Continuing one of the themes from my last blog and, particularly, some of the sentiments in ‘the Hot Chocolate Story’ at the end. I’m inviting you to take a slightly different route into planning your goals for 2018 than what you might have done before.

Instead of starting with a list what you haven’t got or achieved, how about starting the process with a list of what you have got, what you have achieved in 2017 (or earlier) and what you like or love about your life right now?

A kind of gratitude journal, in effect.

And please do spend a few moments, at least, appreciating all this.

This might help you identify who or what in your life are worth keeping, preserving, nurturing, spending more time on or with – before you add in anything else. This could help you focus on the people and the other things in your life, now, what you wouldn’t want to lose/lose sight of once you get caught up in the process of going after other things or changing what you have.

I think ‘The Hot Chocolate Story’ is a great metaphor for how we often become distracted by the ‘trappings’ of life and miss out on the core of what matters – the ‘hot chocolate’ itself.

So, if you haven’t read it, I encourage you to have a quick read – and then think again about what you have already – and ask yourself:

  • what do I really value – what matters?
  • if I could devise my own personal definition of success or happiness, what would that look like?

Once you have your priorities sorted, a good next step is to decide what you want to:

  • keep doing
  • stop doing
  • do differently
  • start doing

Once you know what’s in each category, decide where to start. It’s OK to want to change a few things but, if you try to change too many things all at once, you might dilute your focus and be more likely to feel overwhelmed and discouraged later on.

Maybe choose one big thing and a couple of smaller ones to get you going and allow time and energy for these to become embedded into new habits first, before building in other things later on?

Consider the mini habits approach to planning ways in which you could incorporate  some things without making the process unnecessarily difficult – give yourself the best chance of success.

oakStarting off in a small way at first can often be a surer way to succeed than launching straight into a grand plan.

Perhaps you might even be able to introduce an element of fun or reward into the process, too?

From little acorns grow mighty oaks….