How often do you take time for goal setting? Is it an annual thing? Perhaps you do it quarterly? Monthly, weekly, daily? Where do you fall in with your goals?
Some people, like me, LOVE setting, chasing after, and accomplishing goals. Others do not enjoy anything about goals. And then there is a whole host of people in between.
So what is it that we are supposed to do with our goals? How are we supposed to set them? What do we do when we accomplish them?
Goal setting can be fun, simple, and rewarding. However, it can also be frustrating, overwhelming, and daunting. It is all about mindset. It is all about being open to possibilities. It is all about being sure to dream big.
Many of us were brought up without every actually having a real idea of what possibilities lay ahead of us. As a kid, I dreamt big for a little while of my life, but was always too scared or embarrassed to share those dreams with the people I loved. Eventually, I made my dreams more and more “realistic”. I know this is a big part of why I have not done bigger and better things. Those bigger and better things seemed so far out of reach.
Dreaming is an integral part of setting goals. I regularly quote Yogi Berra, “If you don’t know where you are going, you may end up some place else.” This is ok for some, but I believe the majority of us want to have some control in what our lives look like.
When we know where we are going, or want to end up, we can work backwards to create our goals. When goal setting the idea is to work ourselves in steps toward an end goal. That end goal could be this week, month, year or lifetime. Dreaming like everything else, helps us in our planning process. A big thing to remember is that we need to leave our negative nellies at home.
Remove the boundaries
Far too often when we start dreaming, or planning or futures, we put boundaries and limits on ourselves. STOP IT!! When you take some time to think about what you want in life, imagine you have all of the money in the world, time is always on your sign, you know everyone of importance, and everyone is supporting your every thought and move. Yes, this sounds crazy. This may be difficult to imagine, but do your best!
As usual we always need to ask ourselves a bunch of questions when goal setting. For each goal we need to dig a bit deeper.
What — What do we want to accomplish?
When — When do we want to accomplish the goal by? How far ahead are you looking to plan? Will we need to break this down into smaller bit sized pieces?
Why — Why is it important to you to accomplish this goal? How will accomplishing this goal change your life or the lives of the people you are concerned about?
Who — Who can help us accomplish this goal or keep us accountable? This can be specific people or start detailing the types of people you will need in your life to help.
Give up — What do you need to give up or sacrifice in order to achieve your goal? Often times we need to let go of certain mindsets, habits, etc to create what we want. Also, generally there other things like money and time that we need to give up to get us where we want.
Results — What will achieving this goal accomplish in your life? What effects would you like it to have? What will be the end result for how you think, feel, and act in every day life?
Be as specific as possible at each point!
Once we have flushed out all of the details of our goals there is still more work to do. Often times with goal setting, we set the goal and then forget about it. There are a few things we can do to to help us move our goals along. By ensuring we take action, we are that much closer to making sure we accomplish our goals.
Priorities and Strategies
What priorities do you have for each goal? Or what are you willing to make a priority in your life?
Pick three things you would be willing to make a priority for each goal.
If it is weight loss, perhaps it is exercise, eating healthy, and sleeping well.
Then for each of these priorities, detail out at least 3 strategies to help you take action.
Some examples for strategies you could use with exercise would be
- Setting out your workout clothes at night or wearing them to bed
- Getting a physical trainer and/or exercise buddy
- Schedule exercise into your calendar at the same time each day
When you have the strategies and priorities in place you can easily put the actions into play.
Break it down
Sometimes our goals are ginormous! When this happens we need to utilize our goal setting technique of back stepping. When we know what we want to accomplish by when, we can work backwards. We break down the big goal into a bunch of smaller goals with deadlines, rewards, and consequences in place to help us ensure we come in on target.
If you want to lose 50 pounds over the next year — that is roughly 2-3 pounds each month. Which breaks down into .5-.75 pounds each week. I always encourage making the smaller goals about your habits and processes, than about the end result. This way, if you get to your end result and want bigger, better results you can tweak the habits that are already in place.
Get it in the calendar
You have your goals, you have your dates, now the best thing you can do is to put it in the calendar. All of the small goals to get you to the big goal need to be in there too!
When you regularly have to face the upcoming deadline, you will be more apt to stay on target. Consider setting yourself a goal target for every 4-8 weeks. These short time frames will keep you on track, while also allowing you to adjust accordingly as you go.
We hope this has been helpful to you. If you need some help discover your dreams and setting your goals, please reach out! We would love to help! The best way to organize what is happening around you is to organize what is happening within you first!