How to Set Goals for the New Year You Will Actually Keep and Achieve.

The holiday rush is almost over. So it's time to slow down, reflect on 2022 and start dreaming up your vision for 2023.

For a while now, I've been developing a system of finding my theme for the coming year. And I use the word theme and not resolution or goal because, during those years of development, I've learned that if I only have a list of what I want to accomplish for the year and not a driving force as to why I'm trying to achieve it, 365 days later I end up right where I started.

Having a theme prioritizes progress over perfection. As a result, you'll be able to create more structured and actionable goals that speak to your true self and guide you through setting boundaries against things that do not directly serve you and your business.

Maybe you can relate - when I first started in direct sales - and life in general - I thought that the way to become the person I wanted to be was to find the right system to follow. If I could just figure out a way to get up at 5 am and do Hal Elrod's Miracle Morning, then I'd become the healthiest, happiest, most successful version of myself, and my dreams would follow suit once I got to that point. So I tried on all these different self-help hats, thinking I needed to find the right one to transform me into this perfect person. And whenever I found a book or motivational speaker that struck a chord, I'd obsessively consume their content, create a detailed plan based on their system and then contort my life into a box it wasn't meant to fit in. And when I failed a couple of weeks later, I always blamed myself. I thought I didn't have enough willpower, was lazy, or was just never meant for greatness. It took years of this vicious cycle to realize that it wasn't the fact that I hadn't found a perfect system to organize my life that was stopping me from making my dreams come true. It was the fact that I was so worried about being perfect at something I forgot that all I needed to do was do the thing!

What a novel idea! To move forward towards your goal, even when you wake up at 7 am instead of 5 am, squeeze in sending outreaches while waiting in line to get your coffee instead of gracefully sitting at your desk after your morning workout.

You don't need to wait; you can accomplish everything you want for yourself and your business as an imperfect person constantly overwhelmed by everyday chaos! Because if we wait for things to be perfectly organized and not chaotic - then it'll never happen.

And I figured out how to push past the trap of perfection and into the path of action by dedicating my year to a theme that grounds me. Even when I'm feeling inadequate or undeserving of my dreams (I know we all feel that way sometimes!), it reminds me that as long as I'm moving forward, even the tiniest bit - that's good enough. All that extra fluff doesn't matter.

So in this article, I will share an unfathomably valuable lesson on pinpointing what you actually want for yourself and your business, how to adapt your goals, and the steps to accomplish them in a way that fits into your everyday.

​​So what am I talking about when I say pick a ‘theme’ for your year?

A theme is what you decide to concentrate on for 12 months and let everything else fall by the wayside. We want so many things for ourselves, and we want to accomplish all of them at once. But the hard truth is that we have limited time, so we need to be picky about where we point our energy. It’s a scary thought to commit to one thing, but that’s the only way to master anything. So think of 2023’s theme as the thing you want to master for the upcoming year. Once you pick it - you’ll be able to sift out the distractions quickly.

So how do you pick your theme?

Well, it all starts with being honest with ourselves!

Being honest is deceptively simple. Who knows us better than ourselves? Being honest about what we want should be easy. But we forget that we are bogged down with the ‘shoulds’ in our life. I ‘should’ have a large team, I ‘should’ use my phone less, I ‘should’ work out more… all of that gets muddled in with what we actually want for ourselves, and we stop being able to tell the difference. This leads us to deceive ourselves with what we think we should do rather than move toward what we want.

And knowing the difference matters when picking your theme for the year because when you provide space to do and be what you want rather than what you feel obligated to do - you will show up more for yourself and your business. It won’t be so much of a struggle.

So, to be honest with ourselves, we first have to sift out the ‘shoulds.’ And I do this every year with an exercise called the 101 List To Be/Do/Have/Give. It’s a spin-off of Mark Victor Hanson’s 101 Goal List. My mentor and mother, a National Executive Director with Pampered Chef, taught it to me.  

If you haven’t heard of this exercise, essentially, the point is to take 20 to 30 minutes to rapid-fire every desire, aspiration, dream, and hope you could want for yourself and to use that as a way to expand your view of what is possible for your life.

However, instead of using it as a bucket list, I was taught to use it as a way to pinpoint a pattern. She pointed out that the first 30 to 50 of your list will come quickly, but you’re forced to sit and dive deep. Then, as you keep going, a pattern emerges. And in that pattern is your theme! She uses it to help her team find their big WHY but I use it as an exercise to figure out the direction I’m already being pulled towards.

Here’s how to do the exercise:

​​Find 20 to 30 minutes of undistracted time. Write in a clean space with minimal clutter. Use printer or loose-leaf paper. Do not use your phone or another notebook you're already using for something else. Title the top of your paper 101 To Do/Be/Have/Give for 2023. Start a timer and begin writing down everything that comes to mind that falls into these categories, no matter how outrageous, impractical, or silly you think it is. It could be as small as getting a new hairstyle, materialistic as buying a new luxury car or handbag, or as big as promoting to a new level in your business. Your aspirations can be as random and unrelated to each other as possible. Think of it like this: if you had unlimited funds, unlimited time, and didn't fear others judging you, what would you want for yourself in 2023?

I recommend writing the list until you've reached 101, even if the timer goes out. When done, read through it. What patterns do you see? Did you notice that most of the things you wanted to do were find more time to spend with your family? Then it would help if you concentrated on new ways to automate your business. Did you notice that a lot of the things you want are expensive? Then you would concentrate on how to scale your business and increase sales and recruiting. Was it that you were looking for more fulfillment? Then it's time to create space for yourself to explore new things.

