It’s here; January. People are hitting the gym, making resolutions and in some instances, breaking them. A brand new year can mean that we leave all the junk from the last year behind and start afresh.
We are all expected to set goals. But what if you are not sure what you want? I’m going rogue — going against convention. Forget new year goals. Identify what you do not want.
Not everyone thinks the same way. Some people put a lot of energy into thinking about the future and how they would like it to be. Others focus on how they can avoid problems and undesirable situations. Each type of thinking has its pros and cons. Identifying goals works better for future orientated people. However, problem solvers can feel that setting goals is futile: it just does not feel right.
So what can you do to solve this goal-setting problem?
1. Identify what you do not want
Sometimes we are more attuned to what we don’t want rather than what we do want. If you are looking for love, you may have an ideal image of who you want to partner up with. The problem is, with so many confusing messages and expectations, it can be hard to know who would be a best fit. My advice: identify what you do not want. For example, you may not be interested in someone who sits on the couch all day, or someone who is not able to respect other points of view. Maybe you are adamant that someone without a sense of humour is a no-go. The same applies if you are looking to change your job. For example, you may not want a job that involves cold calling or spending the majority of the time doing admin work.
2. Set a minimum for what you would expect
Focus on your absolute must-haves. A minimum expectation gives you a base to work from. Anything below is a no-go. Anything above is a bonus: you stay open to potential opportunities you may not have considered. For example, if you are searching for love, at a minimum, you may be seeking someone who likes hiking — if hiking is what you do every weekend, no use hooking up with someone who sits on the coach gaming the whole time. If you are looking for a new job, you may have minimum salary expectations or minimum expectations about time spent working directly with people.
3. Take action
Without action, nothing happens. Your first action can be writing your responses to the above points. Prioritise them to give yourself a clear picture or feel for where your new year is heading. With this focus, you can decide what decisions and actions will help and what will hinder your progress. If you need support to help you avoid your usual traps, get it.
Sometimes setting goals can be harder than it seems. We all think differently and need our own ways of finding happiness. By identifying what you don’t want and the minimum that you expect, you can avoid another lost year. Try it. What have you got to lose?