It's that time of year again isn't it? We're a couple of weeks into the year and you're powering on with Dry January, enjoying Veganuary or maybe like Nessa in Gavin and Stacey you're trying Janu-hairy. Or perhaps like a quarter of people you've already fallen off the wagon and had a burger. In fact 60% of people will have bailed on their resolutions by February and many of us make the same resolution 5 times unsuccessfully.
At work you'll be thinking about SMART goals for the year ahead, KPIs, OKRs or some other acronym that you're required to work with and that's fine. It's important to have a sense of where you're trying to get to this year. It's good to know what you should be applying yourself to each day when you show up to work.
So just like everyone else I've set my financial targets and my CPD goals and I'm clear about where the business is going. But what about the things that get lost in the year as I get busy and I'm travelling and putting other people's development high on my list of priorities. Those things that get lost are the things that are nurturing and renewing, the things that recharge my battery and remind me of my sense of purpose outside work. I'm calling them Goals for my Soul.
And the question they start with is 'What do I want to do this year that will be good for my soul?'
These goals don't need to meet any SMART criteria necessarily. They're not for anyone but me to review and reflect upon as the year unfolds. In order to craft them I'm drawn to the NLP concept of well-formed outcomes that my good friend and colleague Jon Bartlett introduced me to. This encourages us to tap into the real purpose behind what you're setting yourself up for. It's a more human centred approach to goal setting, driving thinking about not just what we want but why and considering ways in which we may sabotage ourselves. It's a lovely iterative process for goal setting allowing you to re-craft your idea as you work your way around the questions. I've inserted a worksheet here for you to have a look at and explore for yourself.
So what will my Goals for my Soul be this year? Well they're still being crafted but here are my first thoughts:
1. I've bought an old van and I'm going to convert it into an adventure/camper van. How is this good for my soul? Well, my job is pretty cerebral so I spend a lot of time in my head and the heads of others and I feel a need to get a bit more physical in my down time. I want to learn to build simple structures out of wood and metal and create a small home on wheels. It appeals to my creative side, the part of me that likes to research and plan, the learner in me and the sense of freedom that heading off on a road trip can bring. And I'm going to take my young nephew to a fabulous festival in it in the summer. It's booked so the van needs to be ready by then.
2. I'm going to be able to do at least one unassisted pull-up by the end of the year. This was a goal last year but I was thwarted by illness and injury and had to park it for the last quarter of the year. How is it good for my soul? Interestingly this one little goal is so perfectly simple and well formed that it keeps me on track with regular gym sessions and sensible eating which in turn keeps me healthy physically and mentally. And it's so very trackable - I know how many pull ups I can do and I know how much assistance I need to do them so I know when I make progress.
Here's the other thing about goal setting regardless of how you do it or what your goals are - once you've said them (or written them) out loud to other people you really feel a sense of accountability for them. So there you are - my goals for my soul 2020. Post yours in the comments.