Ah, Betwixtmas – that foggy period between Christmas and New Year in which we stumble around in our slipper socks eating Quality Street chocolates, barely aware of what day it is. It’s both a comforting and trying time, filled with movies, relatives and increasingly greying turkey pieces masquerading as a variety of interesting dishes.
With little else to do, many of us spend the time catching up on reading, sleep or fresh air and reflecting on all the ways we failed during the year and the things we are going to do to prevent said failures repeating themselves in the one to come.
Yes – goal setting is a favourite pastime in this No Man’s Land, despite various statistics proving that only around 10% of people actually keep their resolutions after mid January (the 12th being affectionately dubbed, “Quitters’ Day” by Strava, who’ve found it to be the most common time for people to get bored with or overwhelmed by their goals).
Though this research is certainly disheartening, don’t let it prevent you from working towards something you want in the new year. You just need to pick goals that you can actually stick to.
So how do we go about this? After throwing out the question on Twitter, several female business leaders offered a few words of advice on setting ourselves up for success.
First of all, it’s necessary to set goals that are realistic. Founder of accessories brand Issara, Rosh Govindaraj, says that measurability is key: “break [your goal] into smaller, manageable chunks and have someone you trust help you stay accountable.”
Rosh also believes that if you’ve pinned down the “why”, you’re more likely to stick to the “how”. This makes sense. If you can articulate the reasons you want to achieve something and why they are valid to you, you’re far more likely to stay motivated than if you’re just working towards something you feel you should do.
We also need to learn to deal with setbacks, according to RenOC founder, Karen Kwong, who suggests creating a detailed vision of the end goal as a means to help overcome obstacles. “The vision is important because, whilst things might change along the way, that vision will be your guide.”
Spending a couple of minutes at the beginning of the day visualising, in as much detail as possible, the end result, will help keep you on track. This could be through meditation, listening to an empowering or inspiring song or simply going through the goal and the reasons you want to achieve it in your phone notes app.
Lastly, a little cheerleading goes a long way. Kirsten Rees, an author coach and business owner believes that self doubt is a “massive deterrent”. This isn’t surprising. Every person will, at some point, have set a goal that they didn’t keep and whilst this is to be expected (we are, after all, only human) it can really dent our self-belief.
Rees believes the best way to combat this is by creating a little digital shrine to yourself as a form of motivation. “Create a list in your Google Drive folder that you can access whenever you need a boost of confidence,” she suggests. “Write in it all your accolades, achievements, client reviews, and interview people who love you and write down why they are proud of you.”
If you’re not sure what changes to make, check in tomorrow for my list of small goals to set in 2019 that will help further your career.
I write features about women and for women: what interests and inspires us, how we are shaping business ourselves. Highlighting the women blazing a trail in business is an area I’m particularly passionate about, as is debunking much of the stigma still surrounding women in t…
I’m passionate about women’s issues and the things that concern us in life, culture, business and relationships. To read more of my work, visit my website here.
ForbesWomenI write about women in business and businesses aimed at women.