Setting Better Goals
by Jessica Schmidley
January is the time when everyone starts thinking about resolutions. I consider resolutions to be just another type of goal, just like I would set for myself throughout the year. All too often we see clients give up on goals before the end of January. This year, let's commit to changing that by making better goals to begin with.
The key to achieving any goal, is how you create it.
We talk casually about goals all the time...I want to lose 5 pounds...I want to go on a vacation...I want to get a new job. However, wanting doesn’t get the job done. Action does.
If I want to lose 5 pounds, but I never make any changes in my lifestyle that will support that goal, it won’t happen. If I want a new job, but I never update my resume, talk to a recruiter or start applying for positions...It’s not likely that will happen either.
I talk with people all the time who set goals, but give themselves unrealistic timelines to complete them. Look at what you want to accomplish and set a reasonable timeline in order to follow through on that task.
Step One: Time Period
Identify a goal and decide how long the process of achieving that goal will reasonably take (not necessarily how quickly you want to get it done):
These do not have to be health or fitness related. They can be literally anything that you want to get accomplished. Go one week without dessert. Finish a project. Save up a certain amount of money to take that big vacation. These can be related goals or individual goals.
Choose your words:
Consider the words that you use while goal setting. Instead of saying “I want to…” or “Try to…” use the words “I will…”.
Step Two: Actions
List 1 to 3 actions that you will do to accomplish these tasks in this period of time. The larger the goal, the longer the period of time, and generally you will need more actionable tasks to complete that goal.
Step Three: Skills
Part of accomplishing a goal may involve learning new skills. If you want to cook more of your own meals, you may want to attend cooking classes or learn knife skills to help during that process. There are so many good online classes now to learn basically any skill you could imagine, check out sites like Masterclass.
1 Week Goal:
1 Month Goal:
1 Year Goal:
Step Four: Identify Your Sacrifices
“The real challenge is not determining if you want the result, but if you are willing to accept the sacrifices required to achieve your goal. Do you want the lifestyle that comes with your quest? Do you want the boring and ugly process that comes before the exciting and glamorous outcome?”
This article really spoke to me, and I’m already a big fan of James Clear’s work. The want is not enough, identifying what needs to be done and if you are willing to do the work to accomplish the goal is a very important part of the process. Click the link above for the full article if you want to go a little deeper into goals.
Goals can be very powerful. Be strategic, be realistic and identify a few things that you want to check off your list this week, month or year!