If you have read my past post on goal planning, (Goal Planning) you will know that I am new to this putting goals down on paper thing. I started writing goals on paper when I got my first Recollections Personal Planner this past year, and although I haven’t had that planner for too long, I have learned some things about the goal setting process, and what works for me.
In this post I want to talk more about the goal setting process and my tips on how to fully develop your goals for this New Year, so you have a better chance of reaching and achieving your goals. Once my planner is set up and fully functioning (hopefully in a couple weeks from now) I will share it with you.
I know goal setting can be daunting, especially when you don’t know where to start. It’s even harder if you are like me, and not used to putting goals down on paper. You have goals or ideas of what you want for this coming year, but it’s hard to sit down and put pen to paper. However it is proven that you are more likely to achieve your goals if you write them down. So firstly I will go through my tips/process for setting goals, and then I will use one of my goals for this year and show you how I used these tips/process to create my goals.
- Categorize you goals— My first tip is for the person who is unsure of what their goals for the next year are. You know that you have things you want to change for the new year, or things you want to accomplish, but you have a hard time writing them down. Rather then trying to think of all the details of your goals, start by thinking of goal categories. Family, Friends, Marriage, Creative, Health, Fitness, Household, Spiritual, etc. Once you have your categories, it is easier to articulate your goals.
- Reflection–Next tip is to take each of those categories and reflect on your previous year. Reflect by asking yourself these questions for each category.
- Is there anything you have done this past year that you would like to change? or something you didn’t do that you wish you would have.
- What went well this past year that you would like to continue into next year?
- Why do you want the change- How does it effect your daily/weekly/monthly life??
- Clear and Concise–Next try to write out your goal so it is clear and concise. The more concise the goal is, the easier it will be to decide the steps you need to take to achieve this goal. If you feel like your goal is to broad, try breaking it down into smaller goals.
- Measurable Goals— decide how you are going to measure your goals. Firstly decide if it is a daily goal, weekly, monthly. For example if you want to drink more water? That is a daily goal and there are tons of different methods for tracking your water intake. If your goal is to do laundry three times a week then you can figure out a way to measure that weekly.
- Motivation— in order to reach our goals there needs to be the right mix of want/need, motivation, and reward. We have to either want/need the change, we have to find our motivation to achieve the goal, and know what the reward will be when we reach the goal. If you have a goal at work, maybe your want is to have a higher position in the company, your motivation may be monetary, or you may want to reach a higher position so you open up more opportunities for other positions, and your reward is when you complete the goal.
- Reward system— many people use a reward system for keeping themselves motivated towards there goal. For me a reward system hasn’t worked in the past. Some people will reward themselves by buying themselves something they really want after they meet a goal. I may try a reward system in my goal for fitness this year to see if I can make it work for me. But my suggestion is to first figure out what motivates you. The reward doesn’t have to necessarily a monetary item, it could be the reward of just feeling better.
- Plan— How are you going to use the motivation and the reward to create a plan that is measurable to reach your goal
Next I want to show you how I used this process to come up with my goals for this year.
My goals are categorized by Family, Marriage, Friends, Creative, Mental Health Fitness, Household, Spiritual, Career.
For this example I am going to use the category: Household
Is there anything you have done this past year that you would like to change? Or something you didn’t do that you wish your would have.
- Not doing a regular clean up/tidy daily and leaving clutter around the house. (For example if I am using my laptop in the living room and have a notebook and pens with me, I have the habit of leaving it on the coffee table until I use it next rather then putting everything back to where it goes when I am finished with it)
- I do have more reflections and things I want to change in this category but for this example we will just use the one above
What went well this past year that you would like to continue into next year?
- We did window renovations and now have 4 new windows in the house–would like to continue this process.
Why do you want the change- How does it effect your daily/weekly/monthly life
- I want to keep the house tidy everyday, so I don’t spend half of my day off or my weekends cleaning. This makes me feel unorganized and makes me anxious
3. Clear and Concise
- Goal: Tidy up the room I am in, before leaving the room. Do not leave anything you are not currently using in the room.
4. Measurable Goal
- This is a daily goal- and can be measured by how often I now have to do a larger tidy, and whether it saves me time. In order to follow through with this goal I need to make sure my house is organized and everything has a place.
- My motivation is to be able to spend more time enjoying my house, rather then spending hours cleaning, tidying, and re-organizing
- My reward for keeping the house tidy is my motivation- having more time to enjoy my time in my house. The reward is the reason for the goal.
- Go through each room of the house and identify which areas need to be better organized. You need to have a place for everything so when you do put things away, they all have a place to go that is organized.
- Put anything/everything back to where it goes when you are finished with it
- Set aside 10 minutes a night to do an evening walk through of the house to take anything that is not in it’s place and put it where it goes.
This process may seem like it’s long, but I believe the more time you spend developing your goal, the more likely you will achieve. How many times have we causally said/thought a goal in our head, but didn’t fully think out that goal and how we were going to achieve it? Spend the time creating, developing, reflecting on your goals, and you will be able to achieve them.
I will be posting a part two to this post on goal tracking methods. So stay tuned for that.