Picking goals to set yourself up for success

dream catcher2018 is almost here! Did you get done in 2017 what you had hoped? If not, will you get it done in 2018?

I am one of those people. Those damn resolution goal setters. And, I, like most of my New Year’s junkies, also have the problem of getting those goals done, but I digress.

Man, do I love setting goals! Dreaming of the future is my sweet spot. I set goals almost every week of the year because they’re fun and invigorating, but New Year’s makes this hobby a little more special. 🙂

Let’s get to it!

Areas of life to consider

When you’re goal setting, there are many facets of your life you can focus on. In The Miracle Morning, Hal Elrod talks about having a “Level 10 Life” where you work to achieve a high score of 10 in 10 different facets of your life.

Although his tool involves more than just goal setting, I think these 10 areas of life are handy to consider when you’re brainstorming what you want to accomplish. The 10 areas are:

  1. Family and friends
  2. Personal development
  3. Spirituality
  4. Finances
  5. Career and business
  6. Marriage
  7. Fun and recreation
  8. Giving and contribution
  9. Physical environment
  10. Health and fitness

5 Steps for goal planning

  1. Take each of those areas of life listed above and start thinking about how you could improve each of them in the next year.   
    • Maybe you’ve got 5, 8, and 10 good to go, but really need to work on the others. If that’s the case, then focus in on those areas that need work and brainstorm what you would like to get done in the next year to improve those areas.
    • For those areas that you are doing well in, you can still create goals for those areas (they still need love), but just don’t prioritize them as high as these other areas you want to work on.
  2. Take those big goals and break them down into 4 smaller milestones.
    • This will get you to 4 90-day chunks that you can use to gauge how attainable your goals are.
  3. Do a gut check.
    • How are those 90-day milestones looking? Are they doable?
    • Do they strike a little jolt of excitement in you or do you feel completely overwhelmed?
    • If you’re feeling a little scared, perfect! You nailed it!
    • If you’re feeling downright panicky about it and you know there’s no way that this will be fun, then look again at your milestones. Is one of your milestones a more attainable goal for the next year than the one you originally picked? Then make that milestone your goal for 2018, and repeat steps 2 & 3 until you feel excited and not freaked out.
  4. Look for the domino. (This is a concoction I’m blending up from Chalene Johnson’s idea of a “push goal” and Charles Duhigg’s idea of a “keystone habit”).
    • Now that you have your goals and milestones all figured out, take a look and see if you can find a goal that will make 2 or more of your goals easier to achieve. (This is Chalene’s idea of a “push” goal.)
    • For example, say I have a goal to write 80 blog posts next year, read 45 books, and meditate for 10 minutes a day, but I’m a mom and work full time, so I’m going to do this…when? Then my push goal may be to get up earlier in the morning to make sure that I set aside time each day for these goals.
    • But, I’m not a morning person. Getting up early is a great goal and all, but now I need a keystone habit to pull me through. So what keystone habit can I use to help me get out of bed in the morning? Perhaps my new keystone habit is to set my alarm on my phone and put my phone in my bathroom before bed each night so that I have to get up to get that alarm before my husband hates me.
    • If that’s the case, then my domino is to instill that keystone habit into my nightly routine so that I can get up early and crush my goals before my regular day starts.
  5. Include the systems you need to meet these goals based on your tendency in your goal setting. If you don’t know what I mean by that, check out my last post on your goal-setting personality. For example:
    • Upholders – you probably don’t need much for this other than to know what you expect yourself to get done and what the “rules” are. Look for ways to add your goals to your daily routines.
    • Questioners – make sure you have your data on your goals and know why it’s important for you to get these goals done. Create systems to help you get these things done. Be aware of analysis-paralysis; maybe try time-boxing your research time.
    • Obligers – you HAVE to create an external accountability system for your goals. If possible, find a human to hold you accountable and probably not a family member since you can view them as “yourself” instead of external people. Look for groups, gadgets, trackers, and coaches to check in on you so that you get your stuff done. If that won’t work, try to couch your goals in such a way that they’re necessary for you to do so that you can help another person.
    • Rebels – If you get motivated by somebody telling you you can’t get something done, then maybe have somebody do that. Give yourself some options so that you still have freedom of choice. Know the information about your goals, the consequences of what will happen if you don’t do them, and that you always have a choice to make. Want to work out daily? Make it your choice of when to work out each day and what activity you will do as long as you get it done. Identify with the person you want to become: be that person. Remember that you don’t have to do any of your goals – it’s always your choice.

Prioritizing goals

Now that you have your goals, milestones, and domino figured out, you might have 11 (or more) goals for the year. For some of you, that will make you feel excited to get started. For others, it might be freaking you the hell out to see that long list of things to do.

Time to prioritize.

Why? Because regardless of how much of an Upholder you are (or aren’t), there are going to be days when you can’t or don’t want to get it all done, but you still want to feel like you worked toward your goals and accomplished something on your agenda that mattered to you. Or, if you’re kind of bugging about the long list of things to do, then you may feel some relief if you know which goals take priority over others.

If you were able to identify your domino, you may want to make that your top priority out of all your other goals because with that one, you’ll make progress towards getting 2 or more of your goals closer to the finish line.

However, if that domino doesn’t have big impact on those areas of your life that you may need the most work, then maybe you want to prioritize those goals instead.

Next time

That’s all for this time. Next time we’ll talk about how to distill the actions out of those big goals. Reverse engineering…always a blast. 😉

Talk to me!

Let me know in the comments how this part goes for you. Also, let me know…does that domino idea work for you or am I really making a stretch? Speak to me!

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