December 27, 2021
New Year, Best You: Setting Effective Goals
As we head into the New Year when it comes to setting goals, in order to feel truly fulfilled, the goals must be holistic. This means that the goals must address the six human dimensions of body, energy, mind, heart, awareness, and soul.
Too often we set goals that only address one dimension. For example, we might set the goal of wanting a certain level of income BUT, you get something deeper by achieving that – you don’t just get the money, you get to feel safe. If you don’t understand the deeper aspects to your goal, when you achieve that goal, you will not be fully satisfied.
Research shows that 60% of people make new year’s resolutions but less than 50% are still going after six months and in the end, only 10% are successful in achieving their goals. The following are essential in setting effective goals:
1) Be Specific, Make it Measurable, & Make the Goal Trackable
2) Know Your WHY
3) What’s at Stake if the Goal is NOT Achieved?
4) Share Your Goal
5) Harness The Power of Community (Get A Goal Buddy)
Here are some specific tips on how to set effective and meaningful goals for the coming year within each of the 6 human dimensions.
1) Body: Most people set new year’s resolutions involving a commitment to fitness. Even working on a few yoga postures or doing a 20-minute gentle yoga flow consistently is an example of how someone can meet or fulfill a physical goal in the new year. As you might already know, yoga provides increased strength, improved flexibility, fat loss and muscle tone.
2) Energy: Everyone craves increased energy in the new year. Research shows there is a direct correlation between the quality of our breath and our energy levels. To work on this, you can easily engage in a 10-20 minute pranayama practice.
3) Mind: Following the breath work practice, I recommend a brief visualization and affirmation practice. The mind is a powerful instrument for creating our reality. Telomere researchers Elizabeth Blackburn and Elissa Epel have demonstrated and concluded that our cells are actually listening to our thoughts so through effective visualization of seeing ourselves achieving our goals we create the internal environment necessary to achieving our goals in reality.
4) Heart: In seeing goals all the way through we must establish emotional intelligence and resiliency. Research shows that gratitude increases happiness and improves immunity by 25%. A brief gratitude practice is an excellent way to address the human dimension of the heart. Within this, it’s also helpful to keep a daily gratitude journal and write down the things you’re most grateful for each day.
5) Awareness: Clarity of mind, mental health, improved memory and reduced brain fog are key to achieving effective goals. Directly following the gratitude practice, you can move into a brief mindfulness exercise with a short mental noting meditation, to see that there’s a level of awareness behind our thoughts that’s able to observe what’s arising without becoming overly reactive or identified with our thoughts. This is a practice of learning to see the pause between the stimulus and the response.
6) Soul: Lastly, you can work in a practice of loving-kindness in which we repeat out loud, “may everyone everywhere be happy, healthy and at peace” as we imagine our goals being of service to the whole world. This last piece is about being of service.
Below are some easy practices that work with setting effective goals: