At times, setting goals is easier in theory. This time of year we hear lots of talk about it. But one look at the gym come February let’s us know that something’s gone wrong in the goal-setting process. What gives?
There are many systems out there. Here’s another.
Step 1. Get in touch with your visionary self. (Can be accompished in or out of the lotus position.)
Ask yourself why you’re here. What is your purpose on this planet? Everybody has a unique role and you are best equipped to figure out what your’s is. But where to start? I love Jack Canfield (Chicken Soup guy) on this topic. He says to let your joy navigate. When was the last time you felt joy? When were you the happiest? Identifying those moments and creating a personal mission statement will be an important beacon while you develop goals.
Step 2. Make your goals SMART goals.
A quick Google search will show you all about SMART goals. Here’s the acronym: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Time-certain. Basically, take a generic goal like “I want to lose weight” and make it specific. “I will lose ten pounds by 2/15/12 by walking M, W, F for 1 hour and cutting my calorie intake to 1,300.” Bam! A SMART goal where a muddy one used to live. (I know when I list muddy goals I don’t really mean it yet. They are just seedlings.)
Step 3. Write it down!
Research shows over and over again that successful people write their goals down. But what do you write? Again, I like to Jack Canfield. He divides up categories: Fun, Health, Giving back, Relationships, Peronal Growth (spiritual and other), Career, Financial. I use this as a working document to create balance in my life, drawing two goals from each area. If a goal crosses over into more than one heading, it goes up higher on my list. I inventory goals from the years before and see if any need to be carried over or dismissed. Then I type up the final winners (usually 10 – 15), put them on a fancy card that has meaning to me, and keep them in my daytimer.
These goals don’t have to be the boss of you. They are just a blueprint. I mean, you wouldn’t build a house playing it by ear, right? This is your life. Give it the kick it needs.
Very inspiring, Jamie! I’ve witnessed the magic of writing things down, even if they aren’t “SMART” goals. One was to buy a car, another was to go to Machu Picchu (neither with any specific date, and neither seemed achievable at the time). They both happened, probably due to my endless writing about them in my diary. That focus transfered to actual work getting done to accomplish them.
But SMART goals work better for me. Especially when I write them down.
I love that, Beth. Keep up the good work!