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Goal Setting For The New Year- Part 2

What is UP my friends and fellow busybees. I hope you guys are doing great and are coming to terms with the fact that we are quickly nearing the end of this year… it always comes, and yet it always feels kind of crazy, doesn’t it? It’s such a reminder that it’s been a full (or nearly) 365 days since you celebrated the new year last. And is always a reminder of those new years resolutions or goals you had set– which, if we’re being honest with ourselves, many of us haven’t even thought once about since February 1st or so.


It’s fine. It might not be where we hoped we’d be, but it’s important to acknowledge that we didn’t do our best with the intentions we had set. So let’s set some new ones and find ways to ensure we adhere to those as we move forward, shall we?!


So today’s post is a Part 2 from last weeks which all about how I approach my goal setting for the new year, so if you haven’t tuned in to that yet, I recommend you go do so and then pop back over here for the follow-up. If you have already read it, then make sure you grab that list of goals you had written down, whether it was on a sheet of paper or on your phone somewhere, because we are going to be using it again today.


The purpose of today’s post is to A) add another way of setting intentions for this next year, either for you personally or for your business, and B) to target ways that you often fall off of your goal setting, figure out how to avoid that again, and remain on the path of goal seeking throughout the full year… or at least until you achieve those goals you had set.


So first up is the second half of what I complete while I’m goal setting, which are more like over-arching or high-level statements that guide the year that I want to, or that I INTEND to, have. So I’m going to go through them quickly now, and then we can chat a bit about each of them.


I will start…I will learn…I will try…I will continue to…I will quit…I will be…I will have…and I’m going to stop… All of these things, in my opinion, are really important to consider as you walk into the new year, and are also sort of like mantras that you can keep top of mind as you walk your way through your various transformations and achievements throughout the year. Think of them as guiding statements. And that’s the important thing: THINK of them. Write them down somewhere you’ll see them. Remember them. Because that’s what will keep them top of mind, and keep you adhering to those values longer-term and as you move about your days.


And I want you to look at the language, the specific way we are saying these things. We aren’t saying “I want to start so and so thing”, we’re saying “I WILL start”. There’s intentionality and a sense of the thing being definitive and set in stone, so there isn’t even the possibility of this thing not becoming a reality. I think that’s an important distinction to have in your brain, or else you’re leaving it open for the possibility to not do that thing. And I wanted to point that out so you are more aware of the way you’re talking about the goals and intentions you set for yourself. Pay close attention to the specific language you use surrounding them and I bet you’ll find your mindset changes about them, too.


So first up: I will start. This could be a thing you do, like an activity or hobby you want to start learning. Maybe, just maaaybe, you want to start learning how to do furniture painting and refinishing. If so, WELL you sure found the right podcast then, didn’t you?! AND, what a perfect segway I just made for myself because GUYS! I have VERY exciting news.. I have officially released my first official guide to the world: The No BS Guide To Your First Furniture Makeover.


It walks you through my framework step-by-step for completing your first furniture makeover, whether you want to paint, stain, or some combination of the two on your piece. It also comes with my First Furniture Makeover Supplies Checklist, which will make sure you’re set up for success when it comes time for you to sit down and finally tackle that piece of furniture I just know you’ve had sitting around in your garage for ages with the intention to flip, but you’ve been nervous to take that leap in case you screw it up. Let me say this first and foremost: it would be VERY hard for you to screw it up to the point it was past repair, so rest assured that with this guide I will take your hand, pump your tires up and get you rolling through from start to finish on that beautiful furniture makeover I know you have in you! So if you’re interested in checking it out, head to MelDidItHerself.ca/First-Furniture-Makeover-Guide.


Okay, so maybe you want to take up a new hobby or develop a new skill, but maybe nothing immediately comes to mind in that realm. But maybe you want to start showing up in a different way for the people around you. Maybe you want to start implementing a new boundary, like I will start speaking my mind more and not repress my feelings, or I will start integrating random acts of kindness into my day.


This year, I will start trying out different approaches to fitness that are outside of my comfort zone. A few weeks ago my husband and I got a gym membership and have started going consistently and I have felt so great in terms of how I feel in my body and my energy levels. I know focusing on moving my body and sweating a few times a week does wonders for me, and I know that it’s something I need to maintain throughout the winter if I want to avoid being a fucking downer through the cold months because Ontario is ~brutal~ and dark and cold and dreary throughout the winter. So I intend on keeping consistent with the gym throughout and then through next year as well. But I want to try out new things because one of the reasons I never used to stay consistent with my fitness goals is that I would A) get lazy and B) get bored. But then I tried out some different things that I never thought I would enjoy like yoga and getting an Echelon bike and doing classes and I absolutely loved it. So I want to see what else is out there that I can try out and get motivated to do, because our gym has so many different kinds of classes and equipment and machines so there’s literally nothing holding me back– except myself, of course ;)


Next up: I will learn. Again, this could be a skill or hobby, or it could be something that you want to deep dive and learn more about– something that you never set aside the time to do, but have always wanted to learn more about. It could be something that would make you more marketable in your job, like learning a new software that would help you get that new position you’ve been eyeing or intentionally learning how to communicate better, or learn to negotiate, or learn to give effective feedback. Or, you could look internally and want to learn more about your own reactions and emotions and get in tune with what you’re feeling.


