Saturday, 31 December 2011

New Goals for a New Year

Another year has passed and a new year lays ahead. A blank canvas presents itself in front of you for which you have the opportunity to paint your own picture for the future that lies ahead...

Its the perfect time to reflect on what the previous year brought for you. For some it will be a time of celebration, a time to remember the achievements and ambitions that successfully manifested through hard work, determination and motivation over the past 12 months. Time to sit back, relax and smile about the fruits of your work, enjoying the memories and happiness that came with it. For others though, it may be a disappointing time. Sadly, this is probably true for many of us. Lost opportunities, broken New Years Resolutions, goals that remain underachieved and ambitious dreams that never came true. The good news is that, whichever person you may be, whichever of the two scenarios you relate to the most, a new year lies ahead, bringing with it new opportunity, a fresh start, and the chance to make things happen.

Sitting here reading through last years diary, transferring important numbers and dates, I stumble across my favourite part of every years diary. Its the section I always add to the endless (and mostly useless) pages of conversion charts, full moon dates, holiday reminders, religious festivals, sunrise and sunsets...well you get the picture. It serves as the most important section of my diary each year. It's my 'Goals for the Year' section.

Every year I challenge myself to be ambitious and set a list of goals that I would like to achieve in the year ahead. Otherwise, they fade into distant dreams that never came to be. The year floats and drifts past, and before you know it, another year has gone and you are left hoping you could rewind time and try harder, to have another go. This of course is not an option. We have the here-and-now and nothing more. Now is the time to work hard, to inspire yourself towards achieving your dreams and remain motivated throughout the year by never giving up. By writing them in a diary, you are setting them in stone and making them official to yourself and those close to you, leaving no room to damper, change or suppress them later in the year if you haven't tried hard enough. There they are written down. Now it's up to you to make them happen.

Completing my 1st Marathon with friend Dan
So get out your diary now. Spend a few minutes thinking of realistic goals and dreams that you have always wanted to accomplish and write them down. A great way to break them up a little is to have some short and some long-term goals. For example, last year my goal was to run an off-road marathon, which I did, bringing with it a great sense of achievement and pleasure. This was my long-term goal. To make it seem less daunting I also set myself two smaller goals. A 10K by the end of April and a half-marathon by July. This helped to lead me up to my bigger goal and gave my mind smaller steps to focus on along the way. Make sure your goals are SMART (Specific - Measurable - Achievable - Realistic - Time Specific) and write them down now.

Here are some of my goals for the year ahead
Run an ultramarathon distance
Walk the Pennine Way with my Dad
Start teaching people barefoot and bareform running
Finish reading the Bible from start to finish

I will write a comment at the end of this post every time I achieve one of these goals. This will help me to achieve them as I know people will be checking up on me to see how I am doing!!!

So, now you have your goals for the new year written down and finalized. Now spend some time jotting down a strategy for how you are going to achieve them. This is your action plan for the year that lies ahead.

Now all there is to it is to do it!!!

Finally, I find it helps to have a 'Life Goal' that you write down and always keep in the back of your mind. I suppose you could call it a life Mantra; a phrase that helps you understand who you are, why you do what you do every day, and what you want to be remembered for when you are no longer here. It is an overriding ambition for your life. What is my overriding ambition for life? Well that stays the same every year;

"Love God, love people, take good care of yourself, get outdoors, have fun and be ambitious"

All the very best with your new goals and I sincerely hope the year ahead brings you freedom, happiness, joy and peace.


1 comment:

  1. "Run an ultramarathon distance": i invite you to come to Italy and run the "Trail del Malandrino" (Marauder' Trail :, you're a nice guy, i will accomodate you.