How often do we let the days sift by like sand running through our fingertips? We take one look at social media and compare ourselves to what everyone else seems to have accomplished so far, and we are left feeling behind, unproductive, and worst of all, like we have in some way failed.
Goal setting is a habit, and achieving goals is a lifestyle. This isn’t just for people who are naturally good at “that sort of thing”, this is a skill anyone can learn. So lets look at how you can become more productive, happier, and more successful, starting today!
Step One: Areas of Focus
First you have to prioritize. What are some things you want to accomplish, or where are the areas you want to grow and mature? I recommend breaking down your life into areas of focus.
- Psychological (Mental, Emotional, Intellectual)
- Physical (Health, Fitness…)
- Professional (Career, Finances…)
- Relational (Friends, Family, Relationships)
- Spiritual (Perspective, Peace, Purpose)
Step Two: Attainable Goals
Second, identify what goals you’d like to achieve within each of the categories. Make sure they are realistic, but don’t be afraid to dream big if you’re willing to work for it!
Think about where you want to be, and then break down what steps it is going to take to get there. Work backwards from your goal, to where you are starting.
What are the smaller goals within you grand-scheme goals. For instance, if I want to loose 10 lbs, then not only will I work out, but I will also want to eat healthier, and drink more water and get plenty of sleep.
Step Three: Break Down Your Goals
How do you eat an elephant? One bit at a time.
How do you achieve your dreams? By taking one step at a time toward them.
So many people think about where they want to be, but despair when it seems too far away or out of reach. You can get anywhere, as long as you keep putting one foot in front of the other.
After identifying the smaller goals within your big/long term goals, you will probably find some bench marks along your journey by which you can measure your progress. Take a look at these and figure out what are some daily goals, weekly goals, monthly goals, and goals for the year that will help you to get to where you want to go. Figure out realistically how long it will take for you to reach your desired outcome, and set a deadline to work toward!
Your daily goals will eventually become habits you won’t have to think about anymore, while you focus on your weekly and monthly goals.
Make sure you keep your eye on the ball in front of you. You have to dribble to the goal before you can score. Don’t get ahead of yourself, lest you become discouraged that things aren’t happening overnight. Celebrate your little victories along the way!
Set deadlines for your smaller goals. Going back to the losing 10 lbs example:
Daily Goal: Drink 8 glasses of water and get a full 8 hours of sleep.
Weekly Goal: Come up with a healthy eating plan, and get in 3 good work outs!
Monthly Goal: Loose 5 lbs.
Step Four: Plan for Success
Your goals aren’t just going to achieve themselves. You have to come up with a game plan.
Take charge of your time, and tell it where it will be spent. Get a planner and decide when you are going to get down to it. I recommend the Tools4Wisdom Planners, (you can get them cheaper on amazon here). They help you to keep your monthly goals in mind and break down your daily tasks.
Take a couple of minutes each day to decide what you want to try to get done tomorrow, and when you’re going to do it.
Set deadlines for your bench marks, and for your end game goals. Keep these in mind to motivate you to achieve your daily and weekly goals regularly.
Remind yourself of why it is important. If you’re saving for a vacation, post a picture on the desk top of your computer at work to remember why you are working so hard. Wrap a note around your credit card to remind yourself to spend less and save more for traveling expenses. Whatever is going to motivate you to keep up your momentum, help yourself out!
Step Five: Habitually Achieve Your Goals
Start with your daily goals until they become a habit.
Keep going until your weekly goals become a lifestyle.
Your monthly goals are a time for you to evaluate your daily and weekly goals to see if they are getting the desired results. Is it time to amp it up a little? Or are you setting your goals too high and discouraging yourself by not being able to reach them? Make sure you set your goals within your reach, while still challenging yourself!
12 months (or evaluations) from now, how much closer will you be to achieving your dreams? Don’t let another year slip by and leave you no closer to where you want to be. Take charge of your life and be proactive!
There is no reason you can’t accomplish a string of goals and make your dreams come true.
The only one standing in your way is you, you can walk around anything else, one step at a time.