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Goal-setting For 2018? Don’t Forget This!

 It’s official: the last three weeks of 2017 are upon us.

For many of you, this means that your mind is starting to think ahead to 2018. It’s as though a switch has been flipped and it is officially “Goal-Setting Time.” (And for those of you haven’t yet felt the switch flip, rest assured, it’s going to happen soon!).

In light of this, this time of year lends itself to a review of the concrete, the measureable, the tangible and quantifiable, both in terms of what this past year has brought us, and in terms of what the new year could hold.

The questions that start to get bandied about include things like:

  • What do I want to achieve in the next 12 months?
  • How much do I want to earn?
  • What tasks do I want to accomplish?
  • What do I want to learn?
  • Where do I want to travel?
  • What will I do differently?

These are all great questions. Your answers to them can be very illuminating and helpful when deciding what to focus on and where to put your energy. No doubt about it, questions like these can help you to set your course for any year.

But, there’s a pivotal question that’s missing. It’s a question that we just don’t give a lot of thought to; yet, in my experience, the answer to this particular question can lay a helpful foundation for answering all the others.  In a nutshell it’s this:

How do I want to be?

You see, how you BE matters; your state of being colours everything that you do, the impact that you have, the connections that you make.

This is where I can make the argument that “you’re a human being, not a human doing” – and so your focus is best put on how and who you be, as opposed to how and what you do.

But it’s about more than that.

How you BE is about the energy that you bring to the world. Your energy infuses absolutely every choice you make, every action you take, every conversation you have. Given its far-reaching impact, paying attention and getting deliberate about your energy is not just a good idea: it’s actually imperative.

So, when you think of 2018 and your goal-setting endeavours, how do you want to be? Not sure how to answer that? Here are some options (and there are a kazillion others, trust me!):

  • Confident
  • Engaged
  • Connected
  • Focused
  • Quiet
  • Provocative
  • Helpful
  • Encouraging
  • Inspired
  • Purposeful

The list could, quite literally, go on and on.

Once you land on an answer to this question – the question of “how will you be” – you can use this answer as a springboard to answer the other, more traditional questions. For example, let’s say that in 2018, you will choose to be more caring of your self. With this as a starting place, what courses will you take? How will you schedule your work week? How much time will you spend with others, and how? What vacations will you schedule? You get the idea.

The bottom-line is this. How you be is having an impact on what you do, what you achieve, and how you engage with the world around you, whether you’re conscious of it or not. In light of this, you may as well get conscious and deliberate. Use your way of being to your advantage. Get deliberate about how you be, use this energy to inform what you do, and get ready to set goals that feel far more aligned, achievable and meaningful than they would otherwise.

Tracy Harvie