Be happy with what you have while working for what you want.
Do you write your goals down? Or do you just think about what you hope to achieve? Has it been awhile since you did either?
Effective goal setting requires attention, thought, and consistent effort. While it might seem like thinking about goals is enough, the key to achieving goals is writing them down.
The following seven steps review goal setting from start to finish — and we added an ingredient that’s often excluded from the goal setting process. Can you guess what it is?
1. Set the stage
Give yourself the time and space to think. Go to a quiet place, put on headphones, and play your favorite music. Gather goal setting materials – your journal, laptop, pen and paper. If you are a creative type, bring a sketchpad or watercolors. Exercise and meditation can help clear your mind, or you might try burning a candle and enjoying a glass of wine. Do what you need to set yourself up for success.
2. Think back
Jot down a few things that you are already working on. Have you started a healthy eating plan? Are you trying to exercise more? Are you striving for a promotion at work?
3. Take out the trash
Examine this list closely. Are there items that you are not excited about? Take out the trash! Draw a thick line through these humdrum goals… or highlight and click delete on your computer. There is no sense on working towards something that isn’t a priority or passion.
4. Four minutes to daydream
Close your eyes and daydream. Where do you see yourself in 4 weeks? 4 months? 4 years? What are you doing? Who are you with? What emotions are you feeling? What thoughts are on your mind? Now, give your future self a hug of encouragement and awaken back to reality.
5. Make your dreams a reality
Write down a few goals for the next 4 weeks, 4 months, and 4 years. Make your goals specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timely (also known as SMART). This can be challenging, but with practice you will find a format that works for you. If you need help getting started, check out this helpful guide.
6. Gratitude for extra credit
Gratitude is the ingredient that many goal-setting formulas leave out. It is important to honor your journey and the path you have traveled so far…
Finding gratitude for where you are today will help you get where you want to go. Write about someone who has inspired you. Write about your faith, your God, or your love for the universe. Write about your guides and teachers. Write about your parents, partners, and children. Write about the positive things you have done to arrive at this moment.
7. Revisit daily, reexamine often, revise as needed
Place your goals + gratitude where you will see them daily. Reexamine your goals often – we suggest a biweekly or monthly basis. If any of your goals have gone stale, throw them out. Celebrate your efforts and give yourself permission to revise as needed.
For more goal setting inspiration, check out this infographic from OnlineEducation.net. I have to admit, my New Year’s resolutions are the same year after year. What about you?