Guest post by Tanja Bischof­ber­ger

Have you set a spe­ci­fic goal for this year? I don’t mean a vague reso­lu­tion you made after loo­king at the bathroom scale or while catching your breath after a quick sprint to the bus stop. What I mean is a real goal that has more to do with your inner self than you might ima­gine. On your jour­ney to achie­ving this goal, you have the oppor­tu­nity to learn a lot about yours­elf and to get to know yours­elf better. Some­ti­mes this is much more important than reaching the goal in the end.

If you ana­lyse your goal a little more clo­sely before you start, you can alre­ady pre­pare yours­elf for pos­si­ble obst­a­cles. Or you may sud­denly dis­co­ver down­si­des or con­se­quen­ces that you hadn’t thought of. It would be a pity to invest your time and energy in such an endea­vour. Use this time to look inside yours­elf and find out what really moti­va­tes you to tackle a par­ti­cu­lar goal. The fol­lo­wing seven ques­ti­ons will help you on your jour­ney of dis­co­very:

1st ques­tion: How are you doing right now? 
Just notice how you’re fee­ling at this moment. Is there ten­sion in your body, do you often think about the same things? Also, reflect on the expe­ri­en­ces and events of this year that have led to your cur­rent state of mind. What are you gra­te­ful for? What hasn’t been resol­ved yet and demands your atten­tion?
It may feel strange to you to be com­ple­tely in the pre­sent ins­tead of making plans for the future at the start of a new pro­ject. Howe­ver, this moment in the here and now will help you rea­lise what you really want.

2nd ques­tion: What is cal­ling you? 
In moments of silence, you can hear your inner voice or intui­tion tel­ling you some­thing spe­ci­fic. Maybe it is hel­pful if you ask yours­elf this ques­tion while loo­king at the flame of a candle or a beau­ti­ful pic­ture. Wri­ting, pain­ting or other crea­tive forms of expres­sion can also be used as a way to listen to your heart. What are the things you want to achieve in the coming year that you are wil­ling to take on chal­len­ges for? Now for­mu­late your goal!

3rd ques­tion: Who is on your side? 
Trying to achieve a goal on your own can be quite appea­ling. You want to sur­prise those around you with your suc­cess, or you want to deal with pos­si­ble failure without having to tell anyone about it. Nor do you want to tell the whole world about your plans. Try to find people who have per­haps set the same goal for them­sel­ves or have alre­ady achie­ved it and who can give you valuable tips. Be sure to involve some of your clo­sest fri­ends. They will be there for you, moti­vate you or com­fort you.
4th ques­tion: What is your first step? The usual reso­lu­ti­ons go like this: From now until fore­ver”. These are big words that can also be a bit scary. What you need first of all is an idea for how to start. While it’s nice to ima­gine how you will tackle cer­tain steps on your jour­ney, you should start by for­mu­la­ting a first step. This step should signal to you: Now I’ve star­ted, it’s time to go!” It can be a small ritual, some­ti­mes even the con­scious cros­sing of a bridge can be hel­pful.

5th ques­tion: How do you deal with obst­a­cles?
Try to think about pos­si­ble pro­blems you might encoun­ter on your way to your goal. Are there people or situa­ti­ons that would stop you from pur­suing your plan? Recall expe­ri­en­ces from your past, you are the one who knows yours­elf best.
Think about things that will help you in such times of adver­sity and create a first aid box: Who could you call when you need chee­ring up? Write a note invit­ing you to spend a moment in silent reflec­tion. Is there a book with moti­va­tio­nal texts? Which songs make you feel good? Some­ti­mes a favou­rite scent or a bubble bath can help. You can also put cho­co­late in the box. Keep adding things that bring you hap­pi­ness. Then, when you are in the middle of the battle, get sup­port from your box.

6th ques­tion:
How do you know you’ve reached your goal? This may seem like a strange ques­tion to you. Howe­ver, just like the fourth ques­tion, try to be very spe­ci­fic. Just aiming for a goal will not moti­vate you all the way. You should have a clear idea of what you will be like when you reach your goal. Will you be able to do some­thing that is not pos­si­ble for you at the moment? What will be dif­fe­rent about yours­elf and within you than it is now? Try to con­nect your goal to yours­elf as much as pos­si­ble. Having this clear pic­ture of yours­elf will help you on your way.

7th ques­tion: What will your life be like after you have reached your goal? It doesn’t matter whe­ther you have set yours­elf a big or a small goal. Either way, jour­neys like this one will always result in per­so­nal deve­lop­ment. You will not be the same person you were before you star­ted. Since you are also part of a com­mu­nity, this change will affect your envi­ron­ment. Your view of ever­y­day things may change. The ques­tion is hypo­the­ti­cal, but no less excit­ing: How will your fri­ends and family see you once you have reached your goal? How will they recognise your change? What will your ever­y­day life be like?
How do you feel about your goal now? The seven ques­ti­ons will not save you from unfo­re­seen obst­a­cles. As with most things, being well pre­pa­red can cont­ri­bute signi­fi­cantly to reaching your goal in the end. Still, every jour­ney begins with the first step. And you can take the first step by wel­co­m­ing the new year full of con­fi­dence, moti­va­tion and joy.

About the author: Tanja Bischof­ber­ger is a coach and intui­tion trai­ner. Through several years of trai­ning, she has rea­li­sed that ever­yone can deve­lop their intui­tion. And thus bring more sere­nity and con­tent­ment into one’s life. In her prac­tice, she accom­pa­nies her cli­ents to their goals and through upco­m­ing chan­ges using the sym­bo­lic hero’s jour­ney, with a focus on the topic of intui­tion.

(Pic­ture Source: raw­pi­xel auf Uns­plash)