Good morning all!
How are you? Thanks so much for your feedback on yesterday’s Part I post of the topic I’m going to round off today. Yesterday we talked about some of the preparation steps: assessing the state of the union, deciding what we want to change, and setting our own standards for success. Let’s pick up where we left off – Step 4.
Step-By-Step Goal Setting According to Angela – Part II of II
4. Which of the changes are most important to me?
This is where I set priorities, and over the course of a year these can definitely change. For example, this year one of my goals was to save up and buy a new car by October, but when things started going wrong with the one I already owned, my self-imposed deadline for the new purchase got bumped up in my list of priorities. This is a key step because it can be super overwhelming to bite off more than you can chew. Similarly, ensuring that goals really are important to you will affect your motivation to work towards them. If you want to make a change to please someone else rather than yourself, chances are your motivation won’t be as strong. By contrast, if the goal is going to benefit you and a larger group of people, perhaps your motivation will rise because you feel accountable to yourself and that group.
5. Set goals
I know, I know, you’re probably thinking “We’ve already been through 4 steps and we still haven’t actually set any goals?!” Well this is the step you’ve been waiting for. As a guideline, I refer to the SMART goal criteria when it comes to putting pen to paper. On my 2011 vision board, as well as in some of my monthly goal setting (all monthly goal check-ins can be found on the Top Posts page) there were a few goals that weren’t SMART. For example, “volunteer” was one of those goals and as you can see, there is nothing specific (S), measurable (M), or time-bound (T) about that! The SMART criteria can be a little scary because it forces you to answer the whos, whats, whens and hows, but in my experience, the goals that check all of these boxes really are the ones that are achieved.
When making your list, be sure to consider timelines. Set some long term goals (1 year, 5 year, or maybe even 10 years), then decide what you need to do to get to them. This is where your shorter term goals (monthly, weekly, daily) come in, each one contributing to your success at reaching the long term ones.
6. (OPTIONAL): Get out your scissors, glue, and all the magazines you’ve been stockpiling over the year!
This is my favourite part, and if you’re not the crafty type, don’t worry, you don’t have to do it. I find that visual inspiration is incredibly powerful for me, so making a big pretty collage that sits on my closet door all year is how I like to round off this process. (For ideas, check out my 2010 and 2011 masterpieces.) Here, there’s no “right” way to do it – you can design your board however you want. Magazines, hand-written quotes, Pinterest musings, whatever turns your crank. After all, YOU are the one that needs to be inspired by it! Choose pictures and words that resonate with you, and if you want, you can stick your goals on post-its and paste them over top to remind you what you’ve committed to. (Don’t worry – they don’t all have to go on there… maybe you want to keep some a secret!)
And there you have it! That’s my process. Now I want to hear from you:
- If you’re a goal nerd like me, do you follow a similar process? Do you have your own unique version?
- What inspires you most? Pictures? Music? Words? Experiences of your own or of others?