What you will get from this article about Goal Planning & Setting.
Goals, hopes and dreams who needs em? Wait! That wasn’t rhetorical, YOU, YOU need them! Let me rephrase that, if there’s somewhere you want to get to, some goal you want to reach before Aliens land at least, you’re going to want to set a plan to get there.
Although it’s true that ‘not all who wander are lost,’ I think the big man, Tony Robbins says it best:
“Progress equals happiness and setting goals is what gets us there.”
Oh to be happy… what a goal that is.
But what if I told you that by setting goals for things we actually want, things that align with who we are and use our strengths to set an action plan in place towards those goals this will result in daily happiness.
Happiness, enjoyment, fulfillment is in the doing. If we start identifying and setting goals for ourselves and start being active towards those goals… we will be happier.
Yes, it is that simple. It’s just the facts, people!
Most people have goals for themselves in mind, but most people don’t set a plan to reach those goals.
If everyone was doing it, well, I wouldn’t have a job. But also, we’d all be really happy, in love and like really really rich.
Haha! What a great world, right?!
Soo since we’re not all Meghan Markle and Prince Harry, what’s going on? Maybe, just maybe a little planning towards these goals is pretty darn crucial for success.
We’ve all been asked, ‘what’s your five year plan?” So I’ll ask you, what was your 5 year plan 5 years ago? Have you reached it?
If you answered… Yes! Then you’re probably a pretty awesome goal achiever and I don’t have to tell you how crucial goal setting and planning is to actually achieving any goal.
However, if you’ve never really set a plan into action that got you to hit real benchmarks moving closer to your ultimate [insert synonym for ‘goal’ here] and ultimately reached that big badass goal you had for yourself, then buckle up because we have some work to do!
Okay, all bucked in? Let’s get started!
Your Values represent what’s important to you in life. Knowing your Values helps you understand what drives you, what you enjoy, what inspires you and what you’d like more of.
By building your goals around your values, you can identify goals that will be satisfying and meaningful to you. Before you ask, Yes, You can totally achieve goals that do not align with your values, however, these are likely to be harder to do and just less satisfying.
It’s important to remember that like our goals our values change over time, and deepen as we understand ourselves better, if we’re doing it right they are always moving. – Me!
Your Values can also be situational eg. what’s true for you at work may not be true for you at home.
Along with our values, identifying our Strengths will help us to identify achievable action steps that will successfully get us moving forward to hit our benchmarks along the way and ultimately reaching our goal.
So it’s really important to know your Strengths, what you are good at, what you enjoy or love doing (typically things we’re good at), what you like about yourself and what you just do better than others (No, it’s not egotistical or arrogant to ask and answer this).
Also, if you’ve set goals in the past that you have not reached, knowing how your strengths help you, how they hurt you, and how you can use your strengths better will prevent you from running into the same obstacles the second time around.
Whether we achieve our goals depends solely on if we take action. But what decides whether we take action and what keeps us going? Knowing your why will only increase your clarity, focus and motivation to achieve your goals, helping you to take action and keep it going.
Knowing why we want something, including what feeling we are seeking is probably the most important goal setting step.
If you don’t know why you want to achieve a goal, no one else will either. And unfortunately, you probably won’t achieve it. If you do, you probably won’t be super happy about it so really what’s the point?
I don’t care if your mom knows why you should want it or your best friends says it was really good for her, but you have no idea why the heck you want it, it’s not going to make you happy.
So the final step in this section is being honest with yourself and open to changing your goal.
If you don’t know your why let’s just save us a whole lot of time, figure out what you actually want and go get that. Getting what you actually want sounds way more fun anyway!
1. Outcome Focused: Staying focused on the outcome or goal we want to reach is a vital aspect of goal setting. When we are working towards a goal, we’re likely to come across a few things along the way that we may not be super duper excited about or want to do.
However, if we stay outcome focused (keeping our eye on the prize, if you will) we will be more motivated and enthused to complete the steps along the way.
Again, once we understand our ‘Why’ (Why do I want this goal in the first place?), we start to realize that we actually want to do all the little steps along the way, ultimately making it easier and plain just more fun.
2. Stated in the Positive: Stating our goals in the positive allows us to focus on what we want to work towards and all the awesome benefits of that instead of the not so fun stuff that’s already occurring.
Mindset really is key here. For example:
“I want to obtain a career that I love and am passionate about, a career that I will enjoy and that will improve my finances.”
“I want to quit my job that I hate, because I’m miserable every day and broke.”
I think you get the idea, but for clarity, the first statement makes me really happy, excited for my future and motivated to start working towards that future. The second one makes me want to go curl up in a ball somewhere really dark for a really long time with Uber Eats Delivery access and Netflix of course. You get it right?
