How I Goal Set:
My Method for Consistency + Success
Goal setting is a particularly important, ongoing process for me during the year. I usually begin goal setting around the end of November or the beginning of December. I begin by taking a day to write down all the things I want to accomplish in the upcoming year. This part of the process usually takes a day just because…you know…kids! I also want to make sure I am taking the time to include anything I can think of. I don’t want to leave anything off the table. After I have my list of “things I want to accomplish”, I take that list and evaluate each item. I try to determine if each one is really that important for where I am in my life. I also evaluate this list for things that are repetitive.
Next, I take this new, shorter list and identify things that should be grouped under a larger category. For instance, one goal that I have for this year is to lower my BMI to anywhere between 18 and 25. Under that goal, I have smaller tasks that were once individual goals on my initial list: workout 5 times a week, complete a 10-day detox, and spend 3 months on a specific nutrition plan. Those smaller tasks that were once individual goals, are now steps that I can take to reach my larger goal of lowering my BMI. I complete this process for each item left on the list and then move on to the next step in my process.
The next step involves assigning predicted completion dates for each goal. Once these completion dates are in place, I begin giving each task under each goal a “by date”. These dates are there to help me prioritize and focus my energy so that I am not all over the place. After assigning each task a “by date”, I put all these dates in my calendar.
Finally, I readjust and reprioritize as needed throughout the year. My husband and I normally meet monthly to go over our goals –those we set individually and those we set as a family. One of our family goals is to take a trip to visit the continent of Africa. When we meet, we discuss how we are doing as it relates to our goals, we reevaluate the necessity of each, and try to help each other whenever one of us is stuck.
I don’t have any hard and fast rules for success when it comes to crushing your goals. I do know, for me, consistency has been my biggest ally. I also utilize language that makes my goals SMART goals –Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound. Creating SMART goals helps you to get truly clear about what it is you want to do, and they push you to think beyond the “what” so that you can think about your “why” and “how”.
So, to recap my goal setting process for you, I will put it in a simple list format:
- Take a day to write down everything you think you may want to accomplish in the upcoming year.
- Evaluate your list and exclude anything that may not be relevant or anything that may be repetitive.
- Take each goal and list any tasks or actionable items under it that would help you take steps towards reaching that goal.
- Assign predicted completion dates for each goal.
- Assign “by dates” for each task and put all dates in a calendar.
- Revisit your goals on a regular basis to evaluate where you are, reprioritize, and adjust.
Lastly, I would like to ask you one favor. Would you allow yourself some grace as you approach this process? Goal setting is the easy part, but staying the course gets a little sticky. Life is crazy and not everyone is going to be cooperative on your journey. But let me be the first to say, you got this! I did not achieve all my goals for this year, but I did crush most of them and I am going to celebrate me for that. It is my hope that you will celebrate you even if you only crush one goal next year.
Let’s get your bag, Sis!
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