If you know me in “real life,” I’ve probably rambled on to you about goal-setting, habits, and productivity. Ever since I was… Well, ever since I can remember, I’ve loved self-development topics. I don’t know why, and the older I get, the more I understand how odd this was, but that was just me. I would set goals, try to build habits, and mostly just get frustrated with myself because I could never complete anything. Now I’m trying to think why I begin with this paragraph, but I don’t really remember, so I’m just gonna move on…
Here is a step-by-step process for you to set goals this year, for those of you who don’t usually set goals or haven’t in awhile. (To those of you disheartened because you feel goals never work: accomplishing a dream is only one part of a goal. The other part is simply letting yourself dream. That sounds really like coffee-cup quote-ish, but it’s true, and I made it up, and I think it’s quite nice.)
Step 1: Figure out some things you want to do.
Do you want to read more in 2017? Start running? Make more friends? Get into photography? Write it all down.
Step 2: Choose some goals.
Now take that list of things you want to do or be or have in 2017 and choose two or three to make goals. Yes, two or three. It’s just easier to focus this way. It’s okay to be vague at this step, by the way.
Step 3: Figure them out.
So, now that you have your two or three goals, try to assign specifics to them. For example, if your goal is “read more,” try assigning a number of books you’d like to read this next year so it’s a lot less vague. If your goal is “learn to play the piano,” figure out exactly what you’ll have to do every week to accomplish that goal. Which leads me to the next step.
Step 4: Set some deadlines.
Now set some deadlines. And no, I’m not talking about December 31st. I’m talking about mid-year deadlines so that you know if you’re actually accomplishing your goal. Again with the example of reading more, let’s say you’ve decided this means reading 24 books this 2017. Well, now split that into twelve. That way, instead of simply getting to the end of the year and realizing you’ve only read four books, you’ll realize that every month you need to read two if you’re going to read 24 by the end of the year.
Step 5: Ask yourself “why?”
The “why” behind a goal is what will keep you up twenty minutes later on an already tired evening to read. The “why” behind a goal is what will keep you running when sweat drips off your ears. The “why” behind a goal is what will drive all achievement of that goal. So you better know what yours is. That way, if you ever get bored of your goal, you can just go back to your why and get yourself “fired up” again.
Also, here are some random other articles I’ve written about these types of topics:
- Take your vague goal to exercise more and make it more specific.
- Plus, do the same with your goal to read more.
- Here are some tips and resources to help you set goals.
- And here is a sort-of silly, sort-of serious blog post about setting goals.
I hope that helps! If you have any other questions, I’d be glad to try to answer. Just email me using this form.