I cannot believe we’re just a few days away from a new year. I feel like 2020 went by so fast and so slow at the same time. Obviously it’s been one hell of a year – one full of highs, lows, and everything in between. I hope you’re able to walk into 2021 with something good from 2020, even if it’s just a slight shift in mindset toward the positive.
Seeing as 2021 is a few days from now, lots of people are probably thinking about how they can make 2021 way better than 2020 was (actually, probably everyone). No matter what year it is, though, around this time you’re bound to come across articles and social media posts telling you to set your goals for the new year – or else. Or else, what? I have no clue either!
All of these articles or social media posts will tell you to start goal-setting for the new year in mid-to-late December so you’ll be ready to go come January. You’ll start seeing borderline threatening words like “don’t go into 2021 without goals” or “have you set your intentions (read: goals) for 2021 yet? Time’s running out!” Or what about the ever-famous “it’s the end of 2020, have you met all of your goals???”
What a load of crap. This will probably be one of the shortest blog posts I’ll ever write. Why?
Because the best time to set goals for the new year or month or day or hour is whenever the heck you want.
Yep, that’s the tea. There’s no magic day or timing. There are many people who thrive on deadlines and will get it done no matter what. But the rest of us might not. Or, we may thrive on deadlines but only if the deadlines are realistic. And often, the goals people set for themselves are arbitrary at best. Sure, they’re good ideas, but they may not jive with everyone. Hence, most of us being unable to keep our new year resolutions by the end of January. I’m not sure whose idea it was to tell people what to do with their lives but they can go ahead and sit down right now.
If you want to have goals, that’s fantastic! Everyone would benefit from having goals for themselves, family, business, and the like. The thing is – there’s no right timing to set them. If you want to set goals for 2021 on February 15th (this is my birthday!), great. July? Cool. We may have developed wonderful calendars and planners and what not to keep track of the days/months/years, but your goals from 2020 won’t become obsolete when the clock strikes 12am on January 1, 2021 and it certainly wouldn’t be too late to set goals for 2021 on January 2nd or at any other time.
We put far too much pressure on ourselves to meet arbitrary timelines that are often made up by someone we don’t even know. And then when things don’t go “on schedule” we abandon our goals altogether. You should never stop chasing after what brings you joy. Just because an item on your list of goals for 2020 didn’t happen (and this is the case for most of us), does not mean it needs to be thrown away forever.
Life is short and life is long.
There’s plenty of time. There’s no book of rules that says you MUST set all of your goals before the next year begins or else it won’t count. You can go about goal-setting however is best for YOU. It’s so easy to get caught up in what other people say they’re doing or look like they’re doing.
If you’ve ever wondered why someone else’s habits or goals just won’t stick for you and you find it hard to keep up with them – it’s because they aren’t YOURS. They aren’t tailored to YOU and YOUR life. The only measuring stick you’ll ever need is yourself – your past self, your present self, and the self you want to be in the future.
So if you’ve been feeling stressed out about goal-setting for the new year, take this as a pass to stop stressing. Not because 2020 was hard enough (there’s no doubt that it definitely was), not because you need to do “self-care” and stop being hard on yourself (only you know that), but because you can set whatever goals you want, whenever and however you want. Simple.
Have a wonderful & safe holiday, my friend! See you on the “other side.”