New Year gives us a chance to start from the “blank page”. It gives hope that things will magically change, making all the dreams come true. In the new year we are all billionaires, fit, and happy. New Year is just another version of magical “tomorrow”, where we start eating healthy, exercise, and live meaningful lives. I share with you a goal setting approach that will help you define and prioritize your goals for the next year.
Build the Value Tree
I believe that every human has to live a balanced life. Therefore all the goals you set for yourself have to be in balance with one other.
Imagine you life, yourself as a big tree. Tree branches represent different venues of your life. The roots represent our family and friends connections, childhood experiences, memories, genes and the environment we grew up in.
What are the main areas of your life? What is important to you? (it can be your work or business, family, hobbies or sports you participate in) What hats are you wearing in those areas? What roles do you play? (you are an engineer at work, son and brother, runner or cyclist in your sport)
Build up your tree. Put tangible, material things on the left side and non-tangible to the right. The most important ones go to the tree trunk and the least important hang on the crown of the tree.
How does your materialistic side of tree look like, what’s on the other side? Is your tree well balanced or it will fall with the first strong wind? What’s on the bottom if it? Does it have strong roots? What’s in the core of it?
What happens to the tree when it stops growing?
Now that you have a well balanced tree, you get a better idea of the things that truly matter for you, so you can start to think about how can you grow each branch of your tree. Growth has to be done equally on each side, keeping the tree balanced. This is a continuous process and it never stops, which is great as we’re not striving for the end result, but we enjoy the process, remember?
Think about how can you grow spiritually? How can you improve your mind and body? How much of do you wish to have? What things do you want to own? What experiences do you want to have? How can you improve or maintain a good health? By answering those questions, you essentially form your goals to strive for.
“WHEN HEALTH IS ABSENT, WISDOM CANNOT REVEAL ITSELF, ART CANNOT MANIFEST, STRENGTH CANNOT FIGHT, WEALTH BECOMES USELESS, AND INTELLIGENCE CANNOT BE APPLIED”HEROPHILUS
What does good health mean to you? Why do you want to be healthy? How long do you want to live for? Why do you need to live for this long?
I will live 114 years (1 million hours) so I can bring as much good into the World as I could.
To get you started, below I provide a few examples of how you could grow within health and relationships dimensions.
How can develop and grow your mind? Why do you need a strong mind? You could develop sharp and clear mind by:
- Staying curious
- Asking questions
- Reading daily
- Learning new skills
- Eliminating negative self-talking
- Testing stereotypes
What type of body do you want to have? Why? What will it give you? How can you get it? For example, you may want to maintain a strong, ill-free body. You could do it by:
- Exercising daily
- Eating clean, nutritiously rich foods
- Resting enough
How do you want to grow spiritually? What do you want to accomplish in this area of your life? As an example, you could foster a strong, free spirit by:
- Helping selflessly
- Inspiring others
- Meditating daily
- Practicing breathing techniques
- Accepting and loving yourself
- Carrying for others
- Giving back
- Living with purpose
- Getting outside in nature
- Grounding yourself
How do you see yourself inn relation to others? What role do you play in other people’s lives? Below are some examples of what the answers could be:
A happy and lovely father that serves as a role model for his kids. In a relationship with women, where you share strong love, respect and affection for each other. Strong, wise and powerful leader of your family. Supportive, carrying and loving son to your parents providing them with all they need. Role model for your family, friends and people around, providing them with mentorship, support and inspiration.
Enjoy the journey
Some people just enjoy checking boxes. They feel accomplished getting the end result, getting things done. The end result is usually clearly defined so they know exactly when they’ve arrived to it. It is important to get to the destination as fast as possible, utilizing all the resources necessary along the way. They are sprinters, running fast, keeping the eyes on the prise.
Other people careless about the actual result or reward, they enjoy the journey. They like the process of getting to the destination. They are marathoners, going slower but more mindful. They consistently put work day in, day out. Arriving to the finish line, they often feel empty and lost as the journey is over.
By my nature, I am a marathoner and I choose to focus on the journey. The goal, or the end result is nothing more than just a pin dropped on the map. It’s a North Star for your tiny boat in the ocean of life. The exciting part is figuring out how to get there.
Fruits and Feelings
Now that you’ve got the draft of your goals, imagine you have achieved each one of them. How do you want to feel when you get there? Accomplishing a goal does not always make us feel the way we assumed it would. Therefore ask yourself: How do I want to feel crossing the finish line? How will I feel accomplishing this goal of mine? Will I be proud of myself? Will I feel satisfied and accomplished? Or I’ll feel exhausted and empty? Write down, next to every goal of yours, how achieving it will make you feel. It is an important step, which will synchronize the mind with heart, feelings with your ambitions and will bring more clarity to the vision of your future.
You’re not a robot to move from task to task, and it’s very important to keep yourself motivated. You need to put some fruits, the treats on the branches of your tree. Pick the biggest, the hardest goals from your list and answer the question: How will I treat myself when achieving this goal? You need to praise yourself for the work that you’ve done to keep going, maintaining enthusiasm and positive outlook. You could praise yourself by buying that new iPhone that you wanted, or going onto the fishing tour with your buddies, or maybe simply going out to the nice restaurant. The only requirement here is that it has to bring you joy and happiness.
Make things happen
Setting yourself the goals is energy demanding process. I suggest you do it in quiet place, completely relaxed and well rested. Keep your mind clear and your spirit free. It takes time, so don’t rush. Don’t plan to finish it in a few hours or one day. It can take weeks and a lot of thinking with writing. But once you finished, you will have a clear vision of what you want to accomplish and where you going. Believe in yourself and stop wishing. Some people wish things to happen, some people want them to happen. Be the person that MAKE things happen. You are the only one who’ve got the power to turn whats on your paper to reality.