4 P’s You Need To Set Your New Year’s Goals Right By Ronda Shirley, LMFT Trust me on this one. There's a big chance that your goals for 2023 might fail!

By Ronda Shirley | Dec 17, 2022

According to studies, only 8% of people who make a New Year’s resolution really follow it all year, and by the beginning of February, 80% had already given up.

It’s easy to forget goals and revert to old habits, so it’s crucial to establish limits and guidelines to help you stay on track. I know this for a fact because I have made New Year’s resolutions in the past and found that I quickly lost focus.

Perhaps you’ve accomplished a lot, are a dedicated goal-setter, get up early to do workouts before going to work, and are able to do a lot before 7 a.m. Unfortunately, or maybe not, unfortunately, a lot of people don’t.

For many years, I also struggled with achieving my goals and maintaining the healthy habits I started. I was constantly defeated by my fears, sluggishness, and lack of focus, and I never seemed to find a way out. Until I decided to stop relying on things outside of myself and start trusting my own strength and hard work.

I started reflecting on my strengths, values, and what I truly wanted out of life, and with that knowledge, I was able to find my own internal motivation. I used and utilized these 4Ps, and they helped me little by little in achieving my goals.

1. Peace

Make sure that your goals will bring you peace. If your goals create inner peace and harmony, you will be much more likely to achieve them. Remember this: If you set goals that constantly fill you with anxiety and stress, it will be difficult to stay motivated and focused on those goals. Selecting and prioritizing goals that will bring you inner peace will allow you to enjoy your life much more as you achieve them.

I started asking myself questions like, “What makes me happy and fulfilled? Does this bring me peace of mind or is it just temporary?” These helped me stay grounded in what I believe is right for my values and priorities. Similarly, if you think that it’s just a temporary feeling, then that may not be a goal worth pursuing. Once you’ve determined what’s most important to you, try setting goals in these categories.

2. Pleasure

What do you seem to enjoy doing? Do you take pleasure in building relationships, painting, reading, listening to music, traveling, walking in the park, or hitting the gym? In setting your goals for the coming year, don’t forget to consider your interests, hobbies, and pleasurable pastimes. You may attempt to find a new passion or reignite an old one, learn something interesting and helpful, or do something radical or out of the ordinary that is not part of your typical routine.

I have tried engaging in a lot of hobbies, only to find out that I’m exhausted from doing things that don’t really give me pleasure. If you can come up with a few fascinating new methods to indulge your interests, hobbies, or pastimes, then this year has the potential to be one of the most entertaining years of your life.

Do you want to travel around Asia or Europe? Do you want to move out of your parents’ house, start a business, or change jobs? Maybe you’ve always wanted to take a cooking class, take up knitting, or learn how to play the piano. Then, set realistic and attainable steps you can take to achieve your goal.

3. Passion

Keep this in mind: if your goals don’t align with your values and passion, they’re never going to feel important enough to keep you on track, and you’re unlikely to stick to them and accomplish them.

I pursued this career because I knew that I love helping people who are struggling to manage their mental health. From there, I started setting goals that were aligned with my passion.

If something is meaningful to you and comes from the depths of your heart, you shouldn’t worry about whether or not other people will understand it or whether or not they will think it’s cool. Are you passionate about bringing your creativity to your work, helping and serving the people around you, or sharing your skills? Think deeply and write down some goals that will help you follow your passion.

4. Purpose

I know it’s hard to figure out our purpose. Perhaps you’ve asked these types of questions: “Am I the best parent to my child? Am I a generous and loving child to my parents? Am I a supportive sibling or friend? Am I an altruist and radical person trying to somehow make an impact on the world?”

As soon as you know your true calling, you can begin to make appropriate plans and progress toward your goals. For example, would you rather use your money to take care of your parents or make them proud of your achievements? Are you motivated more by a wish for fame or a desire for true affection from others? When your purpose is strong and you work with vision, courage, and focus, you can accomplish more than most people ever imagine.

The quality of your life goes smoothly and shifts from uncertainty to confidence when you consider these 4 Ps. Keep in mind that by making your peace, pleasure, passion, and purpose your top priorities in setting your goals, you might see yourself achieving more and becoming more in the long run.

Want to know yourself more? Take this free 4Ps (peace, passion, pleasure, and purpose) quiz to help you figure out which of the 4Ps is missing in your life right now.

Ronda D. Shirley is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in Central Georgia. She is a practicing therapist and clinician in Macon, Georgia, where she runs her own business under the name Shirley Therapeutic and Consulting Services. Ronda specializes in challenging and restructuring negative cognitive processes to help her clients identify their fears and redirect them toward achieving healthier mental health and fulfilling relationships. Know more about Ronda by visiting her website.


Ronda Shirley

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