Setting goals is always something I’ve done for my business and it’s always served me well. Why I’ve never thought to apply this method to my personal life until recently is something of a mystery! I know I’m not alone in saying to myself ‘I must do that this year’ or ‘I’d really like to do that one day’ and never getting around to doing those things. There’s no way I’d accept that in my business so I’m going to stop accepting it in my life. That’s why I’ve starting using goal setting to put my foot down and make sure I’m achieving the things I want to achieve and doing the things I want to do this year.
A really important part of setting goals for the year is to not rush it. Give yourself an hour or 90 minutes to really sit down and think. Don’t limit yourself to things you think are easily achievable or are things you think you probably would’ve done anyway. Also though, don’t think your goals have to be big life changing things or things that require a lot of planning to accomplish. One of my goals this year is to take my daughter to the cinema for the first time and I made sure I included this in my list of goals. Write down absolutely everything that comes into your head when you’re thinking about goals or things you’d like to do this year.
Once you’ve got a long totally disorganised list of things you’d like to do or accomplish, start prioritising them. Don’t just think about which ones you’d like to do most though, really think about why you would like to do them. By focusing on the reasons behind your goals, you give yourself extra motivation as well as making it easier to prioritise them. You don’t want to give yourself too many goals to focus on for the year so I would say you want to narrow the list down to around five or six that are really important to you.
With your five or six goals written down and your reasons for wanting to achieve them clear in your mind, you can start planning how you’re going to achieve them. If you’ve read my other blogs, you’ll know that I am a big fan of breaking goals down into manageable steps. I even talk about taking ‘baby steps’ meaning that you can start working towards your goals in really small ways if that makes it easier for you to get started. However, if you are a setting a goal for the year, I wouldn’t recommend breaking it down into too many steps and I would suggest setting time frames for each one.
The good thing about having specific goals with time frames in helping you to do the things you want to do is they allow you to monitor how you are progressing towards those goals. Then, at the end of the year, you can really look back and clearly see how much you’ve achieved.