Posted on

5 Questions To Ask Yourself Before You Set New Goals

smart goals, personal goals, my goal, list of goals, set new goals

In my last blog post, I wrote about how I was giving myself permission to set fluid goals this year instead of making resolutions that tend to bomb before the middle of January. I’m sticking with that permission, but what if you’re one of those who needs a plan? Awesome! Here are 5 questions to ask yourself before you set new goals for the coming months.

When you think about 2017, what is the first thought that comes to mind?

 

Is your first thought uplifting or a real downer? Or is it no big deal – simply meh? This question gives you insight into the big picture of 2017 from either a personal or professional standpoint – or both. What does your word focus on? Don’t filter this word – let it flow and you’ll see exactly what happened last year. By investigating why this word came up, you know where to start with your plan for the coming year. 

Did your word relate to family, friends or work life? What wore heavy on your mind? What can you do differently to make improvements?

If your word describing last year is not as positive as you had hoped, then digging deep can help you see what didn’t work – and let go of it. Letting go of something that isn’t working can be downright intimidating. However, letting go of what isn’t working makes space for something new that gives you an entirely new perspective on the situation.

 

Which of your accomplishments stands out the most to you?

 

This is especially important to ask yourself as it says you did indeed accomplish much more than you give yourself credit for. This question is best asked and answered with a trusted friend. So many times, we don’t think we’ve accomplished much at all in the past year when in reality, we’ve done a lot.

I am my own case in point. Last year felt frustrating to me as I didn’t see the progress I thought I would. A glass of wine and a good friend to point out a few things made my year a whole lot better.

Make sure to count the times you said NO when you really didn’t want to do something and you were being pressured to say yes. Remember to count the times when you took good care of yourself because you can’t give someone a drink from an empty cup. Please count all the times you kept your mouth shut and picked yoru battles wisely. 

All those times you really wanted to stay in bed but you got up and exercised anyway? That’s huge!

Life would be so much easier if we could just give ourselves the attaboys that we give to our best friend.

What lesson or frustration kept surfacing?

 

When we’re not paying attention to the lessons we’re supposed to learn, the message keeps coming at us but it gets stronger every single time.

How are your finances – are they in order or do you resort to retail therapy on a regular basis? That co-worker of yours that is ridiculously annoying – there’s a lesson in there somewhere. Keep missing deadlines? What does that tell you?

Perpetually running late? This is frustrating for those left constantly waiting. We all run late once in a while – everyone does. When you consistently run late more than 15 minutes and more than twice a week, there’s something deeper going on that you need to address. Constantly running late has more to do with a measure of self-worth and control more so than laziness. There’s a passive-aggressive tendency in there, too. 

Michael F. Formica, MS, MA, EdM in writing for Psychology Today says this about being late:

The chronically tardy, in large measure, have a perception that others do not feel them to be important, so they operate in a way so as to impose themselves on a situation – exerting control to feel in control – while in reality they are silently validating their own sense of unworthiness, whether consciously or unconsciously.

I bring up running late as a frustration (or lesson) that keeps showing up as this is a very common irritation that causes more fights than I care to mention. Years ago, I had an elderly aunt that could not show up on time for anything if her life depended on it. She was invited to Thanksgiving and was pointedly told several times that dinner would be served promptly at 2 PM. When she arrived at 2:30 and everyone was already eating, she was shocked! She and my mother had words over that one.
 
 
 
And that brings up another important point. My aunt and her opinions were regularly “dismissed” as unimportant by many family members. By imposing herself – always showing up late – she made sure that these family members paid attention to her – it made her feel important.

What personal strengths did you rely on this past year?

 
I ask this question because we often downplay our strengths to ourselves. How many times have you been told to keep educating yourself so that you are a well-rounded person? Okay – to an extent, this is good advice. It is good to be well-rounded as it opens you up to different perspectives. Besides, who wants to be a one trick pony?
 
 
Knowing your unique strengths (and opposing weaknesses) allows you to let go of the need to be good at everything. It also allows you the opportunity to really know who you are and accept yourself – strengths, weaknesses, warts and all. Once you know your own personal strengths and weaknesses, you can turn that into a passion to feed your soul instead of simply wandering aimlessly through life.

 

How well did you communicate in your most important relationships?

 
Your most important relationship could be with yourself, your spouse, child, boss or anyone who is significant in your life. Why? Because good communication is the key to healthy boundaries, for expressing what you need and enjoying deeper connections with those important people (including yourself).
 
If you’re struggling to express your desires and needs, then your life may not be as satisfying as it could be. I’m guessing life can even be frustrating at times because you can’t get your point across or your needs met. I’m a firm believer that speaking your truth (in the kindest way, mind you) always brings the right people into your life. Yes, it may well get rid of a few, too, but isn’t that the way it should be?
 
A good communicator can solve problems quicker, build trust and respect easier as well as establish an environment where creativity can thrive. If you don’t believe good communication skills are important, simply look at Capitol Hill. Seriously.

 

Set New Goals By Answering These Questions

Once you’ve answered the above questions, you have a good indication of what makes you tick. Why is that important? Knowing all these answers allows you to set smart goals and put a plan in motion that feeds your soul – when you’re lit up by your plans, you’re motivated to stay the course through the tough times.
 

Write your goals down in black and white. Keeping a list of goals where you can see them daily is an excellent way to stay on track and keep up your motivation. You don’t necessarily have to share your goals, but simply keep them close – and remember, your goals can change! If something isn’t working the way you expected or you absolutely hate the goal, stop. That’s what I mean by fluid goals. Now – with that said – don’t be a quitter. Every action plan has less-than-lovely tasks to reach your goal. Keep the prize in mind!

 

Aromatherapy school was really overwhelming at times. I felt stupid and frustrated because I’ve never had chemistry (no, really, I didn’t!) and I felt like I was behind before I ever got started. Some days, my goal seemed out of reach.
Aromatherapy and holistic life coaching both play to my greatest strength – that of compassion. I absolutely love helping people see their beautiful aha moment in a loving and supportive atmosphere. So when the learning became overwhelming, I kept the end – and the passion – in my view to keep me going.
 
 
How can I help you with your personal goals this year? Let your light shine brighter than ever in 2018! Fill out this contact form and let’s talk about your goals and an action plan to reach them – today.
While you’re at it, please click one of the social media buttons below and share this with someone who can use a boost.
 
Blessings,
 
Melissa