This year, I will learn Mohawk more consistently. Over the last few years as I’ve gotten to know myself, my identity, my heritage and my community more, I have had the itch to learn the language that is slowly (or honestly, maybe not so slowly) dying out. I wouldn’t say I have a language brain like some people do where they can just pick languages up super quickly, but I am fluent in French and I can get by in Spanish for the most part. So I really want to make a concerted effort continually throughout the year to learn the basics of the language because that’s something I would really love to be able to pass down to my children one day, too.


Then we have, I will try. Never, never stop trying new things. I mentioned this in last week’s episode, but that is exactly the reason why life feels like it starts to move more quickly– because every day is filled with virtually the same things, the same routine and the same people. So MIX. IT. UP. What’s something you’ve always wanted to try?! It might seem crazy or scary or totally out of your comfort zone. That’s the point. Nothing great comes from comfort zones– a little Mel’s motivational message earlier on in the episode. Think about it: I guarantee that the times in your life that you truly saw growth and change and impact was when you pushed yourself a little further to do something that might be considered uncharacteristic of you or you adopted the “fake it ‘til you make it” mentality. Or maybe you just had some really good luck– that can help, too!


This year, I will try asking for help when I need it. It’s something that doesn’t come naturally for me because I’m a pretty independent person (only child who grew up in the middle of nowhere, remember?) so I tend to opt for finding solutions myself and working on those things in my own little silo. But the reality is that I have a business I am growing and expanding and eventually, I will need help in order to do so– especially if I don’t want to burn out and want to have the time freedom that I jumped into this business in order to get. So when the time is right, or maybe even just before, I will allow myself the grace to ask for help, hire someone on, and let go of the tight grip I have on this baby that is MelDidItHerself. It’s advice that I keep hearing time and time again from these successful entrepreneurs I listen to and learn from, that they wish they had loosened their grip and hired earlier than they did, so I will allow myself to do so and not be stubborn like I have a tendency to do. And that extends past the business into my personal life too- if I need it, I’ll let the people around me know when I need a helping hand, and I won’t see any shame or have any guilt in doing so.


Next up is: I will continue to. This is a really important component when you’re setting goals, in my opinion. Don’t just focus on the negative and the lack and the lesser than and the things that you want to change or improve or increase… what’s been working RIGHT this year?! What do you want to continue to do?


Maybe you successfully created a habit this past year that you’ve seen a tangible improvement in your life from, or maybe you took on a new skill or hobby that has been making you some extra fun money each month that you’ve been really enjoying doing, or maybe you have been making a really good, consistent effort to show up for the people in your life in a way that you never have. Let’s celebrate that and make a concerted effort to continue it, because that’s something we’re already doing so we can keep up that positive, forward momentum when we start adding these other goals and intentions around it, too.


This year, I will continue to explore new avenues in my business to find out what I really love and enjoy to carve out my literal ideal employment setup. These past 5 ish months of being full-time in the business (which feels INSANE to say because I sincerely cannot believe it has been that long– time has absolutely flown by) have been so great to start to have the time to create new service offerings, do research into other avenues that I can try out, and really pick and choose how I want to spend my time. Having the flexibility to allow my creativity and my instincts lead me and the projects I take on has been new to me, but I’ve really loved diving into it and seeing where it can take me. So to guide myself in this next year, I want to continue allowing myself the flexibility and the time to pursue those things unapologetically– even if they don’t immediately lead to revenue. This podcast is a great example of that. I spend hours on this every week in order to deliver fresh, well-thought out content to you guys but as of today, I haven’t made a cent from it.


But it’s all gravy baby because I have absolutely loved it– I’ve loved the freedom I have to chat about whatever’s on my mind that week, to be able to teach others which I absolutely love to do, I’ve loved all of the amazing people that have reached out to me who listen week-after-week that I’ve gotten to chat with, and as someone who is totally introverted and can find it hard to create space to have myself heard in a conversation sometimes (because I have a lot of loud, extroverted people around me), selfishly I just really love being able to hold this space to have myself heard. And I love being able to show up every week on Thursday mornings and have you know that I’ll be here, ready to chat about whatever furniture makeover-related thing that I have on the menu for the week. It’s been my absolute favourite endeavour that I’ve taken on for this business.


