When the pandemic hit, the goals I set for 2020 evaporated. Between writers block, stress eating a mountain of chocolate and strict border closures, almost all of my writing, health and travel plans were soon jettisoned.
Even for me—someone who loves goals so much I have written a book about goal setting—this was disheartening. You too may be discouraged by your lack of 2020 success. Perhaps you have already failed at your New Year’s resolutions this year. Or maybe you don’t believe there is any point to planning anything in these crazy times.
Whatever the reason for our reluctance, we can’t give up on goal setting. In fact, we should double down on our efforts to attain our goals this year.
Here are three ways to reinvigorate your 2021 goals…
1) Reinvigorate Your 2021 Goals by Writing Them With Your Non-Dominant Hand
It really should go without saying that your goals MUST be written down. Writing ideas down makes them real, gets your thoughts in order and is a permanent record of your wants and dreams. Studies have shown that you boost your chances of accomplishing goals by at least 40% if they are written down. A goal that is not in writing is merely a hope or wishful thinking. Writing starts your mind conspiring how the goal could be possible. It creates momentum.
Now you have written down your goals, here comes the fun part: write those same goals down with your non-dominant hand. So if you are right handed, use your left hand. If you prefer your left hand, write your goals with your right hand. I would suggest using scrap paper for this as your rudimentary writing will likely be outside of the lines and almost illegible.
There seems to be some brain science behind it but, for now, just think of this as an enjoyable exercise to reinvigorate your 2021 goals.
Utilize your body in other ways to bolster your goals. State them out loud to yourself in the mirror. Voice them while standing in a strong, confident pose. Or associate a certain movement while thinking or saying your goals, e.g.: a fist pump or punching your arm up into the air.
2) Reinvigorate Your 2021 Goals by Going Hard…For a Short Time
The path to mastery starts with a period of total immersion then continues with scheduled repetition. If you commit to doing something just five times in a row, such as going to the gym every day, this will create momentum and you are far more likely to continue with it. So if you want to learn something new, then go to the dance or painting or judo class every night for a week or commit to at least ten lessons in one month. After that scale it back.
This period of intensity is temporary, just enough to convert your willpower into a positive habit. Success can be thought of as a sprint fueled by discipline just long enough for habit to kick in and take over.
During this intense stage of learning really lean into your support network. Delegate or eliminate what is not important for this limited time in your life. Ask your spouse to cook or pay for a meal delivery service. Get your kids to do chores or pay for a cleaner. Do whatever it takes to get past that first uncertain stage of skill building and then work at a less reckless pace from there.
Use your mind in other ways to reinforce your goals. Read them each day, link goal tasks to existing habits and add in some accountability.
3) Reinvigorate Your 2021 Goals by Linking Them to a Song
Each year when I write out my goals I choose a theme tune, a favorite song that means something to me. I create a playlist of one so I can listen to it by itself, on repeat if necessary. When I play the song, I link it to my best affirmations, things I am grateful for and of course, my goals for that year. This brings some emotion into my goal setting, giving it some heart.
Past songs include “Best Day of My Life” by American Authors, “Unwritten” by Natasha Bedingfield and “Can’t Stop the Feeling” by Justin Timberlake. The song I have just chosen for 2021 is “This is Me” sung by Keala Settle and others from the movie, The Greatest Showman.
You can choose any song you want for your theme tune and you can change your mind if it doesn’t feel right. When 2020 turned to custard, I changed my theme tune from “Uptown Funk” by Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars to “Love My Life” by Robbie Williams. When I hear my theme tune randomly, say when I first switch the radio on, I like to think the universe has my back, that it is supporting my goals.
Bring heart to your goals to give them a boost. One way to do this is to notice the universe giving you signs that your actions are on the right track. Yes, this is a bit woo-woo but I, for one, am happy to accept all the help I can get! Seeing repeated numbers like 111, feeling really in flow and having amazing synchronicities is deeply heartening.
Who else didn’t achieve the goals they set in 2020? Well get excited! There is ample opportunity to reinvigorate your 2021 goals. You can do this by connecting them to your body, mind and heart by doing such things as writing them out with your non-dominant hand, going hard for a short time and linking them to a favorite song.
By doubling down on your efforts to ingrain your goals, they are carried not only into your body, mind and heart but into your soul. They are now part of you. Which is important as you don’t get your goals—you get what you believe you are—your identity.
Please comment below and tell me how you will reinvigorate your 2021 goals.
Want a fun, step-by-step guide to create exciting and meaningful goals? Check out my book, Super Sexy Goal Setting
You may also like my other blog posts about goal setting:
3 Simple Steps to Setting Goals that Stick
3 Compelling Reasons to Absolutely LOVE Goal Setting
Amazing video of the ‘This is Me’ song:
Julie Gorges says
It’s been a year – that’s for sure! More focused on self-care these days than goals, but these are fun ideas to help get our lives back on track!
Self-care is always number 1 and it is good to have goals, well habits and routines around it.
Rosie Russell says
What fun ideas I’ve never thought of, Julie!
Love the music one and I’m going to give that a try.
So glad to see you back and I hope you read some fun books.
I’m looking forward to what your next project will be.
Song links are all about adding different senses into your goals to make them real plus anchoring them in. I do intend to write another book or two this year… but on what??
Cat Michaels says
Welcome back after break, Julie! So impressed how you take down time for yourself.
Keeping it 100, I’m a luddite when it comes to yearly goals and usually don’t make them (gasp!). But 2021 is the exception: I just want to come out of it healthy and more kind and grateful for life’s everyday moments and the people in them. My song would be “I’ll Stand by You” -:D
Ohhhh nice song choice!
Rebecca Lyndsey says
Very creative thinking here! Gonna have to give them a try!
Thanks – that non-dominant hand one works in a weird way!
Sandra Bennett says
Hi Julie, setting goals this year hasn’t been a priority for me, I’m setting aside more family time. 2020 was an unexpected big year even with the issues of bushfires and covid. Winning the Adaptable comp and pitching to film producers was a massive experience that lead to Fossil Frenzy finally being published. I have been so busy with the book that I haven’t had time to focus on my next goal. I do like the idea of a song, maybe this year it is We Are Family.
Love the song choice Sandra!