Healthy Mind

4 Required Ingredients for a Successful New Year’s Goal During the Pandemic

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Photo: Getty Images/Westend61
This is typically the time of year when many people start thinking about fresh beginnings and any New Year’s goal they’d like to commit themselves to. But oftentimes, goal-setting is rooted in an attachment to the end result, which can yield high levels of stress and anxiety—especially during a pandemic, where so much is left uncertain.

Of course those negative feelings go in opposition of the guiding purpose to creating a New Year’s goal. So below, find four tips to help you approach your goal-setting practice with increased insight. This way, you can travel into the New Year prepared to make good on all your fresh goals and intentions.

4 components of a New Year’s goal during the pandemic

1. Vision

Having a formed vision can help you understand why you have a goal. For example, if your goal is to kick-start your wellness plan, but you find yourself in a pattern of inconsistency, connecting with your vision can help you lay out tangible steps to get going. No matter your goal, these two key questions to ask yourself can help you pinpoint your vision:

  • What is the ultimate feeling you are looking to have?
  • How does creating a consistent wellness practice support your overall quality of life?

Asking those question can support you in gaining clarity around your vision. That’s because when we shift from a results-driven perspective and connect with how we want to feel, we are better able to tap into what’s working for us, what’s not working, and then make adjustments accordingly. This approach allows you to give yourself grace while focusing on the root of what you’re creating. When seasons of uncertainty arise, as they have in abundance during the past year, having a flexible vision provides for the opportunity to check in with your capacity while staying connected to the process.

2. Habits

Habits lay the foundation for goals, so by shifting our habits, we can begin to see our goals live beyond the paper. For example, take the goal of eating a more nutrient-rich diet. To do this effectively first requires taking an audit of daily routines that would support that lifestyle. For instance, has enough time been worked into the daily schedule to plan and cook nutritious meals at home? Being mindful of small, prerequisite steps can have a huge impact on energy levels and overall quality of life. We also must remember to be patient with ourselves as we create sustainable rituals that align with our vision.

3. Community support

No matter what your goal is, it’s almost impossible to do in complete isolation, without the support of others.  Connecting with others to see out shared goals is a form of support. In the book, The Power of Habit by Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Charles Duhigg, he writes, “Your odds of success go up dramatically when you commit to changing as part of a group. Belief is essential, and it grows out of a communal experience, even if that community is only as large as two people.”

In that vein, finding ways to connect with others in person and online can improve your overall quality of life and also help you lay out the vision to see out your goals. Online spaces such as Ethel’s Club, Chronicon Community, and Meetup all offer online connection for a variety of interests, including music, skin-care, beauty, design, and more. Tapping into these communities can be a great support while navigating your goals in this current terrain.

4. Celebrate your wins and failures

When was the last time you celebrated yourself? We often get so caught up in the end goal that we forget to celebrate the journey. And perceived failures and small wins alike are all a part of the growth process. Every step counts and presents an opportunity to revisit our patterns, align our thoughts, and connect to our vision. So, be gentle with yourself and your process.

As author, entrepreneur, and coach Tonya Rapley says, “There is a difference between honoring the struggle and glorifying the struggle. I don’t believe that struggle is required for me to experience breakthroughs or amazing things in my life.” Honoring our process—including struggle—creates space for gratitude and allows us to magnify the experiences in life we are looking to create.

This time of the year is always an invitation to shift your perspective and connect with your goals. So, allow your vision to lead you and choose to be proud of yourself every step of the way. After all, “we have made it through 2020—that is an accomplishment in and of itself,” says Rapley.

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