Today’s post is going to be a little bit different than my previous posts, but I am very excited about it! Today is all about Goal Setting. I use a form of goal setting every day; work and home. For me, it comes in the form of making “to do” lists. If I don’t have a list, or it’s not written down on my list, it doesn’t happen. Every morning when I get to work, I make a list of the things that I want to accomplish that day. I generally don’t get to all of them, because working in the Human Resources field, new issues and tasks come up constantly that have to be added to the top of the list, but it absolutely helps to keep me on task. The BEST part of a list is getting to cross something off of it!
I recently decided to take goal setting a step further and have come up with a fantastic way to not only take a look at your biggest goals in life, but also to take a look at the smaller goals that can help you get there. The first step in Goal setting is actually sitting down with a pen and paper and figuring out what your goals are. This blog post is interactive… so go and grab that pen and paper. (You will need 3 sheets!)
Okay, now that you have what you need; pen, paper and an open mind… let’s get started. I would like you to start my dating the top of your paper. Today, this date, is the start of understanding your goals and how you can actually reach them. The next step is to number your paper from 1-20. This is where the fun part starts. Start writing down some of your big goals. You can see the start of my list pictured below. I easily got to goal #10 then it got a little more difficult. Really think about what kind of goals you want to set for yourself and what you want to work towards. When you get to the end, your goals may be smaller, but that is okay. That just means you can attain them sooner than the big ones and better yet, will be able to cross them off your list!
Before I move on, you must have 20 goals written down. No excuses. Reach down deep and get them out on paper.
The next step is to dig a little deeper and take things a little further. You need to grab a new sheet of paper and again, you need to number it 1-20. This time though, each number has an “1” and a “2.” Please see my sheet below so that you know what I mean!
Take this step a little slower than the last. Take a look at your first goal in your list. Now, I want you to write down 2 smaller goals that will help you reach that bigger goal. Big goals in life are fantastic, but you always have to break them down into smaller goals so that you can get there. For example, one of my big goals in life is to travel the world. This is a huge goal that will not be attained easily or quickly! I had to think of 2 smaller goals that will help me get there.
#1. Write down all of the places I want to visit (yet another list)
#2. Start saving money just for travel!
These are 2 smaller goals that will help me reach my big one! By physically writing down the places I want to go, I am able to see where I want to visit and leading to my second smaller goal… will know how much money I need to save up (a lot)!
Go through each of your 20 goals and write down 2 smaller goals that can help you get there. This makes even the biggest goals seem more attainable. You made it half way through! And better yet, you have 60 goals written down on paper!! How exciting!
For the next step, you are going to have to dig even deeper! Grab that third sheet of paper and number it from 1-20! At the top of this sheet I want you to write “To be completed by (insert date that is exactly one month from today)” These are going to be even smaller goals that you will be able to do this month to help you reach your big and smaller goals! Take a look at your original goal list and your second, smaller goal list. For each big goal, you need to write down one thing that you can do this month to help you reach it! Writing them down is fantastic and really gets you motivated, but it is nothing without actually getting out there and working towards them! To go back to my goal of traveling the world, my small goal for this month that will help me get there is to make a container that I can save money in just for travel! I haven’t quite decided what I am going to use yet, but I plan to reuse something old and create a fantastic bank out of it! When I have a few extra dollars or loose change, I will put it in there and start saving!
After you have all of your goals for this month listed, there is yet another step. Print out 2 calendars; one for this month and one for next month. (Unless you are lucky enough to be reading this on the first of a month!) Make sure the calendar leaves you space to write something in each day. Now, take your final 20 goals and write them in for the month. Some days you may have more free time and be able to complete 2 goals, while other busy days, you may not be able to complete any. Also, some goals may go on more than one day! For example, one of my big goals is to pass the PHR exam and get my certification. To get there, my small goal is to simply start studying! Specifically, on my lunch breaks at work! This goal, I am going to write in for 2-3 lunch breaks per week. Fill up that calendar! Feel free to get creative and color code things, or keep it clean and simple, whatever your personal style is!
Hang this calendar somewhere you will see every day, or keep it with you all of the time if you are constantly running like me! As you accomplish them, cross them out! (I recommend using a highlighter to cross them out). You can clearly see that it has been done, while being able to see what the goal was that was completed! If you miss a day with a goal, it’s okay, just make sure you hold yourself accountable and move it to a different day!
I have one last step for you. Share your goals with someone. Not only can they help motivate you, but they will also help to hold you accountable! Is one of your goals to exercise more? Maybe your friend will go for a walk or a bike ride with you! Is one of your goals to eat healthier? Maybe you have a friend with some great tips that can help you!
After your first month, keep things moving! Write down 20 more small goals and write them down on a new calendar! Making and working on these small goals, will eventually lead to reaching your big goals!
I would love to hear about your process and goals that you were able to accomplish! Please share your stories in the comments below!
I will be working towards one of my big goals over the next 2.5 weeks! I will be traveling to Iceland, Scotland and England! Please follow my blog to see all of my adventures I will be going on! I will be posting each day!
Imagine all of the beautiful crazy possibilities!