With each new year, I’m sure you hear talk about New Year’s goal setting. And while I love the possibility that a new year brings, I also believe that a year is what you make of it. As an enneagram 3, I naturally love writing out what I want to accomplish for the year ahead. But I also know that goals without action are merely wishes. That’s exactly why I wanted to record an episode about how to set effective goals.
How to Set Effective Goals
Brain Dump and Know Your Why
The first thing I recommend doing is a brain dump. Write down everything you want to to and accomplish this year. This can be anything from wanting to save more money, take a family vacation or finally kick start your online career. Whatever is important to you, write it down!
You have probably heard of SMART goals: specific, measurable, actionable, realistic and timebound. Meaning you want a goal that essentially you can measure and track. I don’t entirely subscribe to this concept of goal setting as not everything can be clearly measured and tracked. However, I think it’s important to keep in the back of your head.
Now I want you to put these written goals somewhere where you can see them daily – bathroom, car, fridge etc. Amy Porterfield always says, thoughts create feelings, feelings create actions and actions create results. We want your goals to take the forefront of your mind so that you are inspired to take action, and therefore get the results you want to see.
While you’re writing down your goals, I also want you to think about your WHY. This is the deep-rooted reason that you are trying to accomplish these goals. Whatever the reason, this is what’s going to keep you going on those days when you feel like quitting or not doing that thing you said you were going to do.
Schedule It on the Calendar
I’m big on adding anything and everything to my Google calendar to keep me accountable. And it’s important to utilize a calendar to help you accomplish your goals. I want you to take a look at the year as a whole and think about when you want to accomplish each of these goals.
It’s not good enough to say, I want to have 10k in my savings account by the end of the year. Then, hope that when 2023 rolls around, it magically appears there. Think about what will go into making that goal a reality. Maybe first you need to schedule a time to chat with your spouse so that you can both get on the same page about your financial goals. Next you need to dig through your bank statements and come up with a budget, highlighting where you can save money. Then you can brainstorm ways to make extra money.
The point is, I want you to schedule out exactly when you are going to do these things. Like actually pick a date and time. The act of simply scheduling things to accomplish your goals is what’s going to get you to the finish line.
Break Up Big Goals into Smaller Ones
Next I want you to look at your top five biggest goals and break them up into smaller goals. This is probably going to be necessary in order for you to schedule it on the calendar, but also so that you don’t get overwhelmed with all that you have to do.
For instance, when I was launching this podcast, instead of being overwhelmed by all the things I had to do to get a podcast up and running, I made a list of all the things I would need to do to accomplish my goal. I took this list and went back to my calendar. Then, I worked backwards with a timeline based on how much I had to do and when I wanted to launch. Having a running checklist made me feel less overwhelmed, and kept me on track.
Do a Monthly Goal Check to Track Progress
Finally, I want you to commit to doing monthly check ins. Set aside up to an hour at the end of each month to reevaluate. Do you need to adjust things on the calendar? Are you having a hard time feeling motivated? Do you feel stuck? Maybe you just need a quick reminder WHY you’re doing what you’re doing.
This doesn’t have to be a long drawn out process. But it is a great time to reflect on what you’ve accomplished this far, and give yourself the opportunity to adjust your tactics and plan for the rest of the year. The reason that we have goals at all is because we are in control of our own future. We get to design the life we want, and we get there by taking small baby steps in the right direction.
It’s all about taking small actions daily, which when compiled equate to BIG results. It’s hard to see in the moment, but I promise, as long as you continue to move forward, you will eventually see the results you want.
One of my favorite quotes is, “Imagine where you can be a year from now, if only you start today.” I want you to think about this deeply. If there is something that has been tugging at your heart and floating around in your head, now is the time to go ahead and get started. If you’re waiting for permission, I’m giving it to you. It’s time to be BOLD my friend and get after those big goals of yours!