So it’s February, a month has passed and you might be thinking ‘wow, that went so quickly!’ Well believe me, time is only going to fly past! How are you tracking with some of those new year goals? Have you created any goals to begin with? We hear this phrase time and time again – ‘you need to set goals’. But what does it actually mean? For most people, goals are just vague statements that never result in any substantial action. Why you may ask? Well, it all derives from understanding the importance of goals and knowing how they will take you to your end destination. In sports speak, it is vital to know how your game plan will take you to the finals and then translate into a win!
Lessons from my first year of taking the importance of goals seriously…
Still being the start of 2017, it is an opportune time to look at what you want to achieve this year and how to go kick some butt whilst doing it. Before we get to this, I just want to take you through my journey with goal setting and show you what an amazing tool they can be to inspire you and give your life direction. It was New Year’s Eve 2015, I was in Buenos Aires with my boyfriend ready to ring in the new year when I thought about 2016 and what I was going to achieve during the year. To be frank, I was scared shitless. I had no plan or direction for where I wanted to go, but I knew a few things for certain…
- I wanted to make a career change from Human Resources into Marketing (totally did this!)
- I wanted to continue travelling the world (still doing so)
- I wanted to complete a half marathon (smashed this one out of the park!)
- I wanted to focus on building and growing my blog
There you have it, these were the building blocks for my goals of 2016. On 1 January 2016, I knew that I needed a plan (and a good one) to achieve all of these four goals…and I also knew that I needed to stick to this plan. So, what was my next move? I actually sat down and drew a mind map of the major aspects of my life – these were things like ‘ Career and Education’, ‘Health and Fitness’, Personal knowledge and experience’, as well as ‘Emotional wellbeing’. Now, you can note whatever aspects you like, these were just the most important for me at the time. From there, I wrote down my four major goals (as above) under each category and started a brainstorm on what smaller goals or steps I needed to take to achieve the big goals. As I was brainstorming, I remember thinking ‘gosh this isn’t so bad, all I have to do is change a few habits and I’ll get there. I can really do this!’
Before I knew it, I had a whole page of smaller goals that would help me to achieve the big ones! Now, all I had to do was place a plan around the smaller goals. To give you an example of this, I looked a completing a half marathon. One of my smaller goals was to simply select a half marathon to participate in, then another was to write down my fitness levels (i.e. how many kms could I run now and how fast), after this I also wrote down a plan for increasing the distance I could run in reasonable increments. Once I had this plan set up, everything fell into place. I was sectioning out a part of my day on the weekend to do a long distance run and was increasing my distance and pace significantly. Then, marathon day came and I won’t lie, it did take a few mental conversations with myself to get me across the line (especially at the 19km mark) but I did it. I crossed the line. I know it may sound cheesy or even cliche, but there are truly no words for how incredible it feels to have pushed yourself, worked hard and accomplished something so great! It was at this moment that I knew the importance of goals and that I would continue setting goals at the beginning of every year (and work hard to achieve them). I was through with crappy New Years resolutions that never resulted in any achievement, goal setting was a habit that made me feel more entered and gave my life direction. It also made me feel invigorated, prepared for personal growth and less afraid of the unknown. Just for fun, I though I’d share my end of year results for each of the four goals below – I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised and hopefully inspired to start some serious goal setting!
2016 Goal Check in!
- Career change from Human Resources to Marketing – CHECK! I had made the move in October 2016, it took some online courses and serious work on my resume, but I did it! My 9-5 hustle is now being a Marketing Co-ordinator within the insurance industry.
- Continue travelling the world – CHECK! By the end of December 2016, I had travelling through South America, Europe and New Zealand.
- Complete a half marathon – CHECK! You know the drill here…
- Focus on growing and building my blog – CHECK! This one took time and is still taking time, but I can definitely say that I achieved this and that it is a bigger focus for me this year 🙂
How to set your goals
Here’s the fun part, and definitely the part that you have been waiting for…how to set your goals! The four goals that I set above were by no means perfect, in fact they were quite vague, but the smaller goals (for example – select a half marathon to participate in by 10 January 2016) were definitely better in helping me to create a plan that was achievable and easy to follow to reach the end game. So, with this being said, I’ve outlined my blueprint for goal setting below! Be sure to download my awesome FREE goal setting planner ‘My roadmap to success’ to help give you some direction!
The goal setting blueprint –
- Sit down and start a mind map on each of the important aspects of your life. This could be ‘career’ or ‘health and fitness’…maybe even travel! 🙂 FYI – there is a page on this in my goal setting planner ‘My roadmap to success’.
- Start to think of the bigger goals that you want to achieve this year – these will be your milestones, the goals that you will celebrate with a cute little dessert or glass of wine. Note these big goals down under each applicable heading of your mind map.
- Think of what smaller things you will need to do to prepare for these bigger goals. For goal of going on a trip to Europe, this could be ‘selecting the countries I would like to visit by [insert date here]’. When creating these smaller goals, it is important to make sure that they are SMART! Check out the worksheet for more info 🙂
- Once you have these smaller SMART goals noted, place the dates that you will need to achieve them by in your phone, calendar etc. Make sure that you section out enough time in your calendar to complete these!
- Now that you have your plan, stick to it! This can be easier said than done, but this is where you will need to learn the importance of saying ‘no’ if a particular event arises that will prevent you from achieving your goal by the deadline. If an uncontrollable roadblock arises, make sure that you adjust your goal deadline and re-focus your energy according to this time frame.
- Celebrate your wins! Treat yo self when you achieve a goal and reflect on what it made you feel! Similarly, when you don’t achieve a goal by your set timeframe, it is equally as important to reflect on this and note down why you couldn’t get there and what you would do differently next time. If you’re struggling with how this should look or what you need to note down, you can get some inspo from the ‘My roadmap to success’ goal planner.
During the process of goal-setting, remember to work hard but to also be kind to yourself. I leave you with a quote that I’ve always loved and I think will get you through those times where you’ll want to throw in the towel – ‘Everything will be okay in the end. If it’s not okay, then it’s not the end.’ – John Lennon.