It's goal setting season. It's that special moment when we are all collectively pausing and evaluating where we are, what lies ahead for this year, and the somewhat daunting gap in-between.
This can be an exciting time for some, while for others, it can be extremely overwhelming.
And you may even be thinking it's too late. It's already the third week of January. But I encourage you to NOT fall into that trap. Now is the perfect time to start!
Setting goals now could absolutely make the difference between staying where you are (or even losing more ground) and feeling like you wasted your year OR coming to the end of the year and experiencing a sense of accomplishment, self-confidence, joy, and maybe even more money in your pocket!
No matter which camp you fall in, I'm excited to share REAL tips that can show you How to CRUSH your goals this year.
And as a bonus, I've even put together a beautiful set of printables to help you start RIGHT NOW!
Why Is Goal Setting Important?
I believe that goal setting is important for several reasons.
[dropcaps]1[/dropcaps] It provides a DESTINATION.
Think about it, you don't just go sit in your car and wait for inspiration to strike before you drive somewhere. Instead, you get into your car to go somewhere specific. Most of us don't just drive around all day frittering away our time hoping to come up with a plan. That would be a waste of our time and gas. And yet, without goals, we are doing just that with our time and maybe even our money too. Having a goal is like having a destination you want to get to.
You don't necessarily need to know how you'll get there just yet (we'll get to that soon!) just know where you want to go for now.
[dropcaps]2[/dropcaps] It provides FOCUS.
Time is ticking by every second, and it is so easy to get distracted. Now, sometimes a real crisis will pop up that can throw us off course, but more often, it's the little things that pop up – email, texts, phone calls, haphazardly approaching daily tasks like laundry, house cleaning, grocery shopping, etc… that can eat up our time and we look back and wonder what exactly did we get done today?
Having goals can help motivate you to make a plan so that you are less distracted and more purposeful in the things you do, making you more productive and efficient (and less stressed too!).
Does Goal Setting Scare You?
Personally, I find goal setting to be exciting, but I know there are some folks who get really tense and anxious at the thought of goal setting.
This is often the case if you have not had success meeting your goals.
And let's face it if you are trying something and failing, and you don't have someone around you to help you understand what happened or to encourage you to keep going, it's going to be a bummer and no wonder you hate it! We all would!
What Size Goals Should You Set?
I love to dream BIG dreams and set BIG goals. But not all of my goals are super-sized for two reasons:
[dropcaps]1[/dropcaps]Having ONLY great BIG goals is a recipe for disaster because it's possible they won't all be achieved – which would leave me feeling pretty sad and discouraged.
[dropcaps]2[/dropcaps]I want to be able to celebrate small victories along the way to help keep me motivated towards stretching towards my BIG dreams.
So, I think it's very important to set both small, achievable goals AND some BIG super-sized dreams too.
Do You Need Goals for Every Area of Your Life?
In a word: YES! Yes, you do!
Why am I so emphatic about this? Because as I said above it provides direction and will help you accomplish more.
Setting Goals can help you get anywhere you want to go in life!
Want more free time? Set a goal.
Want a tidier house? Set a goal.
Want to be a better cook? Make it a goal.
Want to write a book? Start earning extra money? Be a better friend? Get more fit? Lose weight? Learn a new language? Get a new job? Save more money? Travel more? Declutter your home?…
You can see the list could go on and on and on.
I like to set Business Goals and Personal Goals because I want to grow. I want to flourish. And I've learned that wishing for it won't make it happen.
Hopefully, I've convinced you to give goal setting a try. But now what?
How to Set Goals the Right Way
[dropcaps]1[/dropcaps] Write Them Down
One of the most critical elements to successful goal setting is to write them down.
Yes. Studies have proven that the simple act of writing your goals down sets you on the path to achieving them. Now writing them down is not nearly enough to achieve them but it is an important first step.
It's also important to be SPECIFIC. Rather than “I want to lose weight this year or “I want to get fit this year” you need to be more precise with your goal. “I want to lose 10 pounds this year” is a better way to start. But even that's a little too vague in my opinion. Instead, how about: “I want to lose 10 pounds by June 1st.”
