It’s almost the end of January and I have only just finished my goal setting for this year !

There are two reasons for this, firstly all the hype on social media regarding  goals, had the opposite effect for me , the more I saw. the less I wanted to do it.

Secondly I didn’t really have any idea how to do it in a way that I would have the greatest chance of success.

I used to make New Year’s resolutions and promise myself all sorts of things. The trouble with that though, is that they tended to be vague wishes of what I would want to happen. Time and again it would end in failure or at best partial success which in turn would lead to a lot of stress, and a sense of major overwhelm. In addition, I would self-sabotage, so if my wish was to lose weight or work harder etc. I would do the exact opposite. Research shows 70% of the time this is what happens to people who make resolutions for the new year.

My take on why this happens is that with resolutions there is no concrete plan of action, it is for the most part just a voiced desire to make changes in one area or another of one’s life. Sure, at the time of making them there is great enthusiasm, tremendous passion, albeit unfocused, as well as a true belief that they will be carried out and accomplished, however the reality is usually totally different and disappointing.

Truth is one needs to be smart about it,

  • without a realistic, feasible and clear vision,
  • a deep-seated reason,
  • a definite set of action steps,
  • a precise end date,
  • plus an accountability buddy:

it is virtually impossible that some vague desire to alter things in one’s life is going to have a happy ending

A couple of years back I had the great fortune to attend a training held by Brian Mayne on #Goal Mapping, which was an absolute game changer for me. I had a really huge ‘AHA’  moment when it became clear that achieving what one wants need not be overwhelming when there is a system, one that applies to all areas of life, not only work.

I have since learnt that there are other systems for goal setting SMART and STAMP. All are essentially very similar; each one runs on the same basic principles that I mentioned above with slight variations. These two are more specifically designed for certain sectors such as for employees or entrepreneurs, though there is no fixed rule which says that if you just want to set personal goals you can’t use either.

So,having heard about goal mapping and been impressed with it, I have to admit I promptly ignored it for some time. Not only that but I also gave up on all types of goals, dreams, resolutions and anything I felt was doomed to failure, likely to give me palpitations or upset me in any way if I didn’t achieve them. For a little while I just drifted through the year from beginning to end.

I can honestly say I was happy for a while, it was actually quite satisfying to lead a “what will be, will be” existence.

This year though since so many people were pushing the set your goals thing, on the one hand I thought why should I ?, …..after all  if I don’t it doesn’t mean I’m a failure, which I felt  was often implied in the hype, after all I’ve survived several years without doing it.

On the other hand though I did feel the urge to have some rhyme and  reason to the way this year will unfold, taking into account Covid, which one year on is still very much with us.

This is when I remembered about goal mapping and revisited the idea. You might have gathered that I am a person who doesn’t work well under stress, I have also spent years eliminating overwhelm, and negativity all with a view to thoroughly enjoying life while still working, so this for me seems a good solution.

The core principle of the method is based on the fact that the brain needs both words, and imagery. Consciously chosen goals (words) are connected to the subconscious (imagery) which works behind the scenes on autopilot for an end result of achievement.

That’s the simple overview of it, the practical side consists of seven steps to creating your unique map, here I’m just going to give a very basic outline of the system, if it catches your interest please get in touch for more information.

In a nutshell the steps are:

  • 1.Dream, what do you want
  • 2.Order, put all your goals into order of priority,
  • 3.Draw, images in your mind,
  • 4. Why, pick out what completely motivates you,
  • 5. When, set a date by which you realistically will achieve the goal,
  • 6. How, put in writing all the necessary actions that must be taken,
  • 7. Who is going to help you be accountable.

It’s a brilliant system because it works with seven fundamental ideas that the brain needs answers to in order to accomplish what we want.

On a final note : as a midlife coach I would like to emphasize the fact that goals can be set at any time of the year, there is absolutely no need to get all stressed out. If,  like me, you have only now finished mapping out your year, or maybe you are still thinking about it, that is completely  ok. Unless one has specific business targets to achieve I believe that taking time to truly find and commit to what sets you on fire, then putting in place an action plan is when you will carry through and accomplish what you want.

Thank you for readin this blog, I appreciate it. If you made it this far you might like to follo me on Facebook where I post more meanderings and tips. I really hope you got some value, I would love to have some feed back, please feel free to get i touch at

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