It’s a New Year and you know what that means!! It’s goal setting time. It’s time to look back on the past year and ask yourself questions like these: What worked over the past year? What didn’t work? What do I want to change? What do I want to see in the future?
When was the last time you wrote down your goals?
Your hopes, wishes, and your dreams? I’m not talking about just THINKING about them, but actually WRITING them down? Statistics show that people who wrote down their goals achieved them 80% more often than those who never wrote them down. Feeling overwhelmed yet? I totally understand. I still get a bit overwhelmed myself with all the things running through my mind each year! But by using the steps below, I ease my goal setting stress and create a process that WORKS. My hope is that I can ease your goal setting stress too by giving you these helpful and actionable steps for creating and achieving your goals this year!
Grab yourself a glass of coffee and turn off all the distractions … let’s get to goal setting!
1. Brainstorm. Take a day this week and simply do a brain dump of all the things you want to accomplish in your personal life and/or business. By brain dump, I mean write out all of the ideas that you have swimming around in your head. I’d say take about 30 minutes at least, but take more if you need! Start by dreaming without a time frame (think 1 year from now…5 years…10 years from now). What does that look like for you? A) Get away all your normal distractions and lock yourself in a clean (this is crucial for me because I get distracted by messiness), quiet room if you need to. B) Get a pen and notebook and brainstorm your biggest and wildest dreams. TIP: If you’re having trouble coming up with ideas, try meditating for a little bit. Turn on some soothing music, sit with your eyes closed, your mind open, and focus on your breathing. I guarantee you ideas will begin to emerge! I get my best business ideas while in yoga believe it or not!
Remember: Don’t think too hard, just write what pops up in your head. And don’t you dare erase either! Nothing is too big or too silly. Your desires are important and shouldn’t be overlooked!
2. Prioritize. I have always been the kind of person that has SO many goals in my queue that I want to do them all right then, but that is pretty overwhelming. If you’re like most people, when you get overwhelmed, you tend to give up. That’s the LAST thing we want! By prioritizing your goal list and choosing to focus on only a handful at a time, you’ll do them FASTER and BETTER than if you were doing 100 other things at the same time. Start by choosing 5 goals that you want to focus on for the next year. If you achieve those quicker than anticipated (GO YOU!!) then choose a few more from your list. If you aren’t overwhelmed yet, then choose one or two of your 2-5 year goals and start focusing on how you can achieve that.
3. Set up your next steps and deadlines. Start with your first goal’s deadline and then work your way through. Ask yourself: When would I like to see this goal achieved and what steps can I take to get me there? Don’t skip this step, friends! It’s more crucial than you may think. I used to skip this step for many years, but once I began to write down even smaller (more achievable) monthly, weekly, or even daily goals for myself to ultimately achieve the larger goal I had in mind, I really began to see success! If you don’t set a deadline, you probably wont start. Big goals are too overwhelming, so by setting smaller goals, you’ll feel less stressed and will achieve your goal faster. Below are two examples that may resonate with you and give you an idea of how to set up your own deadlines and actionable steps!
Example – Goal #1: Spend more time with my family instead of working all day and night. Deadline: December 31, 2018 but I want this to be an on going achievement. What steps can I take to get me there? a) Outsource editing b) Make Sundays my family day and do NO work on this day c) Set office hours for myself and stick to them. Be done working by 5pm no matter what.
Example – Goal #2: Grow my Instagram following to 5,000. Deadline: June 1, 2018. What steps can I take to get me there? a) Post a personal content post that will relate to my ideal client/follower at least once a week b) Reply to everyone that direct messages me and comments on my posts to encourage engagement and create relationships c) Do Instagram Live’s once a month where I answer my follower’s questions to create trust and reliability.
4. Refer to it often and reassess if needed. Goals change because life changes. When life changes, it only makes sense that our desires will shift too. If you no longer desire a goal you once did (I’m not talking about giving up because things get hard, but that you wouldn’t want it even if you had it tomorrow), that’s perfectly alright. Scratch it off the list and move on. You might even have some new goals to add in its place. If you’re like me, the question “Imagine yourself in 10 years” is way too daunting and not really something I can ever answer for myself, because SO much can happen in 10 years. I prefer to think smaller (like in a years time like I mentioned in tip #1 and work my way up if I’m not feeling overwhelmed. I then reassess every 3-6 months to see if anything has changed.
5. Celebrate your success. Grab your friends, your spouse, your dog – who or whatever you want – and celebrate when you reach a goal! Book a wedding today? Have that glass of champagne! Finally create a course for entrepreneurs and reach your profit goal? Buy that new lens you’ve had your eye on! Got featured on Style Me Pretty? Do a happy dance and share it with the world! You’ve worked hard to achieve these goals and you deserve the celebration!