Just the planning for the goal itself can feel like an extremely lofty goal. The fact that there are quite a lot of goal setting tips and tricks out there can sometimes do more harm than good. This can result in us feeling overwhelmed, exhausting us before we even get to a point of actually figuring out what our goal even is.
The good news is that although there’s a heck of a lot of guiding principles for goal setting out there none have obtained as much acceptance or positive results as SMART goals. So it makes sense that we use these.
I like to think of it like a movie. What am I wearing, who am I with, what does it feel like?
We’re taking specific to the next level here. Identifying a baseline can be very helpful as well in seeing positive changes and identifying progress.
-I exercise 1x per week currently and I’d like to increase this to 3x per week.
-I currently spend about 10% of my week thinking about getting a new job, I’m going to slowly get this to 40% to include research and actions, resulting in job obtainment.
Actually attaining our goals, I know novel thought right. And Action Oriented, requiring us to identify action steps that will help us reach our benchmarks and ultimately our goals.
Sure I want to be a millionaire, who doesn’t? But wanting it within the next week is probably not going to happen. If I set unrealistic goals for myself, I’ll keep failing and then I’ll stop trying because failing over and over and apparently without learning from it is no fun.
Let’s start realistically so when we fail at something else, because we will, we’re not failing all over the place. Again, just no fun!
Setting deadlines for our goals gives us a sense of urgency and helps us to take action. Setting timeframes to reach benchmarks along the way is also really important for this reason. I mean come on we’ve all heard of procrastination.
We all have a general idea of goal areas like career, family, finances and physical health and fitness. But what if I told you that there’s also goal areas like “My Passion,” “My Boo Thing,” “I’m a Badass and I look really hot in this bikini.”
Personalizing your goals and giving our goals a theme based on YOU, can be a consistent reminder of your WHY and provide endless motivation.
Creating a personalized Wheel of Life (see below) can help us identify where we are already extremely satisfied and where there’s room for us to grow and gain.
Where there’s room to grow and gain is usually where most people want to work in, but it’s really, really, really important that when we are actively working on a goal in one area, career for example, we also ensure that the areas we are super satisfied in stay high.
It’s easy to allow other areas, family for example, to start slip if we’re super focused on career (every Christmas movie ever). It’s vital that while we work towards certain goals, we maintain the areas we are already thriving in, you know the areas that actually make us happy. Don’t lose these!
Goal Setting Step 1. Identify your Values & Strengths.
Goal Setting Step 2. Take a 360 picture of your life. Using the Wheel of Life can be helpful. See where you are super satisfied and where you want to grow.
Goal Setting Step 3. Identify goals in all areas you’ve determined in your life that you want to grow in. Identify these and WRITE THEM DOWN! Again, be specific like a movie script, write what you want each area to look like in 3 months. Prioritize your goals and identify which one you will start to work towards today.
Goal Setting Step 4. Create a weekly schedule (Sunday nights usually work well) with reachable small actions steps throughout the week that are working towards your 3 month goals. Create this schedule at the beginning of every week, looking at your 3 month goals as you do this.
Creating a schedule also helps us stay realistic. For example, if I work 2 jobs on Monday, the likely hood of me going home that night and doing something productive is low. If you’re doing this right the final action step in the final week gets you to hit your benchmark/3 Month Goal.
Goal Setting Step 5. Celebrate, reset and start planning your next 3 months!
Now go shout your goal from a rooftop somewhere! Just kidding, kind of! But do write them down, tell someone, anyone…supportive family members, your friends, your dog, just say them out loud and start to visualize them, believe them and work for them.
Doing this turns your goals, hopes and dreams, all the things we thought we flushed down the toilet years ago into a realistic achievable reality.
“What if I do nothing? Will your life be the same, worse?”
If you are exactly where you are in 6 months, 1 year, 5 years will you be happy?
Now imagine you give this a try.
You’ve identified, set & planned and achieved your goals. You’ve gained increased fulfillment in your personal and professional life. You’re overall quality of life is just better. You’re performance has improved. You are confident and are an active participant in your life.
By doing nothing we are actively choosing exactly what we have. Are you happy with what you are choosing?
The choice is yours, will you take it?
If this all sounds great to you but you’re looking for a little help along the way, please feel free to reach out to me. My Hit Your Goals Life Coaching Program can help get you to where you want to be.
READY TO TAKE THE NEXT STEP AND LEARN YOUR MOTIVATION STYLE TO SMART GOAL PLANNING TO ACHIEVE YOUR BIG BADASS GOALS?
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