Prefer to Listen to this article? It’s also available in audio form:
What’s Different From Past Years
I’ve been having conversations about goal setting for 2024, and talking about it made me realize that my approach to setting goals has changed dramatically over the past year or so.
Essentially: I’m setting goals I feel really connected to – that really matter to me – and following an intuitive process to both set goals, as well as achieving them. No more achievement for achievement sake, no more striving goals, and no more ‘doing whatever it takes’.
What We’ll Cover [in this article]
Here’s the roadmap:
- First – how I’m approaching goals for 2024 – including how I’m thinking differently than I used to.
- Second – an example from my personal life about how to implement this new goal setting philosophy.
- Third – two resources to support you in clarifying and setting goals that really matter to you – one free and one very low cost.
Let’s Dive In!
First up: I can hardly believe how differently I am thinking about goals for next year. I used to be someone who set very specific goals (because that is what we are very often told to do!) and I often had a lot of fear and apprehension around them – I know now because they were often rooted in striving and perfectionism. I don’t think I felt particularly *EXCITED* about them, if that makes sense. Actually, I think I was excited about them – but because of what I thought accomplishing them would mean about me. I wasn’t particularly jazzed about the journey to get there.
This is so, so, so important.
If you take away ONE THING from this article, let it be this:
What are expansive and spacious goals, that matter to me, and that help me grow into and become a better friend to myself along the way?
THAT is where you should – in my humble opinion – be setting goals from. From a place of care for yourself and care for your experience of life.[A novel idea, I know!!]
Here’s what this looks like for me:
It means focusing on THE PROCESS.
It means viewing goals that I set as:
How do I approach my ‘goal’ so the outcome(s) are a byproduct of the way I show up?
This focuses on MICRO behaviors, rather than macro.
The absolute worst way to do goal setting is to set absolutely huge goals for yourself that terrify you so much, and you have to wait until the end of the year to be able to ask yourself: did I make it? IMO this can really damage our relationship with ourselves. Please don’t do this – I’m speaking from experience!
The way I now see goal setting is:
What is a general direction I want to aim at, that I feel is calling to me, and how can I show up for myself most days (daily-ish) to support myself in getting there?
A Specific Example…
Ok, now let’s talk about a specific example of this from my personal life –
My husband Matt and I walked around Town Lake just before New Year’s Eve 2023, and we were talking about our spending, and I brought up that maybe we want to save more next year? Even as our expenses are going up.
My POV is, instead of – we’re spending too much! – I see it as all data. I want to know the answer to these questions:
Do we want to save more? How does it feel to spend as much as we have this year?
I want to take that inventory and then set an aim to go from there. I do NOT want to set goals from ‘I should’, or because someone else told me to.
A past version of me would’ve immediately jumped to: ‘we should save $x dollars per month!!’.
With no idea how we’d do it, and no real plan to accomplish it either.
But now, with this my befriend-myself-POV, this is where my mind went: “let’s set a goal to save 10% more next year”. You might think – and a previous version of me definitely would’ve thought – that seems too ‘minor’.
!BUT! when we set realistic goals that focus on micro behavior changes, it compounds so (so, so) much. And this expansive, spacious approach doesn’t depend on willpower and obedience – which will falter and is so much pressure to depend on those working.
A Question I Ask Myself All the Time – What Can Happen When…?
The farther I get down the-befriending-myself-as-a-lifestyle-path, the more interested I am in seeing “what can happen when…?”.
What can happen when…I plan meals I’m excited about at home? What can happen when I stay attuned to my feelings, so I don’t look to make purchases that ‘make me happy’? What can happen when….? [What would you fill in here?]
This is a lifestyle that is inherently rooted in befriending yourself – making your life everything you want it to be. And it gamifies it a bit – which makes it fun and feeds the dopamine cycle that we will all complete one way or another (by being supportive or by striving).
The Outcomes that Become Possible…
What’s really fun is to consider –
What can the outcomes be when I approach goal setting (and even life) by befriending myself?
It is a very cool process in my experience, and the benefits are multifold – you don’t put off living the way you want to until you’ve created your goals. In fact, your goals are entirely dependent on you showing up in your day to day life the way you want to *when xyz happens* – but doing that TODAY.
Two Resources to Support You:
Year Review Workbook [free]:
If you’re looking for a low-pressure and supportive way to reflect on 2023 and plan for 2024, check out my Year Review workbook.
It is totally free and the process I use each year to reflect on the year and plan for the next.
I’m a few years in and my top piece of advice is to: plan supportively and leave SPACE.
Who knows what the next year will bring?
Leaving space for new developments allows you to create your life the way you want to, and allows for life to lead you/for you to flow with life the way it’s currently meeting you.
Take Aim Workshop [low cost]:
If you want more support, check out my Take Aim workshop.
In the Take Aim Workshop, I walk you through the Year Review process and more.
- My exact process to review, reflect, and powerfully plan your goals for next year
- How to tap into your inner wisdom to review the past year (and apply that wisdom to next year’s aims)
- Discover next year’s goals that actually matter to you.
We walk through the workshop portion together – we’ll complete the workbook step by step. No overwhelm + accountability!
*Be sure to check out the HOLIDAY BONUS on the Take Aim Workshop for even more accountability and personalized support.
Bonus for Take Aim Workshop:
The Take Aim Workshop is currently $22 and will be going up to $35 on Jan 15, 2024.
If you enroll by the end of the year, I’m offering a *holiday bonus*:
You complete the workshop by January 12, 2024 > set your three aims. Share them with me by 1/14/24 + I’ll review. I’ll send you a video with feedback, areas to tighten up, or questions to dig deeper + clarify so you can begin taking aligned action towards your aims feeling really clear and supported.
Okay so there we have it – I hope that I’ve ‘sold you’ on how to approach goal setting from a place of self-kindness and exploring what you want to experience in life (rather than striving and perfectionism – which I know so well, and I bet you do too!).
A younger version of me really needed to hear this – and what I’m sharing with you today in this episode is hard-won wisdom – I spent years grappling with all this (many, many ‘tries and fails’) to get here. Give ‘my way’ a try, take what you like and leave the rest, and adapt my process to suit you! It’s just a jumping off point for you – listen to your intuition and trust where it guides you.
If you’re looking to implement what you’ve learned in this article – take advantage of both the free, and/or low cost, resources I shared in this article.
Year Review Workbook [free]
Take Aim Workshop [low cost – $35]