I remember I once set a goal that I would make a million dollars before I was twenty. Yes, I was ten-years-old when I made that goal (and perhaps I had watched a little too much of Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous) but in my young mind, it was a GREAT goal!
I’ve grown up a little (okay maybe a lot) and I’ve learned that goals need to be more specific in order to be achieved. I also learned a lot of other goal setting tips and I want to share those tips with you.
I know it seems a little early to think about your goals for next year. But, if you want to make your dreams come true, then you need to start planning now.
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Close your eyes and think about what you want to achieve. It’s important to close your eyes because often what we see around us, affects our train of thought.
Do whatever you need to do to relax your mind and body. Before I dream my goals, I like to pray. I ask God to search my heart and make my greatest desires clear to me.
Imagine achieving your greatest goals and dream BIG.
After spending some time in thought, write your dreams on a piece of paper. Write all of it down. Don’t edit or disqualify… document everything.
CHOOSE THREE GOALS
After your big dreaming session, choose three goals you would like to achieve in the next year. Here are some things to consider as you choose your top three goals:
- Choose goals that you’re passionate about.
- Select goals that are realistic. You can still dream big but stay grounded.
- Make sure that the goals are specific (and measurable).
Write down your three goals.
WHAT DOES IT LOOK LIKE?
What does achieving your goals look like? Write down how you will know you’ve achieved your goals. What does success look like? Be as specific as you can.
SET YOUR BENCHMARKS
I like to break my year into the quarterly benchmarks of:
- March 31
- June 30
- September 30
- December 31
Look at each segment and assess where you will need to be at each benchmark in order to achieve your goals.
For example, if I set the goal of writing an eBook by December 31st, my action plan may look like this:
Before March 31, I will:
- think of an idea for an eBook
- write a detailed outline
- start writing the book
By June 30, I will:
- write the entire first draft
- decide on a title
By September 30, I will:
- reread and self-edit the book
- submit the book for professional editing
- complete the final draft
- secure advance readers/reviewers
By December 31, I will:
- format the book for e-publishing
- design the cover
- give the book to advance readers/reviewers
- write out a detailed advertising and marketing plan
This gives a rough idea of what the action plan benchmarks look like. As always, the more specific you can be throughout this process, the more likely that you’ll achieve your goals.
As you progress through your year, you’ll want to look at your quarterly benchmarks and make more specific. Make a monthly action plan and then hone in on weekly and daily action steps.
For example, if I want to lose weight and tone my muscles, I’ll write specific plans such as:
- Meal plan on Sundays (look at resources for low fat, high protein meals)
- Grocery shopping Sunday afternoon for the week’s groceries
- Lift weights on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday
- Cardio activities on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday
- Walk as much as possible (i.e. instead of driving to the library, walk)
Then, on my daily planner, I will write the times I plan to do these activities.
While goal planning may be a breeze, keeping motivated can be a challenge. I have a few strategies that I use to keep motivated. I may use a couple of these techniques or I may use all of them. It depends on the goal and my level of self-motivation.
MAKE IT VISIBLE
Write your goals on a piece of paper and hang them in a visible place. You can hang them in several places if you wish!
I have my goals as the wallpaper for my laptop. You can make it as a background image for your phone too!
MAKE IT YOUR WAY OF LIFE
There is no doubt about it… my Passion Planner has helped me achieve so many of my goals and dreams. I bought my first Passion Planner in 2015… since then, I have written an eBook, an parenting workbook, designed a homeschool planner, and launched an eCourse!
I couldn’t have achieved these goals without the intentional planning I did with my Passion Planner. There is nothing like it! There are sections to map out your plans for the month and spaces to reflect on your successes and areas for improvement.
I made goal planning and reflection a way of life. The constant documentation and self-reflection keeps me motivated.
Take some time to schedule calendar reminders on your phone. If you need to workout, schedule it in! If you need to write, set an alarm so you know when you need to start! Do everything you can to remind yourself of this very important commitment that you’ve made to yourself.
FIND AN ACCOUNTABILITY BUDDY
When I wrote my first eBook, I found a friend who was also working on a book. We started our own little private Facebook page and regularly cheered each other on. We would check in with each other and we would lift one another up when we got discouraged.
Take the time to pause, reflect, and celebrate every milestone and every step you take towards your goals.
DON’T GIVE UP
Never give up. This is your dream! Take intentional action and make it become a reality!
It’s your turn, what do you do to crush your goals?
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