I am so excited it is a new year! Not much will change in regards to COVID and quarantine, but what is exciting is the new perspective that comes with a new year. If you’re like me, you want to create goals for the year, quarter, month, etc. but also want to make sure you actually reach those goals. It can be daunting to figure out what is realistic and achievable. I put together this list of 5 steps that help you create and define goals and actually see them through.
5 Steps to Goal Setting
- Create goals that motivate – You may say, “I want to run a marathon”, but you hate running and it just seems like something you “should” do. That is not going to be a very motivating goal, and you will feel overwhelmed with the steps needed to achieve it. Conversely, if you love reading and you set a goal of reading one book per month, you will feel excited about setting the time aside to meet that goal.
2. Set SMART goals – S.M.A.R.T. stands for specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-bound. This mnemonic breaks down goal setting in a way that is less arbitrary and much more concrete, leading to higher success rates.
Specific: Be clear with what you want to achieve, narrow your goal to the most drilled down focus possible.
Measurable: Set a goal that can be tracked with evidence proving you are making progress. Set milestones along the way and reward yourself in small ways.
Achievable: Is this a goal you can actually accomplish? Of course we want to stretch ourselves, but we should also do any research necessary to ensure the goal can be accomplished in the timeframe we set.
Relevant: When goal-setting, reflect on values and long term outcomes. Ensure the goals being set contribute to those values and longer term objectives. Ask “why is this goal important to me?”
Time-based: What is the goal time frame? 6 months? A year? Don’t choose an arbitrary date, and also don’t fall into the trap of giving yourself too much time, which let’s procrastination set in.
3. Write them down – Put pen to paper, or write a note in your phone. Going so far to write goals on post-its to put on the bathroom mirror or desk which will serve as a daily reminder.
4. Create an action plan – Create a list of steps needed and deadlines to meet to revisit at regular intervals. Tracking is key! I highly recommend The 12 Week Year method.
5. Don’t give up! – This is where accountability comes into play. Tell someone about your goal, create an accountability pod with monthly check in calls. By including others you respect and trust in your journey, you’re more likely to stay motivated.
I am looking forward to the year ahead and reflecting in 12 months on all the progress we’ve made! Share your goals in the comments so we can keep each other accountable!