Sarah Barr from the New Beginnings Counselling Service has a 'Smart' way for us to set and achieve our goals in the New Year.

” The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams” – Eleanor Roosevelt

On New Year’s eve, I sit down with my daughter and we write our dreams and goals for the New Year. We fold our pieces of paper, pop them in a jar, sprinkle with glitter (she is five, and glitter has magical powers) and close the lid. The jar full of hopes and dreams, sits for twelve months quietly on the shelf. This is not only magical for a child but also for me.

As time seems to move quicker with each passing year, we often lose track of our goals. Getting caught up with the mayhem of day to day life. Our focus changes, and what we once set out to achieve on January the 1st, becomes a distant thought.

When we open our pieces of paper, coated in glitter on New Year’s Eve, we are reminded of these distant thoughts and goals. Delighted in all we have accomplished, and believing in ourselves and our ability. Which I believe to be the real magic; self-belief.

Self-belief stems from positive thinking, talking to others, practice and in some cases through therapy. We display our self-belief through our mood, behaviour and the way we carry ourselves.

Create goals that are personal, positive and present. The ‘SMART’ theory, can help achieve this.

  • Specific: Write down specific ideas and goals, keep them simple! Answering the six “W” questions can help. These are: ‘who’ is involved?, ‘what’ do I want to accomplish?, ‘where’ do I go?, ‘when’ will I have achieved my goal, ‘which’ requirements do I need to help me achieve my goal and ‘why’, do I want to achieve this goal?
  • Measurable: By keeping track on the progress of your own personal goal, you will be able to assess how achievable this goal is.
  • Attainable: When you become aware of the goals that are most important to you, you begin to figure out ways to make them come true. You develop the ability, skills and self-belief to reach them.
  • Realistic: How realistic is your goal? Is it a goal that you can achieve? By asking these questions you can determine how realistic it is to achieve your goal.
  • Time: Develop your goal within a time frame, without a time frame there is no sense of urgency. Therefore this can lead to a lack of motivation in achieving your goal.

” If you believe you can do it, then you can”- Ellie, (age five).

Sometimes the simplistic and innocent mind of a child can gently remind us to believe in ourselves.

Wishing you all a peaceful New Year, Sarah.