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Setting Goals for the New Year

Realistic or unattainable? Why I stopped setting goals and began setting intentions.



Since I can remember, my family and I always set out 12 New Years resolutions or wishes on New Years eve that we wanted to come true throughout the year. My mom was a believer in "Las doce uvas de la suerte" or the twelve grapes of luck. When the clock strikes midnight in the new year, you eat a grape one by one while making a wish. This all has to be done within 12 seconds.


Flash Forward


As an adult I stopped doing the grape thing and began setting mental new year resolutions. As with birthdays, as we approach the new year, we are coming to the end of something and the beginning of something new. This is a time that helps us reflect on what we did for the past 12 months and what we want to do differently the upcoming year. For a lot of people, this becomes an emotional time full of disappointment for not accomplishing things they wanted to get done.

As we approach the new year, we are coming to the end of something and the beginning of something new.

Like some of you, I've been there. Throughout my work helping clients with goal setting, I learned that it is important to set realistic and attainable expectations. When we're setting goals for the new year, we usually set goals that are too big with no plan and when we don't accomplish them we get discouraged. Resolutions are basically goals. I decided to switch from setting goals to setting intentions. What is the difference? For me, intentions are small actions that we can try to do daily or weekly to work towards what we want to accomplish. For example, my goal would be that I want to save money or spend less. Rather than just setting that as my "goal for the new year", I would change it to what I intend to do towards making progress. So one intention could be that I intend to buy less coffee at Starbucks and make my coffee at home instead.


Getting it Done


No matter what your intentions are, there's always ways to keep yourself on top of what you're suppose to be doing. I believe in you. Keep going! Some of the strategies I've practiced are creating a vision board, journaling, or sharing my intentions with a friend. Im sure there are many other ways to stay on top of your goals but just sharing a few here.

I believe in you. Keep going!

If you have the means and time, I would suggest creating a vision board. Ive had clients in the past create vision boards and they found them to be very helpful because it helps visualize what they're trying to get done. A vision board helps as a reminder of what you're working towards while helping you stay focused. Some of the materials that you need are a cardboard or poster board, scissors, glue, pictures, or magazines. You basically create a collage of things you like or would like to see in your future. You can also include phrases or words. Once you're done make sure to place your vision board somewhere visible where you can see it everyday. A lot of my clients usually placed it by their TV or on their nightstand. Everyday you see it you will be reminded of your intentions for the year.


Journaling has also helped keep me focused. Writing things down works similar to a vision board for me because I go back and read what I wrote which reminds me of what I need to get done. It also helps me vent if I come across any barriers. Maybe you can also keep a checklist if that works for you. I know of a lot of people who make lists of things they need to get done and check things off as they complete them.


Lastly, who doesn't like having a partner or friend to confide in. You don't have to go through things alone. A friend can help you stay on top of your intentions and help us have less slip ups. If you can't think of anyone to tell, I mean you can tell me. You never know who may have the same intentions as you. Maybe you can work together.


Most importantly, have fun! Have fun creating your vision board, be creative, have fun writing, have fun talking to your friend about your intentions. Make it a fun process. If we dread working on our intentions then we most likely won't do it. Overall, its ok to have slip ups. Don't beat yourself up over it. Let it go and try again. Nobody is perfect. Stay positive. Let me know what your intentions are or if you relate to anything in this blog article. As always, feel free to drop a message. Happy New Year!

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Welcome to my blog!

This is where we get real about how we can reframe our thinking and negative beliefs about ourselves. A casual self-empowerment blog all about self awareness and self-care. 

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