This exercise is so impactful because once you see the pattern of your desires and hopes for the year to come, you'll know where you can start fitting that thing you want more in your life. Even if you have to sneak it into the cracks between everything else, once you see what is calling you - it'll show you where things aren't serving you.

For example, maybe one of the reasons you've been in a rut with your business is because your dreams are different than your uplines, and when you're training with them, they may be teaching material that helps accomplish the goals that align with their goals and not yours.

Another tool you can use to find your theme is a vision board - either a physical one or Pinterest. But here's the catch - you need only to allow yourself a dedicated period to work on it - and then you need to be done. Vision boards can start becoming a year-long curation of wishes you have for yourself, and they're much easier to do than actually doing the thing that gets you closer to accomplishing your goals.

The point of a vision board is to provide you with a visual representation of what you want for 2023. So instead of using it as something you throw together like some 'accomplishment shopping list,' every time you add a piece to it, ask yourself - why does this speak to me? You'll find that the answer you give comes back over and over again. Whatever pattern emerges or word that keeps popping up, whether through a vision board, the 101 list, or some other exercise - that's your theme.

Another tip for picking your theme is to give yourself a limited decision window. I start mid - November until New Year's Eve. Don't get bogged down by finding the perfect theme of your year because at the end of the day - it's not the theme that's going to make your dreams come true - it's the commitment to doing the work.

Once you commit - do not backtrack - do not restart this process multiple times throughout the year. Instead, commit to following through with one path, and you will see yourself and your business grow in a way that best fits you!

So now that you have a theme for 2023, what do you do with it?

Your theme will guide you in choosing goals for the new year that serve you and your business honestly and efficiently.

The first thing to do is to figure out more concretely what pieces of your business and life you’re doing out of obligation that doesn’t help you honor your theme.

Let’s say you’ve decided that your 2023 theme will be Quality! You picked this because you realized that because you’re trying to do everything all the time for everyone and yourself - you’re not enjoying any parts of your day. After all, you’re constantly overwhelmed with a to-do list. So you have gotten in the habit of choosing convenience over quality. Yet, in your heart, you want to have more quality time with your family, quality in your work, quality in the food you eat, and the experiences you spend money on. Knowing this means eliminating pieces of your day that don’t serve this purpose.

Do you watch the morning news in the morning to wake up because it’s easier than spending a couple more minutes to pick out a tv show or audiobook that’ll increase the quality of your morning? Nix the news and choose enjoyment! It’s a small change that’ll seep into the rest of your day!

Do you feel like posting a ton of content in a group for a virtual party doesn’t create a quality experience for your party guests and hosts? Then nix that old system and find a new one, such as relying more heavily on live workshops and demos during your parties.

Do you attend team meetings that are the same old same old and do not provide you with any substance, but you go out of obligation? If it doesn’t fit your vision of creating a higher-quality day-to-day experience for yourself and your business, throw it out the window!

Say goodbye to it with no guilt or doubt because you’ve committed to pursuing your theme for 2023 and will not let anything else distract you from it!

Once you start seeing where things aren’t serving you, it leaves room to add actionable steps to make your vision for 2023 come true. So, for instance, if you want to increase the quality time you have with your family, it might be time to start investing in automation and ways to delegate the more time-consuming tasks.

This could look like hiring a personal assistant.

How would you create actionable steps to hire a personal assistant? First, you’d see where you can take that on in your budget. Do you need to find more funds? Then maybe your goal around getting more parties in the new year will be for you to earn the funds to hire a personal assistant so you can spend more time with your family.

See how much more motivating that goal is than just saying - I want more bookings to grow my business? Now you know exactly what each action you take amounts to and what is at stake when you don’t follow through.

Avoid All or Nothing thinking:

So many self-help books talk about how to 'get over' your excuses or your fear or whatever word they want to use to say that there's something you're doing that's getting in the way of your dreams.

And yes, sometimes we need to hear that it takes hard work, ambition, and precision to reach unfathomable heights of success - but what is your definition of success? Why follow self-help gurus with a different definition of success than you?  

When we get specific about what will make our lives better, instead of getting distracted by someone else's definition - We can make a tremendous impact on our lives.

Making incremental and somewhat mundane daily decisions is the key, even when we cannot show up 100%. Please do not get stuck in the idea that there's no point in doing something unless it's perfect. Even if you move the needle only .005% in the right direction, you're winning.

Having a theme that you can go back to as a mantra whenever you get overwhelmed will help to readjust your expectations of what needs to be done to feel like you're progressing.  

Maybe getting 30 outreaches a day is different from how your brain works to find new bookings and recruit leads. And you work better when you just give yourself an hour a day to check into your social media, engage in conversations with your audience, and ask people if they'd like to know more about the business or how to get that product at a discount. But instead of getting upset that you didn't send out 30 messages that day, you tell yourself I need to check in with my customers to ensure I am providing them with a quality experience. Rearrange the marker of your success in a way that allows you to fit in the work, and you end up doing more of it!

If you want to dive into more of these concepts, here are books that helped me!

- Four Thousand Weeks by Oliver Burkeman

- Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones By James Clear

- The Gifts of Imperfection - Brené Brown

I hope this helps you find a theme for 2023 that carries you and your business to new and amazing places!

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Corey Burge

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