New Year’s Resolutions: An Intro to Thirty-One Days of Goal Setting

(Sorry it’s been so quiet around here; I had some health issues to deal with and then got caught up in NaNo.)

I’m kind of cheating here, since this blog is really a self-help book review blog. But, I want to talk about goals. And since we are inching ever closer towards 2016, why not talk about that behemoth of goal-setting, New Year’s Resolutions?

This is the first entry of a series that I’m planning on posting throughout December.

Let’s get one thing clear about New Year’s Resolutions: there’s nothing intrinsically wrong with them. It’s become popular among some to roll their eyes at the concept, but “I will set new goals and resolutions to coincide with the new year” is a perfectly sound concept.

The problem with NYRs is the same problem that befalls many people who are told to set goals but never educated on the what, how, or why of the process. Presented with only platitudes, there’s an understandable tendency to set resolutions that are vague, overly ambitious, or which are more in line with what society deems laudable than what the goal-setter actually wants.

Having read a few many, many self-help books, I have strong opinions on goal setting. In fact, I have my own system, cobbled together from various books and resources. And because this is a subject that I feel weirdly passionate about, I decided to write a little series about the questions that I ask myself to set goals, including NYRs. And I encourage anyone reading to follow along if they’d like!

Two important notes. 1) This is necessarily incomplete. Parts of my own goal-setting process involved going through three or four separate self-evaluation programs based on various personal development books. That’s a bit excessive! If y’all are curious and want to dig deeper, let me know; I have book recs. 2) I’m not going to be fully answering all of the questions online, because some of it is personal. I’ll be writing it out longhand, but posting only examples here as illustrations of what I mean each day.

With that said!

Thirty-One Days of Goal Setting

Part 1: Reflecting on Previous Goals
  • December 1: What New Year’s Resolutions did you set for 2015 and why?
  • December 2: How did you do with your NYRs? [ETA: Why do you think you failed or succeeded?]
  • December 3: What other goals did you set throughout 2015 and why?
  • December 4: How did you do with those goals? [ETA: Why do you think you failed or succeeded?]
  • December 5: What unspoken/unwritten goals do you have for yourself?
  • December 6: How have you been doing with these goals? [ETA: Why do you think you have been failing or succeeding?]
Part 2: Considering Goal Categories
  • December 7: How are you doing when it comes to your health?
  • December 8: How are you doing when it comes to your family and/or intimate relationships?
  • December 9: How are you doing when it comes to your friendships, community, and other relationship?
  • December 10: How are you doing in terms of your finances and lifestyle?
  • December 11: How are you doing in terms of your career and purpose?
  • December 12: How are you doing in terms of joy and fulfillment?
  • December 13: How are you doing in terms of giving back?
  • December 14: What other areas of your life, besides the ones listed above, are important to you? How are you doing in those areas?
  • December 15: Overall, how do you think you’re doing?
Part 3: Finding Your Purpose
  • December 16: What can your history tell you about who you are?
  • December 17: Brainstorm – who do you want to be? How do you want to feel?
  • December 18: Pick your top few defining phrases. What is your purpose?
  • December 19: Considering all areas of your life, who do you want to be?
  • December 20: Brainstorm – what dreams do you want to achieve in your lifetime?
  • December 21: Finalize your list of dream achievements. How well do they connect to who you want to be?
Part 4: Setting Your Goals
  • December 22: Brainstorm – where do you want to be in five years? What do you want to have accomplished?
  • December 23: Finalize your five-year plan. How well do your five-year goals connect to who you want to be and the dreams you want to achieve?
  • December 24: Brainstorm – where do you want to be in one year? What do you want to have accomplished?
  • December 25: Finalize your New Year’s Goals for 2016. How well do they relate to your five-year plan, as well as to who you want to be and your lifetime dreams?
  • December 26: Brainstorm – what do you need to accomplish in the next three months towards your goals for the year?
  • December 27: Finalize your three-month plan.
  • December 28: Brainstorm – what do you need to do on a daily or weekly basis to make your three month plan work?
  • December 29: Finalize a realistic daily/weekly plan and milestones that will get you to where you want to be.
  • December 30: How do you want to feel in 2016? Choose a word or phrase.
  • December 31: Write it down, schedule it out, and build in regular reminders and review points.

Whew! I’ll be back on 12/1 with my answer to the first day’s questions.

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6 thoughts on “New Year’s Resolutions: An Intro to Thirty-One Days of Goal Setting

  1. Pingback: Thirty-One Days of Goal Setting – Day 1 | Self-Helped

  2. Pingback: Thirty-One Days of Goal Setting – Day 2 | Self-Helped

  3. Pingback: Thirty-One Days of Goal Setting – Day 3 | Self-Helped

  4. Pingback: Thirty-One Days of Goal Setting – Day 4 | Self-Helped

  5. Pingback: Thirty-One Days of Goal Setting – Day 5 | Self-Helped

  6. Pingback: Thirty-One Days of Goal Setting – Day 6 | Self-Helped

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