• Shilpa Bhim

New Year, New Decade, New Purpose

As 2020 kicks off, marking not only the beginning of a new year but also a new decade, it’s time to set some direction for the year ahead.

As one year ends and another opens, we find ourselves reflecting on the past year. What went well, what didn’t go so well, and how can we improve over the next year. Hence, new years resolutions are born!

Some of you may stick to your resolutions, but most of you will stick to them for a month or two before slipping back into old habits. Now there’s nothing wrong with slipping back into old habits - we’re all guilty of it.

But there’s no growth in staying in your comfort zone, so it’s important to continue learning, growing and improving. That's why I’m here to help you stick to those goals you set for yourself!

Keep reading to find out my tips for sticking to and smashing your goals through the year!

Set the tone for the year ahead

At the end/start of each year I choose a word or phrase that sets the tone for the 12 months ahead.

This helps me to focus my time, energy and effort throughout the year. When I feel like I’m wandering or have lost direction, my chosen word or phrase helps to put me back on course.

In 2020, my focus word is “purpose”. It’s broad, I know - but hear me out on this one. My plan is to start each day with a clear purpose of what I will do and achieve. Likewise I want to be clear on the purpose of any product or task I work on or any activity I undertake.

The end goal? To be more purposeful with my time and energy overall. I wasted many precious minutes - possibly hours- scrolling through Tik Tok and Instagram in 2019. Being driven by “purpose” in 2020, I hope to avoid this.

I’ve found having an overarching word guide me through the year to be incredibly useful, and I hope you do too. My pro tip: pick a word that’s broad enough to capture different aspects of your life, while being specific enough to set a clear direction (e,g. “focus”, “discipline”, “purpose”).

Write your goals down, then break them down into time limited chunks

The best way to hold yourself to account with you goals is to write them down, and keep writing them down if you have to! Or, make a picture or pin board if that works better for you.

Being able to see your goals will help to keep them front of mind.

Once you’ve written down your goal or goals for the year, break them down into small, specific actions, with associated timeframes (e.g. daily, weekly, monthly).

For example, my fitness goal this year is to increase my base pace on the treadmill (that’s the km per hour rate that I can run comfortably for around 30 minutes). I’m currently at a base pace of 9km an hour. By the end of the year, I want to be running at a base pace of at least 13km an hour.

To achieve this goal, I have set myself a smaller goal - incrementally build up my base pace (i.e. on a weekly basis) so that two to three months from now I am running at a base pace of 10km an hour.

By setting myself bite sized goals I am on track to achieve my fitness goal by the end of the year (and possibly sooner, if I practice regularly and push myself).

Smaller, time specific goals are easily digestible and therefore, easier to actually achieve!

Oh, and the purpose of my fitness goal? To improve my cardio vascular endurance overall. Hello healthy heart, blood vessels and lungs!

Revisit your goals regularly

As humans we are constantly growing and evolving. So, what you set as a goal for yourself at the start of the year may have shifted a few months later.

Regularly checking back in on your goals will help you to check your progress, revise and refine them, or set new ones!

Whether you check in on your goals daily, every couple of weeks or every few months, make sure you take the time to do so. It’s a small task that will help you to grow and improve as the year progresses.

Personally, revising my goals regularly this year will help to keep me focussed on my 2020 word: purpose.

Remember, it’s all about mind over matter

We all have bad days, weeks, and sometimes months. I’ve certainly had my fair share of time periods where I cannot bring myself to do anything - aka being in a funk or a rut!

It’s ok to have bad days, and to have days where you do nothing. Your body and mind needs that to fully rest and recover sometimes. Seriously, let yourself eat all the junk food and binge watch Netflix once in a while, it’s good for the soul.

But for those days where you’re feeling a little like you can’t be bothered, remember that your mind is a powerful tool. You might face setbacks, or simply be too tired to work towards your goals sometimes. But shifting to a positive mindset can help to pull you out of a funk or a rut.

Take me this morning for example - I really didn’t want to get out of bed to go to my gym class. But then I remembered that I’m fortunate to have a body that can move and help me to reach my fitness goal for 2020. That was enough to get me out of bed and over to the gym, and I felt so much better for going!

Sometimes it’s just a case of mind over matter.

That’s all my goal setting and achieving tips for now! Whether you are reading this at the start of 2020, or halfway through the year, I hope these tips help you to kick your goals and be the best version of you.

Remember, growth and change starts with small steps, a positive mindset and a clear tone or purpose.

Have you set an overarching theme and/or some goals for the year ahead? I’d love to hear them and hear about how you’re going! Let me know in the comments below!