It's the new year and it's time for goal setting. But, did you ever set yourself so many goals and feel like you’re spinning in circles? Are most of them conflicting? The good news is, you’re not the only one who feels that way. It's very common, and there are ways to solve this problem.
Here are some things you can do if you’re overwhelmed with goals.
- Look for overlaps. Sometimes there is a natural and logical relationship between goals. Suppose you want to get healthier and to have more leisure time. Making time out for active leisure like tennis or running will accomplish both goals at once.
- Sometimes two goals seem to be in direct opposition to each other, like wanting to travel and having more time at home. In this case, write out both goals and next to each of them write out why you want to do each of them. You might find that what you want is to be away from work. In this case, your real goal might be to change careers. Or, you might discover that you can satisfy your desire for travel with a short vacation or a long drive with the family. Get to the essence of the goal, it will bring clarity and will ease your mind.
- Make the time. We tell ourselves there are "only so many hours in a day," and that we're "too busy" to take on anything else right now. Your time is precisely that – yours.
- Instead of saying “I don’t have time to learn a language,” try saying, “I’m not making time to learn a new language.” We find the time for the things that matter.
- Be flexible. It’s a good thing to put a timeline together and have definite dates and time-sensitive goals. But remember that life happens, and often it even gets in the way. There is an ancient Greek saying that goes: “If you want to make the gods laugh, tell them your plans.” Having milestones and plotting points along the timeline is good, but don’t hold yourself to it so rigidly that you cannot adapt to the occasional curveball. Remember, to also review your goals regularly and if need be, change the dates & times.
If it feels to you like you have too many goals or if the ones you do have are fighting each other, then find the essence of each one. That will help you determine what’s most important to you right now. Then work on one goal at a time. By concentrating on which one means the most to you right now, you’ll put those goals into perspective, until they don’t seem like so much anymore.
Just take one step at a time, break down your goals into small tasks, give yourself credit when reaching a desired outcome and keep on going. Don't give up! Get help if you feel you cannot do it yourself.