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How To Set Goals

by Ashley on November 13, 2013 · 8 comments

How To Set Goals

I know it’s only November, but I’m already thinking about how to make 2014 the most incredible, joyful, super awesome year ever.

This happens to me every fall.

You too?

The weather starts changing, the leaves start falling, and once the neighborhood kids are running around dressed like Ninja Turtles and Strawberry Shortcake? It’s over.

My mind immediately begins wrapping up the previous year, celebrating my wins, and cutting my losses. Before I know it, I’m already tuning into my new intentions and laying out a plan of attack (except the only thing I’ll really be attacking is a delicious gingerbread cupcake).

This whole process has become second nature to me, but I know it’s not like that for everyone.

One of the most common questions I hear when working with clients is, “How do I set goals that will help me live my super awesome life?”

Well, I’ll tell ya how!

How To Set Goals

1. Know what you want.

If you don’t know what you want to achieve/accomplish/create, then how are you gonna make it happen? [CLICK TO TWEET]

The first step is getting clear on what you want.

To help with this, you can do a visioning exercise.

Carve out some special time to write a Letter to the Universe. You can light a candle and settle in at your desk or find a quiet spot surrounded by nature– whatever feels best for you. Spend some time being quiet and connect with yourself. Grab your favorite journal and a pen and begin by writing down all of your hopes and dreams. Don’t hold back.

What do you already know about your big vision? What’s still a little fuzzy? Where can you see yourself in one year? What do you want your life to look like? If you were really living your super awesome life, how would it feel?

I’ve already done this for my 2014 vision for Your Super Awesome Life and I’ve got a couple of awesome programs lined up, but I can’t finalize the plans until I know what y’all WANT to know! So, this is your chance to give me your honest feedback about what you’re really struggling with and what you would like to learn.

You don’t have to give me your name or any private info. This is just a simple 10 question survey that will literally take you less than 5 minutes to complete.

You can take the survey here.

2. Break it down.

Once you have a clear vision about what you want, you can begin breaking it up into smaller steps.

For example, next year I want to continue growing Your Super Awesome Life by blogging regularly, releasing my first book, attending at least two conferences, and working on two collaboration projects. In my personal life, I want to run my second marathon, spend more time in Canada with my boyfriend, and rekindle my yoga practice.

So, how am I going to make all that happen?

First of all, I have to be realistic and know that I’m not going to be able to check everything off my list immediately. It’s going to take time.

To help sort this out, I like to create a monthly calendar. Under January I will write “launch collaboration project, attend conference, and run 50 miles,” while February will include “practice yoga, finish book, and run 60 miles,” and so on.

3. Schedule it.

This is the most important step (and the one most people fail to do consistently).

Take out the monthly calendar you’ve created and open up your daily calendar of choice. I’m a paper planner gal, but Google Calendar works too.

On the first day of each month, I sit down and review my upcoming monthly calendar. Then I decide which tasks are a priority and which ones I’m going to focus on. I start by focusing on one goal at a time and ask myself, “Where do I want to be in terms of progress with this goal at the end of the month?”

Then, I backtrack and figure out exactly what needs to happen each week in order to reach my desired point of progress for the month. Once I know my weekly goals, I can create daily action items.

Remember, we overestimate how much we can do in a day, but underestimate how much we can do in a year.

4. Review regularly.

When we don’t set aside time to check in on our progress and our growth, it’s so easy to lose sight of the big picture and forget where we’re headed.

Whenever I’m settling in for some reflection time, I like to pull out the monthly calendar to see if I’m on track with my goals and figure out if these goals are actually things that I still want.

Maybe you’ve had an epiphany and your goal of starting a blog isn’t one of your priorities anymore. That’s okay! It’s so much better to realize that now and change your course, instead of spending another three months working on a goal that isn’t fueled by passion and directed toward happiness.

So, can you set up a time to review your goals once a month? Once a week? Find a free spot on your calendar and write it down now! This is the time for you to take an honest look at where you are, where you’re struggling, and where you’re kicking butt. Use this regular check-in to figure out what’s working and what needs tweaking, so that you can stay on track and crush your goal.

Oh, and if you wanna help me go after my goals this year, don’t forget…

Take the survey

And, if you want to be the first to know about these new (ahem…) SUPER AWESOME programs before they even come out, head over here and sign up.

[photo credit: blmiers2]

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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Sarah November 13, 2013 at 9:28 am

Fantastic advice! I can’t believe how long I went without really using a calendar as anything more than wall art. Intentionally scheduling my goals has made SUCH a difference to my efficiency and stress levels.

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Sky November 13, 2013 at 7:44 pm

This is such a helpful post. I am terrible at setting realistic goals because I always want everything and anything. I can write a list of goals but as for following through and accomplishing them? Doesn’t usually happen!

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Xavier November 15, 2013 at 2:44 am

Yep, I love this. I especially think it’s very important to have an idea of how long it’s going to take to achieve goals. Great advice.

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tips on How to deal With giving up smoking June 12, 2014 at 8:40 am

Howdy! Do you use Twitter? I’d like to follow you if that would be okay.
I’m absolutely enjoying your blog and look forward to new posts.

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Bing.com October 3, 2014 at 7:15 pm

Thanks for finally writing about >How To Set Goals <Loved it!

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