I’m not going to lie to you, this year has started off at a snail’s pace for me. So, I’m only now (mid-January) working through my goal setting process.
And just in case you’re also in the same boat, I thought I would share with you the process I use to reach to some pretty bold goals and manage my businesses.
It’s a little bit different from a lot of the standard goal setting – but I’m a big believer in finding what works for you and going with that. There is no right way to plan and goal set. As with everything, simply use what serves you and leave out what doesn’t.
Following are the four steps I follow to set my goals for the year ahead:
Reflecting on the year past is a powerful way to build on your prior achievements and put yourself in the mindset for growth and improvement for your coming year. There are many different methods for reflecting, so it’s crucial that you find and use the way that works for you.
It’s a great time to look at the goals you set for last year. Did you achieve them? Are they still relevant? What barriers did you face (cough, cough, COVID)?
Take a minute to look at different areas of your life: for example - work/business, relationships, health, finance, and personal growth.
I take a few minutes to think about and meditate on what I’m proud of. In particular, I dive into what qualities and behaviours helped me throughout the year, and what habits no longer serve me.
2) Goal Setting
This is the dream big part – where you visualise what you’d like to achieve this year.
Don’t forget to look at all areas of your life – from work/business, relationships, health, finance, and personal growth. Write ALL of them. Anything that comes into your head. And make them specific. Articulate what you want to achieve and by when.
From this, you can whittle them down to create your focus goals.
I usually pull out the trusty whiteboard (my favourite tool in the WHOLE world) and just add all the things I want to achieve under the five areas.
Once you’re all done, take a few minutes to look at your goals and select the ones aligned with where you want to be and who you want to be. Choose one or two long term goals, and some medium-term goals. Try to select at least one for each area of your life.
3) What Would Future You Do?
Another sneaky exercise I like to do is to step into Future You.
Future You is the person who has already achieved the goals you laid out in the step above.
How did you do it? What choices did Future You make? What did you prioritise? What are the daily habits and decisions that helped you get there?
4) Intentional Action
The next step is to set your intentions for the year ahead.
Based on your reflections, your goals for the year ahead, and what Future You has highlighted as important for achieving those goals - what are the habits, behaviours, systems and processes you can implement in order to achieve those goals.
This is the time to mindfully set your agenda for the year – to determine what you will make time for, what you’ll prioritise and what resources you can use to minimise barriers to achieving those goals.
For example: If I set the goal to run a marathon 42km by the end of this year – I need to schedule in time (system) to run every week (habit). I know I’m going to not want to start, so I’ll lay out my running clothes the night before (process) and make a yummy post run smoothie to give myself a reward (behaviour).
So that’s it. My super-deep goal setting process.
At the end of this exercise, you’ll have outlined specific goals, you’ll know what resources you have available to you, you know what to focus on and you know who you need to show up as to reach those goals.
Please share with me your goal setting method and whether you found this article helpful.