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What you need to do NOW in order to have a restful festive break


It's the last day of November and the dreaded C-word is just around the corner. How are you coping? I'm quite relaxed as I have a limited number of people to buy presents for as well as only a handful of guests to cater for on Christmas Day. Also, thanks to my newfound prowess in planning (as referred to in last week's email), I am quite organised!

So, my focus right now is goal setting for 2022. And, thanks to Michael Hyatt's wonderful system (also alluded to last week) and my fabulous business coach buddy Karen Murray, I have a great system for doing so. But before I share it with you, let me convince you why it's good to set goals. Just in case you're a nay-sayer as I was for MANY years.

Setting Goals

Why you don't set goals - Reason 1

I know why you don't set goals. It's because you've set goals before and you never hit them. BEEN THERE!

I used to set New Year's Resolutions and, more often than not, would have given up by the end of January or sooner. I would always convince myself that the resolution was either flawed and unnecessary or too difficult. So, I gave up setting New Year's Resolutions.

I had set business goals before. I used to set them in January and then look at them again in the following December and say:

"Oh, I forgot about that. That would have been a GREAT thing to do this year."

"Oh well, never mind. That was pretty unrealistic anyway."

"Oh look. I hit it! I forgot that I set it, but I hit it!"

Why you don't set goals - Reason 2

Here's another reason you don't set goals. Goal setting is for boring, organised, non-creative people. It's for people who enjoy planning.

Don't you remember Adrian Mole who was so busy refining his revision plan for his GCSEs, he ended up not doing any revision...? Didn't John Lennon say, "Life is what happens to you when you're busy making other plans"?

Just what I used to think. Well, let me tell you about my revelation. The aforementioned Karen Murray was coaching me one day and she said, "But Ali, if you have a plan, it frees you up to do all the creative work you enjoy". Whaaaat? No, I didn't believe her at first either. But wise woman that she is, she was right.

Why you should set goals

I'm sure there are other reasons that you are goal averse that I haven't covered above but let me tell you why goal setting is important.

  1. It gives you direction and keeps you moving forwards - direction is a basic human need and progressing towards a goal is one of the keys to motivation;

  2. It helps you to achieve your vision - it turns a pipedream into an attainable reality;

  3. It truly does free you up - a proper goal with a proper plan to achieve it, actually gives you MORE free time and unclutters your brain;

  4. Achieving a goal feels AMAZING - let those endorphins loose and celebrate your achievements.

How to set powerful and achievable goals

The key to all of this is to set the right goals, in the right way, at the right time.

The right goals are goals that follow the SMARTER framework. They must be specific, measurable, achievable, risky, timebound, exciting and relevant.

The right way to set goals is to make sure they cover your important life domains, to have a mix of achievement and habit goals, to understand your motivators for achieving those goals, to know what your first steps will be and to decide how you will reward yourself for goal achievement. It is also important to not have too many goals.

The right time to set goals is now - if we're talking annual goals. Karen (who is featuring a lot in this email) taught me the Plan, Rest, Act cycle. The premise behind this is to always act from a place of rest and that we rest best when we have already planned. So, setting annual goals now means that you will be able to rest well during the holidays and start January already knowing what you are doing rather than trying to set goals at the same time as getting into action for 2022.

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