A couple of weeks ago, I talked about how you can set intentional goals for the new year. But even with those tips, sometimes it is helpful to see more into the actual process that someone else goes through to set and meet their intentional goals. Today I wanted to give you a little peek inside the process that I go through to set my goals and how I create action steps to achieve them.
Using the right tools
The goal planning process should be in depth and intentional. It's more than just jotting down some ideas and things you think you'd like to do. You need to work through your goals and discover the purpose behind them in order to really be intentional with it. Otherwise, you will end up not really accomplishing anything and giving up on your goals after just a few months of "trying". To do that, I believe you need the right kind of tools to make the process easier. Before you dig in to setting goals, you need to gather the tools that will help set you up for success.
This is the first year that I have used the PowerSheets from Lara Casey, and they have been so helpful in continuing my path toward being more intentional in my life and business. I highly recommend this tool to anyone who wants to do the same, (PS: they are sold out of the sets right now but you can pre-order for the next shipment and catch up on Lara's goal setting series on her blog to dig in too!) Regardless of what system you use, its about finding what works best for you. You can absolutely set intentional goals with just a notebook and a pen too!
Jump in and get started
Sometime you just have to start where you are. But part of that is figuring out where that is. One of the first steps in my goal planning process (and the first page of the PowerSheets) is to determine where I am at right now in my life. This is all about taking time to get to know yourself. Think about who you are as a person, who you like, what fires you up, what matters to you, and what you love the most.
I have discovered a lot about myself in the last year and this part of the process was somewhat refreshing for me. I loved being able to dig in a write down all the things I have discovered about myself recently. I was able to release everything inside and reflect on who I am and how that will impact my goals moving forward. I learned that I have a love for connecting with others, writing, and that I'm fired up by encouraging others in their journey. A recurring theme in this part of the process was my desire to let go of control and perfection. This year, I am embracing my imperfect life and living for what brings me joy more than ever.
Discovering the why behind each goal
An essential part of the goal planning process is digging deep to discover why you really want to set each goal. The why gives you more motivation to get it done. Instead of having a superficial goal that sounds good on the surface, I strive to set goals that will truly focus on what matters most to me. I define that for each goal specifically so that I know why I am working towards this thing.
This year, one of my goals is to grow in my faith. This is probably on a lot of lists out there, but my why behind it makes it so much more. For me, I want to grow in my faith so that I can be closer to God, be a light to others, and be an example to my son as he grows older. This will help me to stay in the right mindset and spread more joy to others. Your reason might be different. But by defining my reason for setting this goal, I know that it lines up with what matters to me and am motivated to make it happen for that very reason.
Being strategic in planning
I know I am one person with limited time. I also know that I don't want to overwhelm myself with goals and things to do so that I feel like I have no time left to enjoy the fruits of my labor. I am a big dreamer and a bit of an overachiever sometimes. But ultimately, I try to be strategic when setting goals so that I don't get overwhelmed with too many things to accomplish before year's end.
This year, I set a goal to maintain my growing and thriving business so that I can help support my family and continue to encourage others however God leads me to. This goal could easily be overwhelming when you start to break it down. While this goal is somewhat broad, I did that for a reason. If I were to set individual goals for my business, I would quickly fill up my list with all business related things. Instead, I am choosing to make my business a priority but not one that overtakes everything else. I am being strategic about how I meet this goal by limiting myself in what I choose to do in order to reach it.
Creating action steps
A goal means nothing if you don't work towards it. Creating specific, realistic, and physical action steps for each goal will help you work towards it little by little. For me, I utilize my routine to work towards my goals. For each goal that I set, I broke it down into a list of tasks and put them in my simplified planner. I may only plan for a few months at a time, but this way I am sure to make time for those steps.
For example, one of my goals is to create better health habits so that I feel better and stay strong. Some of the action steps to reach this goal include making time for rest regularly, eating healthy every day, and exercising 3 times a week. I took that list to my planner and wrote down when I would work out, meals for the next few weeks, and scheduled time for myself to truly rest. That way I know it is already worked in to my routine and schedule so there are no excuses.
Setting big goals you can achieve
If you're struggling to set a goal because of the fear that it's too big for you, don't be afraid to face your fears. With the right planning, you can set big goals and achieve them too. One of the biggest goals I set for myself this year is to let go of control and trust in God completely. I am already so close to this, but I still waver at times. Even though I fear that this goal may be out of reach, I am taking the leap and going for it because it is so important to me. I know that I can reach this goal because I dug deep, discovered why I want to reach this goal, and created action steps to get there little by little. After all, its about progress not perfection!
Through this process, I was able to set five solid and intentional goals for myself that I am confident I can achieve. I am excited about what this year will bring and ready to take on each goal with power and purpose. Because I was intentional with my goal planning, I know that my time will be spent working towards things that really matter to me. Taking the time now to work through these things will get me off to a great start for the year and set me up with action steps to work towards each goal little by little. I hope that you are able to do the same with your year and I am excited to hear where things take you too!