Of course, I would love to be able to monetize and get sponsors for the show of products and services I love and support, but in the meantime, just know that you showing up here means the world to me because it’s way more fun to be able to know that you’re there, listening to me and really hearing me, instead of just talking and throwing my content out into the ether and hoping that it sticks and someone eventually hears it. So yeah, I’ll be continuing with that this coming year for sure!


After we look at what we want to continue, we have: I will quit. Conversely to what we were just talking about– what is not working, or was once working but is now no longer working or serving you and your interests and intentions? This one can sometimes be a bit harder for some people, depending on what it is you land on. Because we often feel like this means we need to deprive ourselves of something– I want to quit smoking therefore I can’t allow myself to have cigarettes and I have to abstain from them. Well… yes, but there’s always a trade off, so what are you gaining by quitting that thing?


If we stick with that example: you’re gaining your health, your longevity, your concentration and the ability to not be constantly thinking about when you can go out for the next dart, you’re gaining a bunch of money back into your pocket because you’ll be saving heaps and heaps. You’re quitting smoking and your identity as a smoker, and maybe that also means you don’t see your friends out in the smoking section as much. But you also are gaining your energy back, your lung endurance, your taste buds. Also, I’m not a medical professional so if anything I’m saying is scientifically inaccurate, just humour me for the sake of the example, alright?


So while we’re going to structure this as something you want to quit, try and think of it in your head as you attempt that quitting by focusing on that trade off of what you will be gaining instead.


This year, I will quit being a nay sayer. And now, this is one that feels a little guilty to admit and if I were being more kind to myself I’d maybe frame it as “I will quit being an unapologetic realist” but… I know that ultimately, it’s me being a Nay Sayer. I can have a tendency when an idea is thrown at me to start thinking it through immediately and thinking up any barriers that might exist or thinking of reasons why that may not work out. And I don’t say those to poo poo those things, but rather to ensure that decisions are well thought out and all aspects are considered. But, if someone’s like “omg I just had this great idea blah blah blah” and I say “yeah for sure, but have you thought about X and what would you do if Y happened” and shit like that… I’m just sounding like a party pooper who people aren’t going to want to turn to in their moments of excitement. And what a bummer that is to close that off for myself, so this year I am making it my intention to take a breath, think about the way I react to these things, be encouraging and supportive and then if and only if someone wants to think things through and asks for my input or opinion, then I will be more intentionally delicate in the way I approach and pose those questions and things to think about.


And then we look at: I will be. This is more of a state of being, so you might choose something like an emotion or virtue that you want to be and represent throughout the year. Or you might say something like “I will be debt-free” or “I will be focused on X, Y, Z” or something else that aligns with those other goals you had set.


This year, I will be energized and energizing. In these past 6 months of working for myself, I have seen such tangible results from taking a step back from the grind of life and focusing on me and nurturing the things that I wasn’t taking the time to enjoy and appreciate before. And that appreciation and reminding myself about how grateful I am for this life that I’ve moulded for myself has always brought such good vibes and positive energy to me, and that really is what keeps me motivated to continue on in my business and improve my life in whatever way I can. So I am setting the intention to do the things that ensure that I am energized, acknowledge it when it’s there, and be energizing for others and a source of energy for those around me.


And finally, we have I will stop. Because we are all human, and so we are fallible and all have our vices or things that we do or engage in that we know we shouldn’t. Or we aren’t our best selves when we are showing up in that way.

So it’s important to take a step back and look at ourselves objectively from a bird’s eye view to identify what those things may be that we can work at addressing so we no longer engage in those pass times, behaviours, or whatever the case may be.


This year, I’m going to stop spending so much time glued to my phone. Probably an intention that at least one of you out there also may be thinking about– probably even more of you out there who won’t think of it but maybe should. Just kidding, no judgement here! But yeah, for me, I just know that I spend so much time on it throughout the day and yes, I do have a business that has an online presence so some of that is necessary, but really, probably at least 40% of the times I pick up my phone throughout the day it’s just because it’s a habit and I just look to see what my notifications are or open up Instagram or TikTok, scroll for awhile, then close it and continue back on what I was doing. There are WAY more productive ways to take breaks and fuel my mind in a better way, so this year I am going to work in some systems and habits that ensure that I am being intentional with the time I do spend using it.


Okay, so now that we went through those intentions for the year, let’s look back at that list of goals under the different categories that we wrote last week. We’re going to do a deep dive on those based on a framework that I learned on the Mindset Mentor podcast which is a podcast I highly recommend if you don’t already follow it and want to focus on your personal development and self-improvement.


So you’re going to look at the list and identify your 3 main goals out of the list. Write them down separately and then we are going to do a deep dive into each one. First question is: What do I need to do to hit those goals? Pretty self-explanatory, but I want you to really think tangibly about what you would need to do or prep or get consistent with in order to reach that goal. If you want to consistently work out a certain number of days per week– what do you need to do to hit it?


