GOALS, RESOLUTIONS, AND PROMISES. OH MY! :
7 Steps to Goal Setting with Intent to Accomplish
I hope you are having a wonderful holiday season with your friends and family! We are a couple of days after Christmas and a few days away from a BRAND NEW YEAR! New Year’s is always one of my favorite holidays because it brings in a whole new slate. A brand new 365 days to create, play, travel, motivate and learn! Woohoo!
A few weeks ago, I offered a free PDF to walk you through getting your end-of-year finances in order. Today, I’m going to walk you through (very briefly) the process I use for yearly goal planning.
At the beginning of the year, I WRITE DOWN my goals.
Yep, they all go in my
Law of Attraction Planner.
COLORFUL INK AT THAT!
No backing down, no getting scared. Some are practical goals. Some are of the “beyond my wildest dreams” variety … like starting a Global Girl Airline – and thanks to Richard Branson, I now think this is actually possible! All the goals … all of them get written down.
Why? Because I can focus on them often, routinely in fact, when they are written down. Also, I can use them as a measuring tool if they are written down.
So, if you think that writing down my goals for the next year is the first step, you’d be wrong. The first step is to review last year’s goals.
That’s right. It’s hard to know where you’re going if you don’t know where you are. So, my first step in planning next year is to see how far I’ve gotten on last year’s goals.
The second step is to write down my new goals.
Maybe some are a repeat of last year. Usually, there is a lot, A LOT, of new goals. I don’t get caught up in categories and reasons. I just write down what I want to accomplish most – improving my health, growing Global Girl Life, traveling to new places, spending time with family and friends, being more organized, making new connections, being more focused on my spiritual practice, reading, taking more pictures, keeping my laundry up to date, whatever it is, if it’s something I really want or need to do, it goes on the list. Oooh! How I love a list!
After I’ve written down my goals (and sometimes the list is revised as I go through the rest of the steps), my third step is to start thinking about what it will take to accomplish them. I think generally about the resources I’ll need (including financing), how much time I think it will realistically take to accomplish these goals and which are most important to me.
Then, after gaining some clarity on the most important goals, I start really breaking them down into a timeline. This is the fourth step. Some will take two weeks, some might take five years. (By the way, those that take five years still go on this year’s list. I don’t wait until year five so I can mark it as complete.) I get the calendar out and start filling in dates of things I know I’m going to do. Travel dates, holiday celebrations, birthdays, personal events. I can’t plan new things without having a clear picture of what I know I’m already obligated to do. For example, I may be noting the days to ship Global Girl Life Culture Boxes™ and notice that I’m scheduled to travel at the same time. A goal that usually takes a couple of days (shipping the boxes) now takes more time because I have to also schedule in my travel prep and plans.
The fifth step is, for me, the hardest. I sit. That’s it. I sit and imagine myself doing the tasks required to complete my goals. Then I imagine what it will feel like to have them accomplished. Will I feel better, happier, healthier? Will I be on the way to an even bigger goal? If everything goes according to plan, will accomplishing each goal make some aspect of my life better? Admittedly, this is hard for me because I’m a doer. When I see a goal, it’s time to go get it. But I find myself wasting time on things that aren’t really priorities for me if I don’t take the time to sit and think. There are too many things for me to see and too many people for me to meet. I can’t just set goals because I think I can reach them. They have to be meaningful for me. I spend this time making sure that I’ve matched the life I want to live with the plans I have to get there. Anything that doesn’t resonate with that is removed from the list.
Then, for a couple of days, I live my life. The sixth step is to go from sitting and thinking to living and thinking. What do I mean? For a couple of days, I go about my life but I purposefully and intentionally think about my goals as I do. I have them clearly in my mind. I’ve seen myself working toward them. I ask myself this question: is it worth it? Let me give you an example.
Let’s say I want to commit to creating a month’s worth of social media posts on Saturday. The first Saturday of every month will be spent head down, focused on social media content. Part of me thinks this is a great idea because I’ll get a ton of work done with that kind of focus and it will free up time the rest of the month. Gonna do that, right? No brainer. BUT I’ve also learned that my nieces are going to play soccer this year at least in the spring and summer. I’ve told them I’ll catch as many games as I can. Guess when they play? Saturday’s, of course.
So, as I’m living my life, thinking about my goals, I’ll ask myself, which is it gonna be? What are my options? Which of these conflicting goals is more important to me?
That’s the kind of pattern that arises when I live my life and think of what’s next. It’s an important step for me.
The seventh (and final) step in my goal planning is to put it all together. I take the goals I’ve written down, the data I’ve collected about how I want to live, the clarity I’ve gotten through sitting and living with my goals, and the resources I have available and I start putting it all down into a plan.
One of the things I love about my Law of Attraction binder is that I can keep my overall goals at the forefront, right alongside my task breakdown, calendar, and commitments. It’s all right there and it makes it easy for me to make sure that what I’m doing at any time is in line with what I want to achieve. Going through the steps I’ve outlined above is productive because I have a system for follow-through.
There is an old saying, “A goal that isn’t written down is just a dream.” Honestly, I have a lot of dreams and a lot of goals. Having a process for moving from dream to goal to reality makes them all come true.
One final note.
I know there are people who set personal goals, career goals, health goals, etc. and they keep them all separate. For some people, that makes sense. For me, I realized that my goals often overlap. My spiritual practice, for example, certainly affects my self-care and health. Travel for me is a mix of personal pleasure and excitement and building Global Girl Life. As I mentioned, I don’t get too caught up in categories but if organizing your goals like that helps you, go for it.
As always, the first step is the most important to get wherever you want to go.
Whether you are planning for your business or personal goals, I can help. Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
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Also, I’d love to hear about your best goal planning strategies in the comments below, too!