The end of year is almost here! Amidst all of the celebrations, cookies and chilly weather it’s a wonderful time to reflect on the past year and look ahead to the New Year.
Some people LOVE making resolutions for the New Year. Some people HATE making resolutions for the New Year. When you look up statistics about New Year’s resolutions and you find that most people quit or have stopped focusing on their goal by February and March. I don’t love the term resolution myself, but I do enjoy the process of reflecting and deciding directionally where I want to go and how I want to be in a few specific areas for the upcoming year.
Whether or not you’re into handwriting your goals, creating vision boards or doing any sort of look-back, I’m going to share my little reflection series on setting direction for 2019 as we head to the 2019 countdown. I hope it inspires you to do whatever it is that serves you best going into the New Year – whether that means something similar, something different, or nothing at all!
There are so many things you can reflect on and set direction for when the New Year turns. It can be overwhelming! These days, we dissect every little thing. While at times that might be the right thing to do, for me personally when it comes to direction setting that doesn’t work. General ‘direction’ is a better success strategy for me. Also, note: I refer to it as direction setting intentionally. I do not use the term ‘goals,’ or ‘New Year’s resolutions’ because I just like to stick to a few main things and have them be my north star.
At this point in my life, I don’t need to outline super specific components of my directions for the New Year. When I check-in with myself, I ask “am I directionally correct? Am I moving in the right direction of the north start I set for myself?” Or have I gone so off track that I can no longer ‘see’ my north star? My sights are on my north stars – my directions. For me, that is enough when it comes to looking ahead to the New Year.
Don’t get me wrong, I’ve done specific goals and resolutions in the past. And I 100% believe there is a time and place to be very specific, particularly with goal setting. I have just chosen in recent years to go less with goal setting and go more with direction setting. It works better for me where I am in my life right now and allows me to have more success. And like I always say…YOU DO YOU! Different strokes for different folks, so do what feels good!
4 AREAS OF FOCUS
With my north stars, I have four different areas of focus. And because I’m a nerd, I refer to them as my four S-es. Here’s how I break it down!
I believe it is very important to set some sort of direction of myself. I am responsible for me, my choices, my mindset. And I always want to be striving to be a better human and a better me. Within the area of SELF, I think about a couple different components: health, which includes both physical and mental. For my SELF-direction, I am setting two north starts this year: to move more (which improves both my mental and physical health) and eat less sugar (which impacts both areas as well). Also in the area of SELF, I ask myself: who do I want to be? What do I want to be more/less of? Coming off a year where I worked on being more spontaneous and patient, I am changing directions in 2019 to be more disciplined. So, for you: what SELFdirection(s) do you want to set?
I love this one! I am fortunate to be engaged to a wonderful man, and it is so important to me that we both have a direction that impacts our relationship. What do I want to work on to strengthen our relationship? What is my part, and what is his part? Once we determine those things individually, we discuss them together. This year my direction was choosing supportive actions for my partner’s career. His was taking actions to ensure I felt appreciated. We haven’t decided our directions this year, but I’m excited for our conversation!
I don’t know that everyone thinks of this when they think about their goals for the New Year, but an important part of my annual direction setting is knowing how I am SERVING others. How am I contributing – to the world, to my family, to my friends, to my work? What do I need to pivot, change or improve? My focuses in this area have ranged the most. Showing more kindness in public, not engaging in gossip, being fully present when talking to a friend or family member…these are some small examples of past directions in the SERVICEarea. And while they may seem like small directions, continually checking myself on them allows me to build better habits, and once I feel like I’ve conquered a direction I add on and focus on a new one! Small shifts can often have large impacts.
SAVE & SPEND
Ah, this one might sound familiar, since a top resolution every year for many people includes saving more money. I’m financially conscious, so I always have a money component to my direction setting. How much do I want to save? In what areas do I feel comfortable spending? It changes year to year, as my life and my income changes. And this is probably the area I’m more specific. Without a direction in these areas, it’s easy to go an entire year without realizing where you stand financially.
This past year, due to a change in income and our living location, my north star was to only spend on necessary items. This caused me to save more money and not shop. As hard as it sounds, it was a great exercise for me! Because of our situation, I am also prepared to spend more on travel costs since that is the biggest expense with my partner’s career. For next year, I will keep my spending north star and change my saving north star.
SET YOUR SIGHTS ON THE STARS!
I love the concept of having north stars, because it allows me flexibility in my direction as well as a higher chance for success. I can be accountable all year and check myself on how far I drift. That works for me, and something else might work for you! But whatever you do, take some time at the end of this year to reflect, and then get ready for an awesome New Year. I can’t wait to join you here at Couples Toy Store in 2019!