11/01/2017 13:00 GMT | Updated 12/01/2018 05:12 GMT

Goal Setting In January? You Don't Have To!

It was about 3pm on a dark January day, the rain was incessant and the sky was dirty grey. I had spent 2 hours taking down the decorations and hoovering the pine needles.

I laid a fire, made myself a cup of tea and lit some candles in the living room. I had already printed out a 'New Year Goal Setting' workbook.

I was ready to review my year and set my oh so exciting and fabulous goals for the new year.

But it didn't quite go as I'd expected. I pretty much drew a blank with every question in the workbook.

I tried to answer questions like this:

'What amazing things did you achieve last year?'

I thought of some things I'd achieved, but I was more comfortable with the qualifier 'ok' than 'amazing'. What OK things did I achieve?...


'What tools and resources have helped you succeed this year?'

I couldn't think what helped me succeed. I could, however, remember the 'tools' that had sucked up my time and caused me grief and frustration when they didn't behave as expected. I started fantasising about real tools. A hammer maybe - to smash the computer?

'What made you happiest this year?'

Ah... now THIS was a much easier question to answer. I scribbled down:

'Being outdoors, moving, getting muddy, swimming in lakes and rivers, dancing, larking around with the bloke, the company of good friends and fascinating people, cuddling my boys, laughing, being silly. Doing what I love in my business - connecting, coaching, speaking'.

Feeling more positive, I got to the part of the workbook inviting me to 'manifest' an amazing year.

I still couldn't think in terms of amazing. I wasn't feeling inspired or fired up. I started feeling like a fraud. Surely I should be able to describe my plans for the year at the click of my fingers? I'm a bloody Coach, FFS! I'm supposed to TEACH other people this stuff.

On that early January afternoon, with the decorations waiting to be carried up to the loft and Christmas day a distant memory, with the incessant rain still falling from the lowest, darkest of skies, the only amazing thing I could think of manifesting was a Terry's Chocolate Orange.

Then I read four words that were supposed to inspire me, but which actually made me feel like crawling under a blanket and hibernating...


A while later I realised;

'Actually... you DON'T have to set brilliant goals in this first week in January. It's all OK... the year will unfold and there will be plenty of opportunities ahead.'

If you're all fired up, you've set great goals and you're in the mindset that 2017 will be your best year ever, then this is FANTASTIC and I'm cheering you on.

However, if you are feeling a bit 'meh', not quite ready to take on 2017 or just a bit unclear as to what a great year will look like, then don't despair..

Here's how to feel positive at the start of the New Year, even when you're not feeling particularly positive:

1. First of all, here's your PERMISSION SLIP:

* You hereby have my permission to feel less than brilliant or amazing in January.

* It's OK if you're not ready to set goals.

* It's OK if you're still transitioning from Christmas.

* And guess what, you don't even have to set a date by when you WILL set goals.

* Let it be - I know it feels uncomfortable. You want to feel good and that will come. Just go with the flow!

2. Here's what you absolutely do NOT HAVE to do at the start of this new year:

* Set any goals

* Set the intention that this will be your best year yet

* Take part in Dry January

* Take part in any challenges

* Go on a detox

* Stick to multiple uber challenging new year's resolutions (just pick a tiny on instead!)

* Beat yourself up because you broke your New Year's resolution today or even on 2nd January

Best. Year. Yet.

Maybe ;)

Amanda has been helping talented women to step up in their career, business and life since 2003. She is currently offering her 3 part video coaching programme, Career Confidence 101, free of charge at