement, as well as personal development. She has several new programs starting monthly. If you would like more information, please contact Jen at 310-406-4515.