Today we are talking all about setting GOALS! When I think about goals, I think of being a child – when it seems like the whole world is your oyster. I think one of the most amazing things about kids is that they dream, and they dream BIG. One day they want to be an astronaut, the next day they want to save the world. But somewhere along our journey of life, we are taught that such big dreams aren’t achievable, and that we should “be more realistic”. This makes a lot of us dream less and set smaller goals because we switch our focus in life to just going with the flow and letting life take us where it needs to. We settle into daily routines, because we find it hard to go after new goals that may involve going outside of our comfort zones.
In today’s post, I’m going to share my tips on how to set goals so that we can all continue to dream as big as we want to, because GUESS WHAT? Even as an adult, the world is still your oyster! There are still endless possibilities ahead for you and it is never too late to reach for the stars! We’re also going to talk about “smaller” goals – maybe all you want is to start making your days more productive. How do we set goals to focus on those things we want to change, and what steps do we take to achieve them?
Figure out what you want to achieve.
This may seem like a no-brainer, but in order to properly set your goals, you first need to figure out what it is you want to achieve. What is the END-GOAL that you want to reach? Is it becoming a doctor, creating more balance in your life, or building your brand as a blogger? Whatever it may be, this is the time to look at the big picture and figure out what you want to achieve in the long-run.
Break your goal down into actionable steps!
Once you know what your end-goal is, most people tend to imagine a straight line from where they are now to where they want to be. That my friends, is setting yourself up for failure. Saying you want to create more balance in your life and expecting to achieve that right away without a more detailed plan is not going to get you anywhere. The best way to achieve your end-goal is to break it down into SMALL, ACTIONABLE STEPS. For example, if your overall goal is to achieve balance in your life, you may want to start with smaller goals such as spending 5 minutes each morning meditating before you start your day, making healthier food choices, or joining a yoga class. The purpose of setting all of these smaller goals is so that once you achieve all of them, you will have achieved your end-goal.
Set deadlines for yourself!
Trying to complete these small, actionable steps that stand between you and your end goal can be hard. Many of us are procrastinators at best, which means that we may sit on the idea of joining a yoga class for months before we ever start to look into yoga studios that interest us. And even when we finally get the membership, it can be daunting to try to build new habits – in fact, you likely won’t be perfect at it right away. You may miss a few classes, or you may sit on your mat frustrated that you can’t hold all the poses like others around you. Getting into a new routine can take weeks or even months. That’s why we so often find our goals sitting on the back burner while our big picture goals go untouched. So how do we strategize to make sure we aren’t consumed by these setbacks? SET DEADLINES for yourself. Moreover, set realistic deadlines for yourself. Give yourself a certain amount of time to achieve each small step so that you are more motivated to take action in a timely manner.
Okay, so we’ve broken our end-goal down into small, actionable steps and set deadlines for each of them. Now what? It’s so easy to keep pushing back your deadlines because you aren’t being proactive. So how do we avoid that? Be accountable. Write down your goals and their deadlines, put it out to the universe, share it with a friend and be accountable! Have a system in place to make sure you stay accountable. Perhaps that means sharing your plan with a close friend and having them check in with you a week before each deadline and on the deadline, itself. This also includes PERSONAL ACCOUNTABILITY. No more excuses, hold yourself accountable to the deadlines that you’ve set.
Evaluate and reflect often!
A great way to maintain personal accountability and keep moving forward to your end-goal is to EVALUATE AND REFLECT often. The frequency of these evaluations may be different for each person – some may only need to evaluate and reflect every 2 weeks, while others may need some time to reflect every day. What happens during this time is crucial to your success – use this time to reflect on your progress so far and evaluate how far you need to go to check off each step towards your end-goal. Sometimes this process involves creating even smaller actionable steps to help you progress towards the end-goal more effectively. Other times this may involve realizing that the small steps you initially outlined may not be the best way to achieve your end-goal and therefore you need to change them. Whatever it may be, effectively carrying out this step is a huge part of the process in achieving your end-goal.
What if you just have “smaller” goals? These 5 steps STILL work. Saying you just want your morning to be more productive isn’t as simple as it sounds. You can still use this process to implement small changes that add up to the end-goal. For example, start by waking up 5 minutes earlier, then maybe implement a strategy to boost your energy in the morning, then set a goal to achieve at least 2 things on your to-do list by 11am. And then be accountable – evaluate your progress after a while and see what’s working and what needs to be changed to help you be more productive.
So now that you’ve set these 5 steps into motion, what’s next? SLAY THOSE GOALS!! These steps set you up for success in setting, carrying out, and achieving your goals. So dream big, set your goals, and enjoy the journey.
Let me know what end-goals you’re striving for in the comments down below.