One of the things that can get especially irritating at this time of year is the fact that EVERYONE and their brother seems to be talking about goal setting.
How to set personal goals. Why goal setting is important. How to set goals so that you can succeed. It's a dream until you write it down, then it's a goal. Five rules for goal setting. (Why are there rules for setting goals?) The 'secret' to setting goals. And the list continues. Ugh!
And every year when the topic of goal setting heats up, it's a reminder that you apparently SUCK at goals. You must, because there are sooo many things you want to accomplish that you haven't yet achieved.
You're seemingly forever STUCK in this vortex of un-achievement, under-achievement, or not-nearly-enough-of-what-you-want in life.
You can't seem to get to wherever you should be to be making significant strides in your life in directions that you truly want to go!!
So how in the world is making a bunch of goals going to change ANYTHING? Why should I? What's the point?
Now let me ask you...Does any of that sound vaguely familiar to you in the context of your life? Yes? I thought it would.
So the question becomes how will this coming year, how will 2019 be any different for you than any of the years past?
And, in all honesty, I can't say how it will be different for you. But, I can say how it is entirely, 100% possible that it absolutely CAN be different (better) for you. And here's how...
You have to change your mind. It's as simple, and as complicated as that. Really.
Now I know that there are some of you, probably many of you that would argue the point with me.
“I'm stuck in a dead-end job.”
“I'm too old.”
“I don't have enough money.”
“I don't have the right connections.”
“I don't have the resources I need.”
“Changing my mind isn't going to make any difference. Don't you see...I've got all this other stuff!”
Okay. I hear you, and believe me, I KNOW about “other stuff” in life. But I also know about what can happen when you change your mind.
And to be completely honest and transparent, I'm completely guilty of not doing it enough in my own life (changing my mind) to focus on what I want rather than my current set of circumstances. It's something I struggle with it all the time!
But I can also tell you that I currently live in a home that I saw in my mind before I ever came to live in it. And I live in it because I changed my mind.
Don't worry. I'm not going to get all Woo Woo here...I'm just going to say that the mind is a powerful thing. And setting yourself on a course mentally, then spiritually and then emotionally that you then physically commit to (because yes, you have to DO something for goals to work), you can begin to experience levels of success not only with goal setting, but in your life in general.
It CAN happen, and what's more important, it can happen for you.
This post is already going to be longer than I intended, so let me get this back on track in terms of setting personal goals and the importance of setting goals.
Setting Personal Goals
You will never get the life you want without setting personal goals. It just won't happen. It's not something you can “luck” into, it's not something that somehow “just happens”. In order to have the life you want, you have to define the life you want. You have to choose it. And choosing it means setting goals for what you want it to be.
How to Set Personal Goals
1. Begin with the end in mind. Without focusing on “what you don't have” (which brings a negative energy and a spirit of lack into your situation), direct your attention to identifying (exactly, specifically) what you wish to have in your life and for your life. Who do you want to be? Where do you want to be in life? How do you want to live daily? What type of environment do you want to have surrounding you? What do you want to be able to do and accomplish?
2. WRITE IT DOWN!!! It's not good enough to “have some idea” of what you think you want or want to achieve, or to carry thoughts on those subjects “in the back of your mind”. Bring them to the forefront. Write them down. Make them real.
3. Take stock of where you currently are in life (relative to where you want to be), who you are, what are the beliefs and values you hold dear, what is true for you, and what you have in terms of assets and resources.
4. Now that you have identified what your goals are and taken inventory of your circumstances and condition, Create a plan. How are you going to get from where you are to where you want to be? What does that journey and that road look like for you?There is a way. Trust me there is. In fact there may be a million ways, but you have to see it. You have to identify a path that will work for you. But you have to create a connection a way to see how to get from where you are to where you want to be. You have to make that connection in your mind, no matter how convoluted or circuitous the route may seem.
5. Finally, you have to act on your plan. That's the only way this works. You have to commit to what you envision. You have to do it.
Tips for Personal Goal Setting:
1. Be honest. Setting goals that don't align with who you are and what you want are going to be failed from the start. Formulate goals from a place of being truthful, genuine and authentic to who you are.
2. Include small as well as large goals. The smaller goals help you to get quick wins that will help to keep you motivated. Smaller goals also accumulate to help you achieve your larger goals, and they quickly change how you live and experience your life on a daily basis which no only encourages you, but makes you feel better, more accomplished and happier.
3. Be open to possibilities and opportunity. Don't allow your own limiting beliefs (or the limiting beliefs of others) to deprive you of experiences and accomplishments that are absolutely possible for you. Allow yourself to think BIG!
Importance of Setting Goals
Somehow at some point in adulthood, many of us get this idea in our heads that life is just gonna do what it's gonna do, and we're basically along for the ride like a bunch of bobbles in a river being carried along by the current over which we have no control - stopping and starting, landing and setting adrift again by the movement of the water and the obstacles which we encounter along the way.
And life can be determined a lot like that, if we let it.
But if there's something we want, or if there's a place we want to get to, a journey we want to have, a specific experience or collection of experiences we seek, it's up to us to make those happen.
Is it possible they could happen if we don't set goals or make plans? Sure. Anything's possible. But it's much less likely.
To ensure our best chance at the life we envision, we have to take ownership. We have to do what we can to influence the ways in which our lives go. Will there be circumstances that we didn't plan for or see coming that make their way into our lives? Of course! Life is made up of many of those.
However, if we want more of the experiences that we desire to have, if we want our lives to have more (or less) of specific elements, we have to formulate goals for how we can achieve that. We have to make a plan (or a series of plans) and then put those things in motion.
Then we can direct where we're going, have the means to track our progress from where we've been, and know when we arrive at the place we want to be.
Setting goals helps us to...
- Get excited about our possibilities and what we're capable of
- Hope for the future
- Believe in ourselves
- Aim for and achieve things we never thought possible for our lives
- Get focused
- Find direction (and purpose) for our daily activities (so that what we're doing daily moves us forward in the direction of our intended goals)
- Obtain clarity
- Improve our decision-making
- Be motivated and provides inspiration in our daily living
- Have some control of our circumstances
- Measure our success
I don't know about you, but I want the coming year to be radically different than this year (and I mean that in a good way). I do not want another year that is virtually indistinguishable from the year before it, and the year before that, and the year before that.
And I don't want a year that's completely overshadowed by the bad things, bad experiences, “lack of “ or things that weren't accomplished or made better because there were so few new things, good things and better things taking place.
So let's do this. Let's set some awesome personal goals this year! Be brave, be bold, think fresh, think new! You CAN do this. We can make our lives better, deeper and to have more of what we want. It's not too late. Go get your life!
Start your New Year right using the Self Journal for planning, goal setting and journaling in 2019! Click here to watch the video.
Kimberly Clay is the founder and creative force behind What She Say. She’s a business professional, writer and editor who’s been creating and managing digital content for nearly twenty years. Her work is now focused in the areas of self-improvement and personal development, and she is passionate about helping other individuals, especially women, to find a path for living their best life.