I started this year with a fresh mind and healthier attitude than ever before. I am determined to make every day great (but to also not be too hard on myself if I don’t quite manage it). Goal setting is something I’ve actually learned through my job, and it applies to your work and your personal life.
I’ve always found setting myself goals easy. I do it all the time. But actually managing, evaluating, and measuring these goals is another thing entirely. It’s all very well setting yourself a goal, anyone can do that. But how do you know when you’ve reached your goal? Or what if you’re falling behind? Is your goal actually realistic and achievable?
Sit down with a notebook and pen. Pick a goal (or several) and write it down. Then, get specific. Why have you set yourself this goal? What does this goal involve? Who does this goal involve? Ask yourself in-depth questions, and really pull apart exactly what this goal of yours is.
Once you’ve done that, you’ll have an even clearer idea about where you want to get to and why. You can then set yourself a time limit, evaluate the achievability of the goal, and decide how you are going to measure your progress.
Don’t just stop with one goal either. Keep going! Every time you think of something you’d like to achieve, write it down. Even if you don’t do the evaluation malarkey straight away, at least it’s there in black and white for you to come back to. I would definitely forget most of my goals if I didn’t write them down. They come and go in waves, and sometimes you have a random urge to achieve something that’s completely unrelated to your current life and ventures. Ask yourself why you had that sudden urge to achieve that certain thing. It is amazing how much more you can learn about yourself from just taking the time to think.
Measuring the goal
Set yourself benchmarks for checking in on your progress. The benchmarks will be different for each goal. I’ve set myself some goals which require daily and weekly checks, and others which are a matter of months (and even years!). Setting yourself these time frames means you are constantly keeping on top of what you want to achieve. If something needs to be evaluated weekly, but you don’t look back over it for 4 months, then you may not have progressed at all and simply wasted 4 months!
This section will make the most sense when you’ve finished the first. So get cracking mate-y!
Making a change, one step at a time
I’ve found that a lot of people coast through life without a great deal of direction. This is especially apparent with people in their 20’s who aren’t really sure what they want to do with their lives. That’s normal, and the whole point of being young is discovering stuff. But you also want all your years (whether you’ve got 80 left or 10 left) to count. These goals don’t have to be drastic life-changing things. They can be the smallest and most insignificant of things. But they are still important. For example, one of my goals is to drink 2 litres of water a day. I still went through the motions of evaluating this goal, even though it seemed stupid at first. And it was so helpful.
Use these goal setting techniques to better yourself and your life. The only person getting in the way of what you want to achieve is you. And the more you tell yourself that isn’t the case then the more you’ll end up going nowhere. Change doesn’t happen overnight, and it doesn’t happen with minimal effort.
Keep focused. Stay motivated. You’ll get there.
Whilst we’re on these motivational and personal lines, have a read of my happiness blog post (if you missed it).