Maybe that means having a calendar you mark every day you hit the gym or are going to go to the gym so that calendar acts as your reminder. If you want to save a certain amount of money, what do you need to do to hit that goal? Do you need to set up an automation in your banking so it moves a certain percentage of your paycheque into your savings automatically when you get paid? Do you need to unsubscribe from the 5 streaming services you have at the same time and instead focus on just one? Maybe you need to make a groceries list every Sunday and go grocery shopping for the week to avoid ordering out so often when you find there’s nothing in the fridge you want to eat.


The next question you want to ask yourself is: What do I need to stop doing in order to hit those goals? Again, we need to think about the opposite of what we normally focus on– the things we need to do– and put some thought into what we need to stop doing, which will also help us to reach that goal. If you decide this year you’re going to save a big amount of money for a down payment on a house, what do you need to stop doing?


Maybe that means you don’t go out to the bar on the weekend and have friends over instead. Maybe you delete your apps for food delivery services so you no longer order from there. Maybe you decide to cancel that gym membership that you’ve been paying for but not really utilizing because you prioritize saving money at this point in life, and can find alternative free ways to workout in the meantime.


Then the next question to ask yourself for these main goals is: How do I normally get in my own way? This is why being in tune with yourself and the realities of your behaviours and how they align or differ from your goals and intentions is really important. You need to think about how you (which, reality check: is probably your own worst enemy) tend to sabotage your progress and regress back to the easier route. You have to think this through in order to be able to make a plan now, before you encounter that resistance, to get past it when it inevitably comes up.


So maybe you get in your own way by turning to retail therapy when you’re stressed or upset and are looking for that dopamine rush that pressing Submit Order or swiping that credit card brings you (momentarily), and that gets in your way of saving as much money as you’d like. Maybe you hit snooze 5 times every morning so then when you finally get up, you just simply don’t have enough time to fit in that workout you had intended to do before work starts.


Once you have identified how you get in your own way typically, then ask yourself the next question: What can I do to make sure that I don’t do that this year? And get tangible here, not just like fluffy nice words and thoughts like “I’ll try harder!” “I’ll stay more motivated!” “I won’t be lazy!” like, easier said than done so let’s think it through a bit more and set up some stakes so you can ensure you don’t fall back to your normal ways. Our normal ways– I don’t mean to other you. I’m brutal too, don’t worry, we’re all just humans trying to do our best, you know?


SO, how are you going to make sure you don’t do those things that you normally do to get in your own way?! Sometimes upping the stakes is something that can be really impactful– like put some money on the line and have someone keep you accountable to it. An example that Rob from the Mindset Mentor always talks about is like calling up someone in your friend group who kind of drives you insane and you don’t actually like all that much and say “hey. I want to get consistent at X thing so can you be my accountability buddy? I’m going to send you a photo every day or however often of me doing this thing, and if I don’t, then I have to pay you X amount of money”.


And make it an amount of money that you would actually give a shit about losing - for some people, getting to sleep in is worth $5 so making it that amount wouldn’t make sense. Some people are really money-motivated, so the thought of wasting 5 whole dollars would get them out of bed in a jiffy. So what’s some sort of accountability measure you can implement that is motivating enough for you to stick to these goals you’ve set?


And then the last thing to ask yourself as you look at these goals is, what do I need to do to stay consistent? It takes anywhere between 33-100 days to change a habit/break an old habit and create a new one. So that is like 1-3 months of consistently doing (or not doing) whatever it is that you have written down. What do you need to do to ensure you stick with it for AT LEAST that duration of time?


Do you need to print out some calendars and pop them beside your coffee machine so that you see them every morning and can cross off the days you stick to the thing? Maybe leave it on the bathroom mirror so you see it while brushing your teeth? Do you need to incentivize yourself in another way, like you will allow yourself some sort of small reward every week or month or whatever that you stay consistent? Do you need to change up your routine or schedule to ensure you have the availability to work this new habit into your life?


Figure out what motivates you, and think back to things you’ve been consistent with in the past. This is a great first step to figuring out what the special sauce is for you personally that’s going to get you to that next level, in your personal life or in business or whatever area you’re trying to tackle.


And something you may not know about me… I love little motivational messages. They literally always get me fired up, and I keep a running list of ones that are especially catchy or speak to me in the Notes app on my phone. So I’m going to end every podcast episode with one of those that I have noted down over the years, in hopes that you leave our time here each week feeling inspired, motivated, and ready to take on whatever comes your way that week.


So this week’s Mel’s motivational message is: Give yourself the same care and attention that you give to others and watch yourself bloom.


Alright, that’s it for now, I appreciate your time, and I’ll catch you guys next week!


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