My Goals for 2017
I spoke a little yesterday about some of my goals for 2017.
But I thought it might be useful to do an individual post about my goals and explain them in a bit more detail and outline my plans for the year.
If you’re wondering why I’m sharing my personal goals with you, I’m actually doing it for 2 reasons.
The main reason is that for so long I’ve only ever been accountable to myself.
One of the main challenges with being your own boss or being self employed is that it’s very easy to procrastinate or put things off because if you don’t do them you only have yourself to answer to.
I wanted some accountability for my goals this year so I made the decision to announce them and make them public.
I know that by doing this I’ll have a much higher chance of sticking to them as I know they are public and I don’t just have myself to answer to anymore.
The second reason is that I’m taking on some very interesting and challenging goals this year, these are things not many people ever try do and I think the results and journey is going to be very interesting.
I think there’s lots of other people who follow what I do who could benefit from me sharing my progress so I’ve decided to open it up and document the journey in the hope it might inspire other people to set their own goals or learn from some of my lessons.
There’s a huge health and wellbeing theme to my goals this year.
The overall goal this year is to become consistently happy and get my health in order.
Both my physical health and my mental health.
I have a lot of other huge career related goals, more things to do with my work in mental health and related to the future of The Tartan Explorer, but I see these playing out more over the next 2–5 years and I realised that in order to have the best chance of achieving these longer term goals I have to be as healthy and happy as possible.
I’ve never really spoken about this before, but all my goals this year are really geared towards one thing.
Getting my weight under control.
The thing I think about most is by far my body and how I look physically.
I’ve been overweight most of my life.
I lost a lot of weight just after 2011 when I was at my biggest but I’ve sort of yo-yo’d since then and managed to do really well since I started cycling but I’ve always seemed to put on the weight again somehow.
It was only a few months ago that I finally realised I was using food my whole life as a source of happiness.
I was overweight because I was unhappy.
I was eating food in the hope it would make me happy.
It’s hardly breaking news but guess what?
It just makes you feel sick and bloated with an extra dose of self loathing sprinkled on top.
So by trying to work on my happiness this year I’m trying to overcome that and finally get my weight under control.
It’s actually one of the main reasons for giving up alcohol too, when I’m not drinking I seem to lose weight so fast and can get so fit.
Then I have a drink and it all goes downhill. I eat like a pig the next day and then struggle to get back into the routine of exercising.
So as you can see all of these goals are all linked together in some way and what they’re fundamentally working towards is a happy and healthy version of me, who doesn’t need any external sources of happiness like food, alcohol or social media.
It’s all about becoming my own internal source of happiness.
So 2017 is the year where I go all in on my health. The way I’m looking at it is that I’m just taking 1 year out to get my health in peak condition.
In the past I’ve slipped up with this because health wasn’t my top priority.
I’d be doing so well with my diet and fitness plan, I’d be avoiding alcohol and then I’d get somewhere and then there would be something happening like a party or a special occasion and it would all go out the window so I could drink or eat lots of food.
I done that because health wasn’t the top priority. My top priority was fun, or happiness at any cost.
I’m changing that now.
I don’t care what the event or occasion is this year, I won’t be sacrificing my health in order to enjoy it.
As I said, it’s just one year to go all in, get the body I’ve always wanted, get my health in peak condition and then for the rest of my life it will be a case of managing my health and working to incorporate some of these more unhealthy things back into my life but with some balance.
When I’m healthy and happy there’s no stopping me in terms of my drive, determination and commitment to my work.
You can’t help others until you help yourself, so by really helping myself this year I’m trying to lay the foundations and build the platform for the rest of my life where I try to deliver my vision for a happier and healthier world.
So here are the main goals I’ve set myself for 2017.
- I thrived in sobriety for the whole of 2017 (no alcohol)
- I will be in the greatest physical condition of my life. (healthy balanced diet)
- I meditate every single day. (Meditation)
- I spend my free time present and offline (no social media)
- I cycled 12,500 miles in 2017 (Tartan Explorer/Cycling)
You may notice that a couple of the goals seem a bit vague or not very clear. So I’ve put in brackets what they actually mean or their categories.
