Thursday, 11 December 2014

Goal Setting, Planning and Reviewing Progress: Self-Love in Action

I'm really drinking in the energies of renewal and getting excited about the move into 2015. My Leonie Dawson Life and Biz Workbook recently arrived and I've already reached page 27. I'm crystallizing, clarifying and getting laser-focused. I hope you're getting the buzz too!

So many people get wrapped up in the sense of possibility at the turning of the year but, deep down, they're not convinced that it will last. When you approach your resolutions and plans with that sense of internal skepticism underpinning the process, you're going to run into trouble.

The first piece of advice I have for you is to get clear on your underlying beliefs. Are you harbouring a sense of the short-term? Are you quietly convinced that you'll fail to stick to plans and meet your objectives? Do you look back over the last few years and realise that you're someone who feels the hype, sets the intentions and then watches everything fall spectacularly to pieces?

Your past does not dictate your future.

2015 can be the year of incredible change for you - the year that you stick to your guns and make things happen. If you've purchased a workbook or planner, written some New Year's Resolutions or planned some big events for 2015, I urge you to check in with yourself now and ask yourself these questions:

- To what extent do you truly believe that you can maintain momentum and see positive change?
- To what extent do you truly believe that goal setting works and can produce positive change?
- To what extent do you truly believe that you can kick your bad habits?
- How do you plan to hold yourself accountable? 
- How do you really feel about the goals and intentions you've decided on? 
- What is the excitement to fear ratio at the moment? 
- What lessons have you learned this year about planning, goal setting and reviewing? 
- How do you plan to use this year's lessons to give you a better experience in 2015?

Try doing some journalling to help you get clear on the answers to these questions. Use the journalling time to help yourself see where you may be hanging on to limiting beliefs about goal setting. If you secretly believe that you're setting yourself up to fail, you need to start working on that before you can work on finalising your list of goals!

Everything starts and ends with mindset!

The beauty of setting intentions and regularly reviewing your progress towards them is that it's such a self-loving thing to do. It's self-love in action. It helps you to be your own ally, friend and supporter. It helps you to live more consciously, show up in a bigger way and be more present.

I often hear people complain about time passing by in a blur: 'Where the hell did the time go?' Those people are usually the ones who don't know the true power and potency of planning and reviewing goals. When you show up each day of your life with a clear understanding of your desire and purpose, time is easier to taste, embrace and enjoy. Sure, you'll still experience the feeling of time running away from you and you'll still have icky days when you feel like pulling the covers over your head and going back to sleep. Planning and goal setting won't prevent that stuff - it's part of life. But being faithful to the goal setting process and regularly reviewing your journey will help you feel as though you are living life with both feet in. You'll see that you are in the centre of your life rather than standing on the sidelines watching it fly by. It's such an amazing feeling and I truly hope that you're ready to welcome it into your life.

When it comes to seeing positive results, be patient. Remember, the ego is comforted by evidence. It likes to see tangible proof of positive change whereas spirit kind of knows when things are moving in the right direction. Spirit has faith in the eventual emergence of evidence according to divine timing. Using a lack of immediate and obvious results as an excuse to give up is self-sabotage. Truth! Get clear with yourself on that.

Another important thing to address is mutual accountability and joint goal setting. There's nothing wrong with deciding upon goals and setting intentions within your friendship group, alongside your partner or with a fellow business owner. This process can be inspiring and uplifting! But you may find, as the months play out, that your fellow goal setter has fallen off the wagon and gone back to their old ways. This is unfortunate but please don't let it slow your progress! Always know in your heart that your goals matter to you and that you are the centre of your desire to succeed. If you are relying upon someone else to keep you motivated and active, you're coming at this from the wrong angle. Like I said, planning, goal setting and reviewing are the evidence of a life lived in self-love. In self-love, there's no room for riding on someone else's coattails. There's no room for convincing yourself that you need someone else's strength in order to get things done. Keep forging ahead!

Finally, a quick word on what to do if you find yourself going back to your old ways. Perhaps you realise you haven't done a progress review in months. Maybe you're back to eating fast food, that re-branding project is still waiting to be done or your 2015 reading list is gathering dust under the bed.. The fact that you set intentions in the first place is a wonderful sign and an obvious manifestation of the energy of possibility which lives within you. That energy is still present and your job is to harness and utilise it again. Celebrate your desire. Celebrate the fact that you have visions of how you want your life to look, ideas about how you want to feel and a bucket list of things that make you smile and light you up. Those things are wondrous. The energy it takes to channel your spirit and set goals in the first place is the same energy required to actually reach them. Close your eyes and recall how you felt when you decided upon your goals for the year. Capture that feeling. Bottle it. It's yours. Keep referring to it. Keep letting it out to play. Dance with it.

Remember, your progress is permanent, not temporary. It is not wiped off of a blackboard like chalk - it is carved in marble. Where am I going with this?

If you made some progress but then fell off the wagon, the progress you made still stands. It's still a testament to your strength, courage, tenacity and desire. It's still proof that you can make things happen. It's still evidence of your willingness to make beneficial changes. That stuff is indelible. It doesn't cease to count for something just because you went through a rough patch or wandered off course. Don't be tempted to believe that your good work is 'scrubbed out' just because you took your foot off the pedal. You can begin again right now and keep adding to the awesome progress you've already made. Do it. Make a start.

Key tips and reminders:

- Already have your diary for 2015? Schedule your goal review sessions at the end of each month 
- Big goals can be cut down into small, manageable aims which contribute to the big goals
- Try dividing your goals into the themes Earth, Air, Fire and Water. This will enable you to see which energies you aim to channel and what's most important to you. (I'm personally having a Pentacle-themed 2015 in many respects)
- Try dividing your goals into masculine and feminine themes, again helping you to see what the main energies are in your goals for the year
- Talk excitedly about your goals with a loved one and let them get excited and descriptive about their goals too