Are you a goal setter?

Studies show we’re just happier people overall when we set and plan goals for ourselves!

So let’s talk how to set those goals!

Disclaimer: you don’t have to have it all together (whatever the heck that means!) or things be “perfect” or just right before setting goals. Even if it’s a bit messy and nonlinear, just start where you are – things can always be tweaked, adjusted or changed.

 


Step 1: Reflection

Reflection is a vital part of goal setting that should be done on a regular basis. Set aside 30 minutes or so whenever you need to set or refresh your goals, pull out your journal and reflect on where you’ve been, where you’re at, and where you want to go.

Some questions for your reflection:

– What has been going well? What hasn’t? Why or why not?
– What’s most important to me? Why?
– What are my values? How are they being fulfilled right now?
– What is my purpose? How am I making it a reality?
– What do I want to change? What action(s) can I take?
– What do I want more of? What action(s) can I take? 

The answers to these questions will bring you so much awareness around how you’re spending your time and energy, and what you truly want. They’ll help you see where you’re at and where you want to go, so you can start making plans to do it. From this perspective you can start to set meaningful goals that move you closer to your vision.

Step 2: Clarify your vision


The problem with a lot of goals is that they lack purpose and meaning. And there’s little thought given to why they’ve been set in the first place.

Goal setting is not about pulling things out of thin air that sound good and will keep you busy. Or what you think you “should” do, basing your goals off old past goals, or the expectations of others. 

Goal setting is about discovering what you truly want and making a realistic plan to get it. Attaching your goals to a dream or vision you have for yourself gives your goals purpose and meaning, so they’re not just aimless pursuits. 

So instead, reverse engineer your goals: decide where you ultimately want to be, and from that end point, work your way backwards to set the goals that will make it happen. A goal is a place to come from, not a place to get to.

Don’t worry about “how” right now – think about your “what” (you want) and “why” (you want it).

Some questions to clarify your vision:

– If I could accomplish anything in X amount of time, have anything in my life, what would that be?
– Where do I want to be 1, 3 and/or 5 years from now? What do I want my life to look like?
– How am I going to be even more excited to wake up every day, in the coming months/years? What am I going to do differently?
– If money were no concern to me, and I had all I needed forever, what would I do with my time?

Step 3: Feel your goals


What most people do is decide what they want, how to get it and then they decide how they feel about it later.
The feeling has to come first.
Goals are more likely to become a reality if there’s a positive energy behind them. N
ot to mention be much more fun to work towards!

All goals we set ultimately = a desired feeling that we want to experience. 

Ask yourself how you want achieving your goals will make you feel.

– Good goals feel both exciting and scary. You want to be excited enough that you can take some action, but not so scared that you panic and freeze.
– Good goals feel like a stretch, but in a good way – like they’re taking us out of our comfort zone just a bit.

– Good goals don’t feel totally unbelievable. If they do, break them down into smaller mini-goals until they are believable.
– You’ll feel pleasantly surprised when it happens, but not totally shocked. 
– You might feel a little doubtful about it, but you also know it’s not impossible. 
– Good goals mean you’re still rarin’ to go, even after a setback, delay or disappointment.

Goals that aren’t meaningful, don’t align with our vision, or are just too dang big for us right now, will cause stress and anxiety. Eventually we’ll just give up on those kinds of goals.


Step 4: Braindump


Now that you’re clear on where you’ve been, where you’re at right now, and what you want to achieve, do a braindump.

Get all your thoughts, plans, current projects, goals, ideas and to-do’s out on paper. Write them allllll down.

Scratch out the stuff you now know doesn’t align with your vision.


Circle, double star or highlight those things that do align, and you know will bring you closer to making your vision a reality.

 

Step 5: Set your goals


Based on all of this reflection, envisioning, feeling and braindumping, choose just a few goals to focus on at any given time (1 – 3 at most).

Consider how your goals are going to affect your day to day life. Are you willing to do what needs to be done to reach these goals?

Choose and set your goals consciously. 

Something fun to do is set 3 tiers for each goal – good, better and best:
– Good: you’d be satisfied with the outcome.
– Better: you’d be super stoked with the outcome.
– Best: you’d be bursting with #allthefeels and screaming from the rooftops at the outcome.

 

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