Now you've got a specific measurable goal + target timeline.
[dropcaps]2[/dropcaps] Create an Action Plan
Next we need to create a real action plan. You know what you want to do and you know when you want it done by. Now “real life” will creep in and try to distract you from these goals, it just will. Know it up front and let's plan for it so it doesn't surprise us or trap us.
Choose Daily/Weekly Steps You Can Take
Depending on your goal there are either daily or weekly steps you can take that will help you achieve them.
Brainstorm what these steps might be for you. Once you know them, write them down. Yep, again, it's very important to actually write these steps out. Don't just keep them in the back of your mind.
In our “lose 10 pounds” example we could plan to walk for 30 minutes every day and be mindful of how many carbs we eat.
[dropcaps]3[/dropcaps] Define Your Why
When you are doing anything that is “goal” worthy there are going to be challenges. There just are.
Expect them so they don't surprise you. But, be ready to battle them too.
One of the best ways to overcome these obstacles is to know WHY you are pursuing your goal. Your “why” needs to be powerful.
It needs to help motivate you to keep going when your emotions have run away and you're feeling vulnerable. Which ties in with the importance of the next step.
[dropcaps]4[/dropcaps] Keep a Vision of Your Goal Posted
Keep your goals OUT where you can see them.
We all get distracted and the busyness of life can cause us to lose track of goals. If this happens, it doesn't mean the goal wasn't important enough, it just means that we are all busy and the tyranny of the urgent can shift our focus so we have to keep re-focusing.
Having your goals posted where you can see them helps you focus and refocus as often as needed.
[dropcaps]5[/dropcaps] Check-in with Your Status
It is important to track your progress but be careful that you aren't tracking it too closely.
With weight loss, for example, it's better to do a weekly weigh-in rather than watch the subtle ups and downs of how the ounces are fluctuating daily. This can end up just stressing you out and making you feel like quitting when really it's just part of our body's chemistry.
This can be true with home improvement projects and many other goals as well. Big goals can take time to achieve. It's important to check and make sure you are still on course but be careful that you aren't micro-measuring in a way that is adding stress.
[dropcaps]6[/dropcaps] Have an Accountability Partner
Having an accountability partner is one area that I have found to be the “secret sauce” to really making goal setting work in my life. Weight loss and finances are common areas that we think of for having accountability partners.
But I've found that applying this technique to other areas has really helped me too.
For example, I have a dear friend whom I've known for years who I love to spend time with. We live very near to each other and yet, we were spending less and less time together. We are both busy moms and time was just slipping away. Finally last Fall we decided we didn't want this to keep happening so we set up a standing monthly lunch date on a consistent day so that we could both know it's there and plan around it accordingly. Now, we get to meet up at least once per month – something I anxiously look forward to – and I am so grateful for that feeling of deepening friendship in my life.
[dropcaps]7[/dropcaps] Reward Progress
Celebrate your successes!! This is a key to the journey because goal setting is that: a journey – it's not just about the destination. It's about making choices every single day that are going to take you where you want to go – just as not making conscious choices will lead you somewhere but it may not be where you want to go…
Plan little rewards to encourage you on your way. Make it fun! Set milestone markers for when you have arrived at specific achievements. Maybe it's getting something special you want like a new book, a piece of clothing, jewelry, or going to a special place. The point is, make this FUN!
To help you on your path to not just setting goals but CRUSHING your goals this year, I have designed a set of beautiful and inspiring Goal setting printables just for you!
I have one sheet as a FREE printable you can access when you join my FREE PRINTABLE LIBRARY here.
But, I've also put together a complete goal setting bundle complete with EVERYTHING you need to set, track, and reward your goals.
Plus a couple of inspiring quotes to post to encourage you to keep going!! Best part? The bundle is just $4.99 for a limited time!
Click here to get your bundle and start CRUSHING your goals today!!
Happy goal setting!