Intentional Goal Setting

The mark of a new year is a wonderful time to think about new ways to improve some aspect of our life to bring about a healthier or happier self. Perhaps this looks like a new diet, new job, or some other lifestyle change. Regardless of what we deem as our personal mission, setting a new goal truly begins with establishing a focused intention. As I reflect on this past year, I recognize that the changes I implemented required me to dig deep and reevaluate my priorities. Some refer to this endeavor as making a New Year’s Resolution, but I like to think of this as being intentional as I work towards my goals. As an ambitious person, I have an all or nothing approach. Here are five things I have identified that help me stay committed and purposeful as I plug away.

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1.     I am a list maker- itemizing things and checking off boxes when a task is finished gives me a sense of completion (and it satisfies my inner OCD! Or rather, OCP…more on that later) I am more motivated when I can quantify what I’ve accomplished. If there is one thing that drives me crazy, it is being inefficient. Breaking down large projects into “bite-sized” tasks keeps me focused and directed so that even hard jobs seem achievable.

2.     Include reminders- sometimes this is a picture, a quote, or an array of fabrics to inspire my designs for the upcoming season. I am a visual person, so some physical reminder of my goal helps me envision the outcome I am hoping for. Seeing is a way for me to believe.

3.     Personal rewards- I am a fan of self-reward and I like to acknowledge my progress with something tangible. Something simple such as a Pilates class, a weekend away with my girlfriends, or a walk along the river allows me to reflect on what I have done and gives me energy and motivation to continue.  Positive reward reinforces intention and also creates balance, which gives me a boost.

4.     Learn from mistakes- I consider all mistakes an opportunity to teach me something new. I don’t berate myself when something goes awry. If I made an error or leaped into a challenge that was too big… I do not ruminate; I deliberately move forward. As Benjamin Franklin said “Nothing ventured, nothing gained”, and that is my motto. I truly believe that everything happens for a reason. There is a silver lining in every situation, even if it isn’t clear at the time.

5.     Feel gratitude- I am a fan of making a mental list of what I am thankful for. Being grateful grounds me and allows me to focus on what is important. When I am in touch with my blessings, I am positive and inspired. It is far too easy to get lost in the details and not see our big picture. When I feel myself getting bogged down with the stress of juggling work and life, I remind myself that my family is healthy and happy, and that whatever the issue is that is causing stress is secondary to that.

Although the mark of a New Year does not have any magical power, it is a good prompt for us to regroup, refocus, and plan for what we want to accomplish. A healthy way to embrace what lies ahead is to keep our intentions close to heart so that we fully celebrate our victories, forgive our setbacks, and stay positive and gracious as we journey forward.

Taylor PaceComment