New Years Resolutions - How to ...
Jan 1st. The first page of a new book. Let's write a good one!
With many years of experience in travel and time management, building up small businesses, studying various degrees and running marathons all over the globe, I am happy to share my insights and best tips how to set goals for the new year and achieve them as best as possible.
This series of six posts will be updated weekly, with updates coming on Wednesdays. As it is the new year, I will start with goals and resolutions for the year.
1. Goal Setting (today)
2. Time Management
3. Travel hacks
4. How to: Fight Procrastination
5. Productivity Hacks
6. How to: Start Your Business
Goal Settting & How to Smash Your New Years Resolutions
Firstly, I am convinced that resolutions in general are a good thing. Also, it feels more natural and many of us are more motivated to "start over" at the beginning of a new year, a new month or even a new week. So why not use this opportunity and new motivation for refocussing on our values, goals and strategy for the upcoming year.
1. Divide goals by section
I rethink and revalue every section seperately - where I come from and where I want to be, For instance, regarding marathons, I want to achieve Boston qualification in the "long run" (haha). I also set goals for personal life and growth, my business, monetary goals, my physical shape and relationships. Every part in life deserves some attention, no matter if we want more (improve) or cut something/somebody out (and have or do less). Get rid of those toxic people and bad habits and surround yourself with motivated, hard working people who inspire you for the better.
I am sure you have heard that a trillion times, but it doesn't hurt to repeat: Goals should be smart, but for now it does not matter. Write down a raw selection of your dreams and wishes and we will break it down later.
2. Prioritize goals
Hopefully you came up with a big ass list when brainstorming the above (If not, not a problem, go check my ideas down here). But what's the overall thing you are craving and burning for? That one thing that really really bugs you. Actually it does not have to be only one thing - In my experience, one year is long enough to fit in 2-3 major things at once.
3. Subdivide goals
You want to grow your business by 30%? What does that mean exactly? What are the milestones you need for that? Note the quarterly milestones and deadlines for it in order to have a clear vision for your overall main goals. It is also a lot less scary when looking at the smaller portion you have to achieve in a certain time. For instance, I will not be able to achieve Boston qualification within one single season, therefore I subdivide PRs by year and shave off about 20 minutes of my marathon PR each year. I started between 5 and 6 hours, 2019 I reached sub4 with 3:56 and will go further down in 2020.
4. Plan of action
Now we are talking. How do we get there? No matter what it is, losing weight, growing sales, taking care of your body, workouts and friendships - it requires a certain amount of dedication and consistency. So let's look at our milestones and think about how we get there. Speed up your marathon PR? TRAIN! (plan of action: get a training plan or coach) Grow sales? Start cold e-mailing and cold calling! Losing weight? Create a calorie deficit (plan of action: learn about healthy eating and the calories you burn everyday, start a regular workout schedule). It is as easy as it sounds.
5. Write. it. down.
Now that we know where we are going, and how we are getting there, we need to start structuring stuff. To achieve that, I am super old fashioned and a big fan of "haptic" stuff, but do whatever works best for you. In my case, that is a nice yearly planner (in those lovely pink and rose tones and nicely designed, so I really enjoy using it), a shit ton of post-its and lists for every area in life. Create small little "doable" to-dos for your lists that ensure you will get there in the bigger picture. Making everything visually appealing helps a lot, of course.
Most importantly? Do not overachieve.
It has to fit your everyday routines, schedule and workload. You will not be able to stick to it, if it is not in reach and absolutely impossible to squeeze in. Make it as small and sexy as it can possibly be.
6. Sticking to it
Probably the hardest part (at least for me). Getting up early, reading those books, doing those long runs, writing hundreds of mails without response is not the sexiest part of this story. But remind yourself why you do it and always keep the overall goal in mind. Visualize. That sexy summer body, those bigger sales numbers, that feeling when crossing the finish line. I like to add some treats to even making it sweeter - but more about that in the next weeks #staytuned.
Need some inspiration for your goals?
Spend more quality time for your fam& friends or pets
Race PRs. Well, you know that better than me
Drink more water / less coffee / stop smoking / quit certain sweets and bad habits
Monthly challenges (Try a new sports every month, try a vegan month, a run streak, wake up early for a month, stretch everyday for a month, dedicate your time for another social cause every month)
Declutter challenge (New area for every month)
Get a new job/promotion or start a masters degree
MY FAVE: START YOUR BUSINESS
Control your finances (Used to struggle so much until two years ago when I quit my credit card - again: Great option for a yearly goal)
Conquer a fear
To get an idea, here is my list of goals for 2020:
Full Ironman in August in sub14 hours, finishing with a smile. How do I get there? A personal swim coach, a triathlon camp in March, an advanced plan by an experienced triathlon coach and many many many many hours out there, training for it. I am signed up for the race and have booked my flights. Way to go!
Triple my business figures. How do I get there? Introducing new products and services to the market, improving quality of my services and significantly starting cold sales in new areas. To motivate myself, that goal is linked to milestones and monetary benefits (for instance, a certain trip or handbag when I reach it). Overall motivation: Not having to work for a big company ever again.
Self improvement by studying and reading: Be fully fluent in Hebrew by the end of the year, finish my degree in economics, carry on with my degree in nutrition science, start a personal trainer license, read two political books a month, improve my English language proficiency, dig deeper into photography
Smaller goals "on the side" that require less attention:
Saving a certain amount of money to invest into real estate (less attention as it just means burning less money on luxury shoes. Not that hard actually)
Improving my marathon PR and running a Comrades sub10 (Less attention because I am already used to sticking to a training routine)
Spending more quality time (phone off, mails off and more time with friends that genuinely make me feel good. Not that hard, because I love spending time with them)
Taking part in a Hyrox competition (Less attention because I do not care about the finish time and just want to have fun)
What are your goals this year? What motivates you to achieve them? Let me know!
This is the baseline for a well structured life and year. Know where you are going. I will speak more in detail about time management, motivational hacks and productivity in the next weeks. Stay tuned!