Goals, not resolutions

Welcome to January!  The world around you is exploding with “resolutioners” – so the gym will be full, fruits and veggies will be eaten, and people will start to pay down debt, or save for a house, or whatever the next big step is.  But resolutions are so…committing.  If you are feeling a touch overwhelmed by the resolution culture, let’s just downgrade this to goals, something you know well.

Goals.  What are your most recent goals?  What tiny steps can you take in the direction of your goals?  We might break this down as follows:

  • The goal (let’s call this a yearly goal)
    • A monthly goal
      • A weekly goal
        • A goal just for today
          • A goal for the next hour or so

I’ll give you a sample goal that many of my clients would endorse: expand your social network.

  • The goals, plural: Expand the social network by deepening current friendships AND adding more members
    • A monthly goal – I will leave the house 4x this month to socialize.
      • Brainstorm 6-10 things you can do and tentatively schedule about one a week
      • Events might include going out for coffee, playing Pokémon at the park, meeting at the Haunted Game Café or Gryphon games, playing cards at the library, going bird watching, going for a hike, cooking a meal together, going to a movie….
      • Write your tentative schedule in a place you will see it: your phone, on a sticky note, on an actual calendar. Ends up that seeing your goals will help you achieve them. I know, ugh.  I’m with you!
      • Consider rotating between deepening a current friendship and adding a newer person into your network. It can be easier to add a new person to a small group event rather than 1:1.  (A few of us are going to Gryphon games at 6pm.  Want to meet us there?)
    • A weekly goal – actually follow through with the thing you scheduled!
      • Create time in your schedule to socialize (this means time to prep, socialize, and unwind)
      • Get some emotional support if following through with socializing starts to feel like anxiety management!
    • A goal just for today – start to make a plan for next week
      • Start to get comfortable with next week’s plan
      • Share the details of next week’s plan with peers
      • OR circle back to the people you hung out with last week and send a text (It was great to see you at Game Night. So glad you could join us.)
    • A goal for the next hour or so – send a text (Instagram, Facebook message, handwritten letter??) to 2 people in your social network re: this week’s event…bonus points if you also include next week’s event.
      • This tiny goal is actually the smallest step in your grand plan. Easy enough for you to accomplish without significant stress, but also a necessary element for success.  If you liked this goal, add a bunch more tiny goals or “hourly” goals, as these things really add up!

You can do this!  A large goal, such as expanding your social network, really is a series of small steps that can be as simple as sending a text.  And we both know you can text!  So, abandon those resolutions and settle in with some tiny goals.