Setting annual personal and professional goals is a great way to set up your 2016 roadmap. I love challenging myself and making my dreams come to life. However, new goals mean extra tasks, extra preparation, different resources, and new habits, especially if the goals sit 'on top of' everyday life, and have to fit it into an already full calendar. If I don't take my "life" into account when I'm goal setting, I tend get overwhelmed, stressed, sick, and/or grumpy with the people I love.
One of the reasons I'm an entrepreneur is because I want a great balance in my life, and to be able to coach amazing business women, nurture my family and be the best person that I can be -- because I know without a doubt that my health, family and clients will benefit from that. However, if I'm running on empty, unmotivated, procrastinating, sick and exhausted -- no one wins.
Here are 5 practical tips that you can incorporate into your 2016 goal setting now, so that you can enjoy your achievements this time next year, instead of feeling exhausted and burnt out by the end of the year.
It's about including strategies now that support your wellbeing later - because if you don't take care of yourself, you won't be useful to anyone, and the gains you've made from working too hard and spreading yourself too thin can be quickly lost.
- Take some time to work out exactly what you need to do to achieve each goal.
Goal setting is fun and inspiring when you're thinking about WHAT you're going to achieve, but the HOW is just as important.
Consider these questions to get you started:
- - How much time on top of your normal activities will it require?
- - What extra resources/ knowledge/ support will you need?
- - When is a realistic completion date, factoring in holidays, recovering from busy periods, and interruptions?
Signs of overwhelm can range from feeling unmotivated, tired all of the time, procrastinating, getting ill, not wanting to spend time with friends and many others.
Consider your signs from last year.
- - When did you feel really overwhelmed or exhausted?
- - How did this impact in your life?
- - What were the issues leading up to it that could be avoided or planned better?
- - What can you do regularly to take care of your health and wellness?
Of course, it's always important to do more of what worked, so identify the self care, time management and planning strategies you utilised that helped you stay on track with your goals and your energy last year, so that you can hone them and make them a normal part of your work day.
- - What relaxation and self care activities help you manage stress?
- - What planning or review systems could you put in place to check in on your progress and schedule?
- - What did you do each day that helped you focus and manage distractions, and helped you feel productive?
There will always be something that 'pops up', as well as interruptions, sick days, days where you just don't focus as much as you normally would, so stretch out your due date to allow for these.
If you get it done earlier -- bonus! Use it for self care and recharging. If you don't, at least you won't be letting other's down or adding extra (unnecessary) stress to yourself.
Be as clear as possible, and keep the perfect world away -- it's not helpful, and will only contribute to a sense of failure.
It's essential that you include YOU in your plan -- and I mean all of you!
Allow for the fact that you're not perfect, that you can get stressed, interrupted, have energy slumps, need re-charge time or need extra support with some areas.
We all know the SMART Goal strategy -- where each goal needs to be specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, timed, but this doesn't allow for managing overwhelm, stress or self care. Take the time now to plan for the reality, and you set yourself up to be on fire in 2016. I guarantee you'll have more energy to give those goals your best shot.
If you're already worried about how you're going to achieve your 2016 goals without burning out, you can join my 10 Day Ready.Set.Go Challenge starting 18 Jan 2016.