When setting goals it’s important to try and write them positively in the present tense, as if you have already achieved them.
Because it’s also important to review the goals every day, I aim to look at them a few times each day. So when I’m doing this I want to be saying them out loud and affirming them.
By saying them out loud on a constant basis I’m programming these goals into my brain so that my actions and behaviour start to get me closer to these goals subconsciously without me having to think about them at times.
The more I affirm that I thrive in sobriety, the more determined I become and the thought of even having a drink will become so alien because I’ve drilled it into my brain that many times that I don’t drink anymore and instead thrive in sobriety.
It’s also really important to write them in a positive way enforcing what you are going to gain instead of what you are giving up.
In the past I would say things like I’m giving up alcohol, or I want to lose a stone.
By doing that I’m focusing on what I’m going to be giving up, which is a negative way to look at and by affirming what I’m trying to give up I’m subconsciously attracted to these things.
Instead I’m trying to focus on what I’m going to gain.
So for me it’s not about giving up alcohol, it’s about thriving in sobriety.
Thriving by all the new energy and happiness I’m going to get, by all the money I’m going to save for more productive and enjoyable things, all the health benefits I’m going to feel.
By writing these goals down too I have a much higher chance of achieving them.
In the past I would just say I’m giving up drink or I’m going to get fit this year, and then I’d always end up failing.
Those aren’t goals I was setting, those were just hopes.
I hope I get fit, I hope I can quit drinking.
By writing these goals down I’m committing to them and turning them into must’s. I don’t hope to do these things.
I must do them.
It’s that important.
You always need a why behind your goals and for me I’m doing this for happiness.
I’ve spent so much of my life depressed that I just refuse to feel that anyway anymore and I’m going to do absolutely everything in my power to ensure I no longer feel that way.
These aren’t just goals, it could be the difference between life and death.
That might sound dramatic but it’s really not.
I’m only ever one or two silly decisions way from death, and if I continue feeling the way I have recently then I’m flirting with the prospect more and more each day.
So that’s my why and that’s why I’m so committed to them.
Another really important part of my goals this year is that I’m tracking them very officially in a spreadsheet.
What gets measured get’s improved.
So by recording my results I’m putting myself in the best position to succeed.
I can see my progress which allows me to spot patterns and I can congratulate myself when I start to see positive results staring back at me on the spreadsheet.
I’ve tracked my goals in spreadsheets like this before but always seemed to come up short.
So this year I’m going one step further.
I’m going to be sharing this spreadsheet with Declan of Smile Counselling who is going to be working hands on with me this year providing counselling support.
As well as doing weekly counselling sessions over the phone or Skype when I’m away we’re going to be reviewing this spreadsheet and analysing my results for the week.
So again I’m going to have someone to answer to, the accountability I’m creating this year is really going to be the difference which allows me to finally follow through on goals and aims I’ve been tackling my whole life.
I’m really looking forward to the journey this year.
Although they are huge goals, I’m not going to be crippled by them or put myself under any pressure.
Achieving the end goal isn’t the most important thing when setting a goal.
It’s about the person you become on that journey.
“Set a goal so big than in the process of achieving it you become someone worth becoming”
That’s one of my favourite quotes and it’s my whole philosophy on goal setting.
Whether I achieve these goals or not is irrelevant, it’s all about what I learn throughout the process and how I grow and develop as a person.
I don’t believe in failure.
You only fail when you don’t learn.
So as long I’m learning I’m happy.
Some people don’t like to set goals because they are scared they won’t achieve them.
But for me there’s only two possible outcomes.
I either achieve my goal or I learn a ton of stuff about myself.
it’s win win.
So if there is anyone else reading this who wants to change something about themselves this year, or improve a certain aspect of their life.
Just go for it.
You’ve nothing to lose.
If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always feel like you’ve always felt.
Try something different, make a change.
What’s the alternative?
Feeling like you’ve always felt.
You can either feel better or continue feeling like you’ve always felt.
So you either move forward or stay the same.
It’s impossible to lose.
Remember, I’m always here to coach or guide anyone through their own journey.
If there’s anything I can ever do to help or support, just drop me a message and I’d be more than happy to chat or share any advice I might have.
The Tartan Explorer