This month we are talking all about making changes. Goal setting is important for leveling up in life because it gives us a plan and breaks down what we need to do to make changes and get what we want out of life. My clients and I often talk about how when limiting beliefs are in the drivers seat, we make decisions based on fear, but when we live our most authentic and awesome life we make decisions based on our values. When it comes to goal setting, it can be super helpful to start by figuring out what your values are and using them as a guide for setting goals that you will actually be motivated to complete. It helps to move you from “I would like to do the thing” to “I must do the thing!” So, ask yourself what your current level of satisfaction is in different areas of your life. Are you okay with the answer? It’s time to set some goals.
When creating your goals, make sure they are S.M.A.R.T
S / SPECIFIC / You want goals that are well defined. Rather than “I want to be happier” ask yourself what behaviors you could be doing more often that would increase your happiness. Be specific! “I will spend time with friends/reading/in nature 2 times a week” and make sure the goal is about you and not about “make my husband do the dishes twice a week”, because you really have no control over that.
M / MEASURABLE / How will you know if you’ve achieved it if you can’t measure it? It can be helpful here to take stock and note where you are at now with your goal so you can look back and see the progress you’ve made.
A / ATTAINABLE / i.e. Not too big and not too small. If it’s too big you will lose confidence in yourself and give up before you even start. Why bother, right? But if it is too easy then you won’t be challenging yourself and that’s no way to grow!
R / RELEVANT / Here’s the “why” part. Ask yourself “Why do I want this goal?” Now’s the time to consult your values. “Am I choosing this because it is important to me or do I think it is what others expect from me?” Choose to do the things that excite you and you will be more likely to follow through!
T / TIME BOUND / Look, five year goals are great, but they need to be broken down to smaller, shorter term goals, otherwise they will always be a “future me” problem. 90 days can be a good time frame because it’s long enough to actually see progress but short enough to keep you interested and motivated.
A few more tips:
Write your goals down and remember to frame them in ass-kicking ways with an “I will make this happen” attitude!
Make a plan and measure progress. Journals can be helpful for this. My new obsession is bullet journaling with a habit tracker.
Frame it as something you want more of (“more time in nature”) rather than something you want less of (“less time on the couch”)
Also consider the process and not just the end result. High achievers are prone to focusing solely on getting the dream job or making the million bucks, but that can lead to missing out on the present moment. So create goals that will give you a sense of accomplishment and appreciation for where you are at now.
Keep it OFF Facebook! Research has shown that when people announce their goals to everyone that will listen, their brain gets the same feels as it would through meeting the goal and therefore, is satisfied with itself and loses motivation to continue. So, write it down, but consider keeping it to yourself or an accountability group (i.e. a group who is working on the same goal as you, like a marathon training group)
Finally, remember that if it turns out you hate the goal, change it! Review your goals and tweak them if needed. Remember that the point is to make changes that improve your life, not keep you feeling stuck.
So, this October the goal is to make changes and set goals. Good luck!