Setting Goals After a Year Full of the Unexpected
Just the other day, I selected an online workout class based on the instructor and playlist, not realizing that it was the last workout she recorded before the New Year. She talked so much about what she envisioned 2020 would hold as the start of a new decade, and I couldn’t help but get a little worked up realizing that we had no clue we would be affected by a global pandemic during the first quarter.
So many of us had visions and goals set for 2020 that had to change for the time-being due to all of the unexpected events of this year. With the start of 2021 right around the corner, some of us might be hesitant to set goals for the coming year – or not even know where to start – given our recent history. However, goals allow us to focus our time and energy, provide us with motivation and momentum, and help us to fulfill our dreams of a bigger purpose! As Jessica Honegger, Noonday Collection’s Founder and Co-CEO and author of Imperfect Courage, has said, “Choose to say yes to big dreams, even when fear is knocking at the door!” Here’s a look at how to cast fear of the unknown aside and embrace meaningful goals after a year full of uncertainty.
Start with your why instead of your how.
When you think of your dreams and aspirations, chances are you have a compelling reason why you want to achieve them. One of the first things I was asked to do when I became a Noonday Collection Ambassador was write down my why for beginning this work. If you are clear on the compelling reason why you want to achieve your goals, you will be able to keep adjusting your how until you get there!
Often times, it can be hard to articulate exactly why we want to accomplish something. Or, we used to know, but now the reason isn’t quite as clear. If this sounds familiar to you, try a trick I used with my coaching clients: ask yourself “why” five times. For example, let’s say I hadn’t written down why I wanted to have a successful Noonday Collection business when I initially started, and it’s not as clear to me as it used to be. Before I start coming up with how I’m going to accomplish my goal of a successful Noonday business, I need to determine why it’s important to me.
I start this process by asking myself “Why is it important to me to have a successful Noonday Business?” My first answer is, “Because I believe the products we wear have energy, and we can all choose to purchase products made in factories, or we can choose to purchase items that are handmade and support others. I believe in intentional shopping.” Why is that important to you (#2)? “We are all connected, so we have to look out for one another.” Why is that important to you (#3)? “All of our lives are richer and fulfilling when we look out for one another.” Why is that important to you (#4)? “I want to help others live a richer and more fulfilled life.” Why is that important to you (#5)? “I love advocating for others and helping other people live a more fulfilled life.”
Taking myself through this process ties my why to a core need and value. It connects to my purpose and is a really clear reason for embarking on my goal of having a successful Noonday business. It’s often the case that a fifth answer to the question will come down to a core need or reason for choosing your goals, and that’s exactly what you want to happen! Now that you are clear on your why, you can start to address the how because you know it’s important to you -– no matter the circumstances or uncertainty we’re all facing.
Focus on behaviors – not just the outcomes.
When it comes to goal-setting, it’s important to focus on the behaviors or habits that will lead you to success – not just the outcome you are after. For example, a common goal that many people set is centered around health and well-being. “I want to lose 10 pounds this year” is a goal I heard often in my health coaching practice. However, it’s hard to achieve “losing 10 pounds” by just stating that goal or intention alone. It takes regular, consistent behaviors (i.e. habits) to achieve it… something that can seem daunting when we are all experiencing more uncertainty in our daily lives than usual.
A behavior-focused goal in support of this outcome would be something like, “I will exercise 30 minutes per day, five days per week,” or “I will trade coffee with unsweetened, almond milk creamer for my Caramel Macchiato every weekday.” In these instances, the focus is on a behavior you can achieve and measure that will lead to the ultimate goal of weight loss. It’s important to note that these behavior-focused goals are just experiments.
Let’s say the 30 minutes of exercise each weekday doesn’t end up working well for you because your kids get moved to virtual learning again, which you didn’t expect when setting your goal. You can adjust the behavior-focused goal to exercising 30 minutes on the weekends (when your spouse is home to help with the kids) and three times during the week instead. Your original goal didn’t change -– just the behavior you’ll take to get there!
Commit to taking care of yourself – mind, body, and soul!
“We can’t get to where we want to go in life until we trust the us that is taking us there, and unless that us is hearty and healthy and whole, we’ll never arrive in one piece.” -– Jessica Honegger, Noonday Founder and Co-CEO
I love this quote! Especially when faced with uncertainty, your commitments to yourself and your own well-being is crucial. As you look ahead to 2021, take a moment to check in with yourself. How are you doing? What do you need to do to take care of yourself so that you can achieve your goals and dreams? Maybe this means getting some extra sleep, connecting with friends (even virtually) more often, or seeking therapy to talk things through. Decide right here and now that you are worth the time and effort required to be and feel your best! Include your own self-care in your goals for this year. The investment in your own health and well-being will only help you achieve your other goals and embrace all that life has to offer!
Meet Bridgette Binford
Bridgette is a Noonday Collection Ambassador, a Health Coach, a wife, and a mother of two (plus two dogs) who has witness firsthand how having something you're passionate about and living life with intention contributes to your health, happiness, and wellbeing. As an Ambassador, Bridgette hopes to inspire others to live a life with intention so that the world can be a happier, healthier, more positive place to live!