Do you have trouble seeing value in setting goals for yourself?
So today we’re going to be a little practical. Because if you’re anything like me, you could use a tid-bit of practicality in your life.
Naturally, I am not an organized person. I just kinda like to flit through life and discover where it takes me on the way. However, I have to admit that bringing a bit of organization to my dreaminess has been essential to, you know, actually accomplishing something.
Before goal setting, I had a ton of ideas swimming around in my head and then they were gone like the last cookie from the cookie jar. I could search, but I wasn’t going to find all those great ideas I had.
I was also the queen of beginning projects and never, ever finishing them. I’m that type of person who cleans her house by flitting from one room to the next. I start off by doing the dishes, and then somehow I get shut inside a closet organizing all the things and picking a date for a garage sale.
I’ll save you the 15 chapter story and just tell you that, in the end, the kitchen never gets clean.
So here are my top 4 tips for effectual goal setting that have transformed my beautiful mess into wonderful (mostly) productivity:
- Write your goals down. No, this isn’t optional. No you can’t just sit around and dream up your goals.
You must write them down, or none of this will work.
You also need to give an estimate of how much time it will actually take to complete this goal.
For instance, a couple years ago I decided to write a self help book. So I did research online to figure out how long it would probably take me. One year was the estimation. Therefore, I wrote that down on my goal sheet, Write a Self- Help Book in one year.
- Take your Goals and break them down into smaller chunks.
“So a book is a huge undertaking, what is my first step?”
I had no clue. The most I had ever written were small curriculums for youth camps. This required more research on my part.
I looked up the general process of writing a self-help book and broke down the process into steps.
It looked like this:
Step 1) Have a clear vision for what the book will accomplish by brain dumping all of my ideas.
Step 2) Organize ideas into clear chapters.
And so on and so forth.
You can do this with any goal you have for yourself. Breaking your goal down into smaller goals makes it more likely that you will actually accomplish it.
- Order out your smaller steps and decide how many steps you want to accomplish weekly, monthly, etc.,
How many hours will each step take?
Will you need to acquire a babysitter to accomplish this?
Will you need to make a trip to the library?
Will you need to hire someone?
Will you need to learn a new skill?
Get certified in something? Etc..
Research, research, research.
- Learn to focus. Acquire some sort of journal. Believe it or not, during the course of the year, you will have other brilliant ideas and—if you’re like me—you will want to accomplish all the things right now. This second.
That’s because it’s easy to get bored with a current goal we’re working on. This is where many people mess up because their goals are based on feelings, not on actual determination or want to see a project through.
Instead, use the to-go box mentality. I had to do this while accomplishing my goal to lose weight. I loved to eat out, the only thing is that eating out portions are usually actually two portions of food at least.
So, I would have to remind myself that “to-go” boxes are my friend. I can take this yummy delicious food home with me and enjoy it again and still accomplish my goal of losing weight.
With your goals, do the same thing. Put the idea in your to-go box, your journal, and save it for later.
- Decide to see your goal through the end even if it doesn’t work out the way you envisioned. Completion doesn’t mean perfection. It just means that you make a conscious decision to see your idea through to the end even if you fail.
And if you fail, you don’t stop goal setting, you don’t stop acting on ideas. You simply get up and try again either with the same goal but going about it a different way, or with a different goal enlightened by your previous experiences.
I’m still not a super organized person and I only goal set once a year at the start, right in the middle to evaluate my progress, and at the end before I make new goals for the new year. That’s what works for me.
Remember that goal setting isn’t setting you up for disappointment when done correctly. Actually, it’s when you don’t goal set that you experience the ultimate failure of never actually seeing your ideas to full completion. Or you miss things you could have done better if you had really sat down and thought it through.
Flitting through life having a bunch of good ideas you never make happen is fun, until it’s not.
You can do it!