Goals. Ambiguous and challenging right? Every time I sit down and think ‘what are my goals?’, I get side tracked with tiny little granular thoughts of cleaning the kitchen cupboards, getting my hair washed tonight so I don’t need to do it tomorrow, or I go way too big and put pressure on myself to have a nicer car, a bigger house, a successful business, 10 kids and an incredibly happy life. Where do you begin and what is the right way to go about setting yourself goals?
You can start fresh on your resolutions at anytime of the year, and it’s actually proven that starting a resolution or goal in the middle of the year and NOT on a Monday is best. Wednesday’s are meant to be the most effective day to start, however there is no time like the present and psychologically for me, the start of the year is the perfect time to put pen to paper and set out my intentions for the coming months. Here’s how I do it.
Choose realistic and achievable objectives
By setting your expectations too high, you’re probably going to fail, and this will leave you feeling discouraged and unmotivated. Start with goals that are challenging, but that you can achieve if you work hard and keep the end in sight.
Pick a select few
How often have we all sat down to write new year’s resolutions or yearly goals and ended up with reams and reams of epically long lists that even with Bernard’s watch and endless time you won’t accomplish? For me, this is pretty much every time. I end up putting far too much detail and including unimportant tasks in the mix which make the list confusing and unachievable. Choose a select few goals that are really important to you. If there’s smaller tasks that need to be completed along the way – great, they don’t need to be included here. This list is for the end result and the bigger picture. I recommend choosing around 3 larger goals with a maximum of 5 if you really need to. This way you keep a clear mind, can measure results, and you won’t feel overwhelmed.
Keep your goals within your control
There’s no point setting yourself the task to create a multi-million pound business with 20,000 staff and 8 offices worldwide if you are currently employed and looking to quit your job to go freelance. I mean, if you get there that is AMAZING (please tell me your secret), but it is going to be so much more fulfilling and achievable to keep things realistic. In this instance, I suggest the end goal to be working 100% freelance with the potential to be looking to employ a member of staff or a secretary for tasks you don’t have time to do yourself. In the same vein, I wouldn’t set myself a goal that relied on other factors which I have no way of controlling, as this is completely out of my hands. You want to be in control of your goals with measurable ways to get there.
Write your goals down
Putting a plan together in your mind is great. You should be thinking of where you want to be and visualising your dreams all the time, however to keep track and measure your goals effectively, you need to get them on paper (or digitally of course). I like to write things down as having a physical copy of what is in my head helps me stay accountable. You can’t just forget about it – it’s there in black and white!
Reward yourself for the milestones along the way
You won’t go from A to B without encountering both challenges and achievements along the way, so make sure that when you reach certain milestone, you take note and acknowledge the direction you are moving in. If this is forwards – great! You should be so proud of yourself for taking another step closer to where you want to be. If this is a setback, take stock of where you are and what happened to set you back and learn lessons from your experiences. Set-backs are a great way to grow and adapt and don’t necessarily mean that you won’t get to where you want to be – just that circumstances took you on a different journey.
I’ve been spending a lot of time thinking about my goals for 2020, and for the first time I feel like I have realistic and achievable ideas, which I know I will work hard towards. No more silly unattainable thoughts that will probably never manifest as they are out of my control, or endless lists with hundreds of things that I can’t even remember.
I have everything written down and ready for the new year so bring on 2020 – it’s going to be our best year yet!
Check out – ‘Redecorating – Where to Begin‘