Ah yes, it’s once again the time of the year for resolution making and goal setting. It’s the beginning of a new era, fertile with dreams, possibilities, and opportunities. It’s also a time when Kris (my husband) and I do our annual review. During this focused and reflective discussion, we evaluate our goals for the year, celebrating the ones we accomplished and planning for those we still need to meet – both individually and as a couple. It’s also the time when we visualize our goals for the following year.

Let me back up a bit. In 2018, Kris and I took a trip to the Bahamas; it was a time for celebration, contemplation, and planning for the future. On the flight to the Bahamas, we began discussing our goals for 2019. We talked about all sorts of things: dreaming big, thinking outside the box, how to prepare for our couples retreats, the concept of working at different speeds, to name a few. To elaborate on the last item, I tend to be more of a team of one, meaning I typically do things individually and at my own pace (which may seem slow to others). Kris, on the other hand, works at lightning speed and relishes the team environment. Both styles and paces are perfectly fine; we just needed to learn how to incorporate and manage both speeds for our annual reviews and couples retreats. We needed to visualize and plan.

Kris and I began making adjustments to our True North, also known as our values. We revised it to “owning your life experience/attitude matters,” which translates to mean what you say and say what you mean. In other words, always speak your truth. Further, it’s important to acknowledge the power of the human mind and how our attitude affects the outcome. For example, if you go to a party with the idea that it will be awful, well, it will be awful. If you say it will be fun, it will be fun. Pretty simple, right?

You see, each of us has a True North, an internal compass that guides us in the direction of our dreams. It’s up to us to visualize, plan, and set goals so our dreams can become a reality. By doing our annual review and keeping our True North in mind, Kris and I figured out what we wanted to accomplish individually and as a couple, and we began to visualize what a great year would look like.

Now wearing my therapist hat, I stress the importance of positive visualization to both my individual and couples clients. When we visualize a goal (regardless of its size), we’re consciously bringing it into our awareness. The visualization of a goal, formation of a plan, and hope are no match for unhappiness and stagnation.

To give you an idea of our goals, here are three that we accomplished as a couple in 2019:

  • Train to be smart, successful endurance athletes. Complete three events.
  • Finish the curriculum for our couples retreats. Facilitate two retreats.
  • Participate in three or more professional/personal development events

And here are a few of my personal goals I met in 2019 (and am still working on):

  • Move towards my private practice being 100% cash based. I estimate that I’m currently 50% cash based, as I stopped being an insurance provider for a few insurance companies.
  • Become THE couples coach/therapist in Omaha. I wouldn’t say I’m there yet, but that’s my path with all of my coaching training and additional learning in Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy.
  • Clear out unnecessary papers and adopt a more efficient filing system.
  • Become more vulnerable with Kris.

And here are a few of Kris’s goals for 2019 that he completed:

  • Finalize, launch, and promote his book, The Aspiring Solopreneur.
  • Launch his success camps.
  • Affirm and support my personal growth (which he has done a fabulous job and continues to do so).

Now, looking into 2020, the following are a few of our collective goals for the year:

  • Give up meat. We’re thinking about going vegetarian, which will involve learning how to shop and cook in a different way. Starting out, we may go to a cooking class or practice cooking vegetarian meals once a week or hire a chef.
  • Go mountain biking more, which means planning and going on more trips to practice our mountain biking skills.
  • Hold more couples retreats.

And here are some of my individual goals for 2020:

  • Grow my coaching practice.
  • Continue clearing out paper.
  • Develop and practice a more effective and efficient filing system.
  • Become a stronger mountain bike rider.

In 2020, Kris plans on learning more about the Hippie Capitalist concept, among many other things. We plan on evaluating and setting our goals during our upcoming trip to Key West.

As you can see, goals vary greatly between individuals – from tiny to lofty, personal to professional, short-term to long-term. The common thread that runs through each goal is hopeful ambition. No matter the size or how (or if) it’s reached, every goal starts out as a dream. What transforms that dream into a reality is conscious awareness and planning.

TAKE-AWAY: It’s never too late to dream! To make your dream a reality, follow your True North, visualize your success, and formulate a plan. At the end of the year, assess the goals you accomplished and celebrate them. Re-evaluate the goals that weren’t met and figure out how to meet them the following year.