That’s Sept 4th This Year, In Case You’re Wondering, And Yes You Need to Set Some Goals

My Mom and I never liked summer all that much.

Oh sure, there were those days where I lay on my back and breathed in fresh cut grass, or where I went blueberry picking in the field by the ocean, or where I sat around the campfire with my family.

I have great summer memories.

But mostly, it’s just too hot for my Scottish blood, and I look forward to those days when fresh apples will hit the market stalls, the air will actually smell crisp, we’ll start to pumpkin spice all the things, and I’ll need a blanket when I sit out at night.

Photo by Alisa Anton on Unsplash

You know, sweater weather.


Another thing Mum and I had in common was our disdain for New Year’s Eve.

A holiday about the calendar turning over?

No thank you.

Getting new notebooks and pencils and backpacks, embracing pumpkin spice, and settling into the post summer routine are much better reasons for celebrating the flip of a calendar page.

In my humble opinion, anyway.

So one year we decided to make Labour Day our real New Year’s Eve.

We talked about the summer past and planned for the “busyness” of the fall season ahead.

We made goals and plans and got excited about the weeks ahead, and we launched into it on that first Tuesday in September.

Every. Single. Year. Right up until my Mum passed away.

I now have lots of friends who are board with my Labour Day New Year’s concept, and it occurred to me this hot muggy morning that it’s only a few years away, so I thought I’d share it with you.

Who knows, it may catch on some day and be a new Hallmark holiday.

So What?

Well, the so what is that now is the time to snap yourself out of the summer routines (or lack thereof), make some goals for yourself (because we don’t say resolutions in my house), and get ready to crush it this autumn.

What do you want to get done this fall?

I haven’t really thought about it yet, and I’m assuming you haven’t either, so I thought I’d share my magical process for goal-setting in case you’re interested.

I’ll be working on it this weekend!


My Seven Step Goal Setting & Crushing Process

Now is the time to start something epic, so let’s see…

All of the above? Why not? There’s a whole fresh clean new shiny year ahead!

Yeah. NO.

If you know me, you know I’m not about drastic changes, and I’m certainly not a believer in magic wands that make everything perfect overnight.

On the other hand, I don’t believe in just leaving things to chance.

STEP ONE. ASK YOURSELF A FEW KEY QUESTIONS.

Find a quiet moment, make a cup of tea (or whisky, or both), and jot down your thoughts relating to the following:

  • What is one thing I did in the last 12 months that I feel proud of?
  • What things or conditions or people enabled me to be successful at that one thing?
  • What is one thing that I wish I had done better in the last 12 months?
  • What were the barriers that prevented me from doing it?
  • What can I do to eliminate those barriers (or at least make them a little lower to the ground and easier to climb)?
  • Who can I ask for help?

STEP TWO. CONSIDER YOUR HEALTH & FITNESS, PERSONAL, AND COMMUNITY GOALS.

Now that you have an idea of your success factors, think about these three areas.

Health & Fitness – do you want to:

  • Be stronger? Maybe strengthen your back so lifting your kids or a snow shovel doesn’t hurt? Maybe deadlift a certain weight?
  • Jump rope for 5 minutes and do double-unders without hitting your face with the rope?
  • Fit into a size smaller pair of jeans?
  • Lower your blood pressure?
  • Decrease anxiety?
  • Keep up with a CrossFit class at your local Box?
  • Walk or Run a 5K? 10K? Half? Full?
  • Do a Triathlon?
  • Climb a mountain?

Note: goals here should be focused on well-being and strength, not numbers on a scale or physical appearance.

Personal — do you want to:

  • Improve relationships in your life?
  • Continue your education? Learn a new language? Take a cooking course? Finish your degree? Get a Masters in something? Learn to do watercolours?
  • Improve the quality and frequency of your “Me Time?”

Community — do you want to:

  • Worship?
  • Volunteer?
  • Get to know your neighbours better?
  • Perform Random Acts of Kindness?
  • Get involved in your child’s school?
  • Teach?

STEP THREE. CHOOSE A GOAL.

Now pick a goal (or goals) relating to one of the areas you pondered.

Before you get all excited and choose all three, go back to the questions you answered in Step One.

Is it realistic for you to choose a goal in all three areas?

Maybe it is, especially if you start with small goals. Maybe it’s not — you are just too busy and overwhelmed right now, and the least little thing will throw you off track, and you’ll be down on yourself.

Prioritize Fitness, Personal, and Community, and decide where you want to start.

In which area are you most likely to be successful, and therefore motivate yourself to keep going?

STEP FOUR. CHECK YOURSELF BEFORE YOU WRECK YOURSELF.

Whatever you decide, make sure your goal(s) has/have the following characteristics (based on SMART goals, if you’ve ever heard that term! Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely):

  1. Make sure your goal is achievable. Ask a friend if you’ve bitten off more than you can chew, or if you’ve set a realistic challenge for yourself.
  2. Make sure you are very clear about what your goal is. This means it is measurable and has a timeline.

STEP FIVE. EMPLOY THE BUDDY SYSTEM.

Find a buddy who will:

  • Review your goal with you and make sure it’s specific, measurable, and realistic.
  • Check in with you on a weekly basis to see how you’re doing. Doing well? Great! High Five! Slipped up? Your buddy should NOT be someone who says either, “Oh that’s ok. Better luck next week,” OR “You idiot. Why didn’t you do that?”
  • Your buddy SHOULD say, “OK, let’s take a look at what got in the way. What needs to happen next week, and how can I help you be successful?” OR “This has been happening for a few weeks in a row. Let’s take a look at the goal — maybe it wasn’t as realistic as we thought. We can tweak it and start again!”

Do you have someone who will do that for you? Family member, friend, co-worker?

STEP SIX: GO FORTH AND KICK ASS.

Go! Do great things! Achieve your goal! This should be easy, right? 😉

STEP SEVEN. HAVE A QUARTERLY REVIEW.

You and your buddy should review your goal quarterly and decide if it’s time to up the ante and pick a new or another goal.

You can do this!!!

I would love to hear about your goals, your buddies, your achievements, your challenges, and your thoughts.

Happy New Year, friends!

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