On this week's episode of The Productive Woman podcast I discuss why setting goals for ourselves is so important and integral to helping us achieve all we want to in the coming year. I also share the five steps to structuring those goals in a way that has been effective for me. (And make sure to listen to the end for a special announcement.)
Setting goals (and achieving them) is an important part of making a life that matters
It’s hard to believe this is the last episode of the year. The last couple of weeks we’ve talked about some important practices that can lay a foundation for setting and achieving goals that matter--that have meaning for you specifically. This week I want to talk about incorporating what we’ve learned into meaningful goals for the coming year.
Who we are in the world is largely a function of what we do. We have the ability to choose intentionally who we will be this time next year . . . by determining with intention and purpose what we will do--how we will use our time, energy, and attention in pursuit of goals that will reflect who we are, who we want to be.
What is a goal?
One dictionary defines "goal" as: “the object of a person's ambition or effort; an aim or desired result.”
* Goals vs. dreams-a goal is something that is specific and achievable whereas a dream is something we fantasize about or accomplish in the future.
* SMART goals-Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time Based
There are lots of ways to structure your goals
23 before 2023 - a list of things you’d like to accomplish or experience before the next year begins.
Life goals/5-year goals/1-year
My preference: for each of the life areas/roles identified in the past exercises, identify one objective for each of the areas, then choose 2-3 to focus on for the first quarter of the new year.
How do you decide which to focus on first? Try taking some insights from your annual review. What jumped out at you from that process--any regrets you’d like to address this year? Any good things you want more of?
Personally, I realized that when I thought about the year’s highlights during my year-end review, most of the highlights I identified were family-related, so I know I’ll want to prioritize creating more family experiences this year.
1. Brainstorm: With the values and priorities you identified a couple of weeks ago in mind, along with the insights you gathered from your annual review, brainstorm a list of possible goals/dreams/objectives for the year--using whichever approach you want to use (23 before 2023 or the life areas)--write them down.
Don’t censor yourself--write things down even if they seem crazy or impossible.
Don’t worry about formulating them perfectly right now--don’t worry about the SMART formulation or if what you’re writing down is an objective rather than a goal. There’ll be time later to rearticulate the ones you land on.
Take your time. This might take more than one session. Start the list, walk away, come back and add to it as you think of things.
For family/marriage goals, get the other family members involved.
When you have a good list for each life area, put the list away and do something else for a few hours or even a couple of days.
2. Cull: Come back to your list with a fresh eye and scan through it. Which ones are you particularly drawn to? Start a fresh list with just those. Try to narrow it down to 1 or 2 in each area of your life-these will be your primary goal areas for the year. Remember there’s a difference between not now and never.