A number of people take it seriously while some also bid it farewell just after the clock strikes twelve. Some call it a second chance to dream with their eyes open but not one can deny having made New Year Resolutions. Every year, we undergo a process of growth, learning and change, which brings with it an altered, revised list of aspirations. But seriously taken, the tradition of setting resolutions brings along with it an opportunity to gauge, set and revise our goals. It is the perfect time to look back and work around a set of SMART- specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-based objectives. Why is it important, you may ask?
Just like my watch that is 40 minutes ahead of time, I audit my life at the beginning of the Maharastrian New Year to give myself a head start of two months before January hits. Over my decades of experience and successes in setting goals, I have learnt that no one but me is the sculptor of my life. It is we, who decide the path we undertake; not destiny and it is our actions and determination that paves that way. I believe that every aspiration is a health, relationship or money goal. There are five types of relationships we foster- with the self, our family, network, life and society. Further, money goals are easily categorized into career and financial goals, which help us understand and analyze our aspirations. No one, but us hold the reins to our carriage of experiences and so, I thought no better way to start the year than share with all of you, a leaf from my tree of learning– on how to set and achieve goals this year.
- Relationship with self
Today, we are in a constant rush to upgrade our cars and accessories but often overlook an important change and upgradation in life- of ourselves. One’s self esteem somewhat appropriately describes one’s relationship with self and it is extremely important to empower ourselves to be able to make better choices and achieve better results. The first step of working on the same is through reading and enhancing awareness, which helps build a strong foundation of who we are.
It is often said that we are what we eat because the body reflects what it is on the inside, which makes it crucial to remain happy and calm, both on the inside and outside. Meditation and yoga helps take the mind away from the everyday busy life and reach a stage of peace and tranquility within.
- Relationship with family
The relationship we share with our family is the cornerstone of who we are. Sharing a healthy and meaningful bond with family helps one remain grounded, empathetic, patient and instills values that are extremely important to grow in any society. Our relationship with family also gives shape to our interpersonal skills and closeness often determines how well we connect with others.
In the everyday toil when we are busy hiding behind masks of various identities, it is in the safe haven of our home and with family that we shed our masks and get in touch with our real selves. In an ecosystem where we are ourselves, we begin to understand our surroundings better, resulting in an enhanced relationship with self.
- Relationship with network
I have found an assortment of people in your network helps in not only adding diverse experiences but also varied growth. Keep in your network those who inspire you as reference points, peers to exchange notes and those treading on your path to act as a mentor.
I strongly believe that you are essentially the average of 5 people you have coffee with. That is the importance of your relationship with your circle, friends and network. At the beginning of each year, take a good look at the company and network that surrounds you and upgrade if you need to.
- Relationship with life
Enhancing one’s relationship with self, family and network ultimately leads us to upgrading our quality of life. It is the culmination of networks joining together and factors working in tandem that leaves us with a feeling of gratitude and that is when one can conclude being on the right path. An abundant, fulfilling feeling is the essence of our relationship with life, which can be achieved by helping all the pieces of the puzzle to fall in one place.
It is also essential to remember to take a breath and pat yourself on the back for negotiating through life. Essentially, this relationship is all about your lifestyle and ability to gift yourself. You can only love others when you take good care of yourself.
- Relationship with society
I believe that our relationship with society is essentially our legacy. It is the rent we are paying for our space on Earth and answers the question of what are we leaving behind. To put this into perspective, take for example Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, Narayan Murthy and Anand Mahindra. It is people like them who touched lives of the commonest of people, helping them find a better standing than when they found them. It isn’t for us to give back to society but to leave with it an essence of ourselves- for its enhancement and betterment.
No matter how great and how wealthy, a healthy lifestyle is the foundation to meaningful life and there is no point in enjoying and building experiences if one isn’t healthy. I take it as an annual challenge to keep myself at pace with my running and marathon goals, even though it initially started as recreational sport. Strongly believing in ‘What gets measured gets improved,’ I also audit my health through quarterly reports and make necessary changes in everyday habits to emerge healthier at the end of the year than when it began.
With the onset of competition in every field today, it is becoming increasingly popular to prove oneself in the career they choose. Through research and developments of the past as case studies, one must strive to create new mountaintops every year. Setting ourselves work-oriented goals to improve our personal and team efforts is crucial in taking a step forward. Satisfaction in our careers is also important for self-esteem and it can only be achieved if we discipline and determine ourselves to delivering our dreams.
Finance is what can be defined as the proof of your career concept. Living a content life also involves being able to sustain oneself and our families, an important aspect of which is saving. Even though it is important to learn to live in the moment, setting aside financial goals for a year ensures protection during distressing times and keeps one secure psychologically.
Setting ourselves at least two-three goals in each of the eight avenues helps us set a direction to work towards. A guiding path is important to be able to set dreams and work on a specific, actionable plan to find ourselves in a better place than the beginning of the year.
With that, I truly hope these learnings will help you set and achieve goals this year and I wish you and your loved ones a very happy and healthy 2017!