Hi, friends! I’m so excited for the new year. A new year is a great opportunity to begin a new chapter in life. It’s a perfect opportunity for making changes and for goal setting. Many bloggers, including myself, have taken advantage of this opportunity and have set goals for 2017. I have decided to change things up and write this post about my goal setting method. This is the method I used to set my goals for the upcoming year:
Divide Your Life
One of the first steps in goal setting is to divide your life into “categories” (ex: professional/educational life, spiritual life, blogging life, personal life, physical fitness, etc). Dividing makes it easier to create the list of goals, and it causes the list to look much less intimidating.
Then, take each “category” of your life and scribble a quick list of the things you would like to improve in that area. Use this preliminary list as a brainstorm. Turn off your inner editor and let the ideas flow. Don’t worry about the goals being too general or too small; you’ll have time to edit them later. For now, just get everything out of your head…A new year is a perfect opportunity for making changes and for goal setting. This is the method I… Click To Tweet
Define Each Goal More Clearly
Now, go through your list again and define your goals more clearly. Make your goals specific enough to follow. If one of your goals is too general, break it down into multiple smaller goals. In fact, start with smaller goals if you must. You will be more likely to achieve your goal if you break it up into little, simpler tasks, rather than having one giant, daunting, time-consuming task. For example, instead of saying, “Grow my blog,” give yourself a series of tasks that will lead to the growth of your blog, like, “I will post three times per week, comment on 2 blogs per day, schedule my social media posts in advance…” Those little tasks are much more achievable than the big, daunting task of growing of your blog.
Next, set a realistic deadline for each goal to provide motivation and avoid procrastination. At least in my case, things without deadlines are likely to be forgotten because I’m so busy taking care of things that DO have deadlines. As a result, things without deadlines tend to “slip through the cracks” and be forgotten. Also, deadlines give you an incentive to complete the task and sense of urgency. When you see a deadline approaching, you feel the need to complete the task. Attaching a deadline to each task ensures that your goal doesn’t “slip through the cracks” and provides a sense of urgency.
One of the most important steps of goal setting is to set rewards! Even if it’s something small, having something to look forward to will make working toward your goal a little less painful. A little piece of dark chocolate or watching an extra episode of your favorite show are great ideas for this reward.
Once you’ve finished the list, keep it someplace where you know you will see it often. Having easy access to it will allow you to review your progress frequently and edit it accordingly. As you complete goals and tasks, you can easily cross them off. It’s very encouraging to see how far you’ve come throughout the year.
Another point I feel is important to mention is that it’s okay if you don’t achieve every goal on the list. I was recently looking at my list of goals for 2015 (I had written it on December 31st, 2014). I didn’t achieve half of those goals because I made a major decision that changed the course of the year for me. In 2015, I learned a lot about myself and the career I am currently studying for. Those discoveries also caused some changes in my long-term goals. As long as it’s not out of laziness, it’s perfectly alright to end the year differently than you envisioned. Honestly, that’s what ends up happening most of the time, especially if you’re a young adult who is still making life changing decisions. You are growing and changing, so don’t be afraid to let your goals do the same.
A new year is a perfect opportunity to start goal setting. So take advantage, and plan for the next year!
What are your goals for 2017? What goal setting techniques will you use to keep yourself on track?