Self-Care Sunday: Discover a New Goal-Setting Method
Goal-setting is a powerful tool for effective self-care and organization, but the process can also become overwhelming, especially if you aren’t naturally methodical. You might have fallen prey to the cycle of a burst of goal-oriented motivation, followed relatively quickly by a seeming burnout, where all manner of goal-setting and achievement feels crushing.
One of the reasons are goals seem to fall by the wayside is because we are likely creating vague goals that are set too high. Sure, it’s wonderful to create vision boards and try to manifest the bigger things we want in life, such as a promotion, a new job, or a great romance – but we can’t forget the small steps that are necessary to reach these dream-scenarios.
And sometimes the biggest hurdle is finding a goal-setting method that works for you.
There are certain steps you can take to radically change your approach to goal-setting and follow-through and learn to stay organized and productive for good.
The first place to start is identifying your goals and what you feel your path or purpose is in this life. Easy, right? Well, it can be. This is a personal process, and you can approach it in whatever way makes you feel comfortable and positive. Identifying your goals can be as easy as creating a list, a vision board, a graph or even a Venn diagram. It doesn’t matter how you approach it, as long as you come up with concrete ideas of what you really want. Half of the time, our goals feel impossible to achieve because we aren’t entirely clear on what they are.
Identifying and putting focus on what you truly want will help you in the next steps, which include figuring out how to achieve them.
The SMART Goals System
One effective method for goal-setting that is gaining popularity right now – and for good reason – is the SMART system. SMART stands for:
Specific goals are the opposite of those vague goals, such as “find a new job” or “save money.” The “specific” portion of SMART goals asks you why you want to achieve these goals, which allows you to focus more on the feelings you want to experience than the circumstances you want to achieve. Try narrowing your desire for a new job into the reason behind that desire, such as, “I want a new job where I make X-amount of money, where I feel respected and where I feel like I make a difference.” When you know why you want the things you want, it makes it easier to figure out how to get them.
Measurable goals are those which you can visualize in measurable units. If you want to lose weight, decide how much weight you want to lose and by when, in a reasonable and healthy way of course. If you want to save money, take that goal a step further by determining how much money you want to save – say something like 20% of each paycheck – and calculate how much you will have saved by your goal date. Measuring your goals in observable units will help you see the bigger picture and avoid becoming overwhelmed by vague demands you might be making of yourself.
Achievable goals remind you to keep your goals practical. If your goal is to become CEO of your company overnight, you are likely to be sorely disappointed in the morning. Goals that are too high-reaching will only cause feelings of insecurity when they don’t manifest, and insecurity does not lead to motivation. By setting achievable goals, you’ll become more and more confident with each goal you can cross off of your list.
Achievable and realistic goals might seem like one-in-the-same, but realistic goals are those that can be achieved within your own reality. If you have children, the desire to live nomadically, traveling the country in a recreational vehicle, is not likely a realistic goal due to space constraints and the stability that a child needs to develop properly. If your goals are not realistic, you may find yourself overwhelmed when they actually come true. Stay focused on what the achievement of your goals would look and feel like, and whether they can pragmatically bring joy and peace.
Working on a project within a certain time frame is something that many of us are familiar with, but when it comes to goal-setting, timing is key. Sometimes, a small frame of time within which to complete a task can motivate us to move swiftly and efficiently. If you have a specific goal of saving $1000 in the next three or four months, you’ll likely skip on take out and splurges that you might otherwise indulge in. Conversely, it is impossible to lose 30 pounds in a week. Being realistic with your time frame when it comes to a goal that will naturally take longer alleviates some of the stress you might otherwise feel for not achieving it sooner.
Personalization is Paramount
Goal-setting will never be effective or fun if you’re trying desperately to plan and organize the way someone else does. Yes, guidelines can be effective and helpful, and having a role model can certainly inspire you. But, this about helping you achieve your goals most effectively, which is a process that revolves around – you guessed it – you. It doesn’t matter what works for someone else if it’s a process that just doesn’t click in your bones.
Maybe you prefer keeping your goals in a journal or planner. These goal-oriented journals by The Hollis Co. might just inspire you to start goal-setting and keep up with it. Or, you might prefer something more customizable, like The Happy Planner, which you can personalize in just about any way imaginable.
Or, you might be the kind of intellectual that likes to read about and absorb any knowledge regarding a new undertaking, such as goal-setting. If you feel the need to learn more, try reading Your Best Year Ever by bestselling author Mike Hyatt. This book includes a 5-step program for learning to achieve “your most important goals,” and will help you feel even more confident in your approach.
No matter how you begin, the most important aspect of goal-setting is finding a method that works for you. It may take many different attempts, and potentially a few different planners, before you find your groove. But when you do, you’ll realize what you’ve been missing: the peace of mind and a true sense of accomplishment that accompanies setting and achieving your goals.
Related Article: Self-Care Sunday: Organized Life, Organized Mind