How to Set Good Goals + Actually Reach Them
As we head into a new year, we are all thinking about our goals and plans for next year and how the next 12 months will unfold. But when I was thinking about my own goals the other day, I realized that most times we are enthusiastic about setting goals and planning for the new year, but we easily fade away as the months go by without actively working towards those goals. So often a year can pass (too quickly I might add) without actually reaching any of our goals. It has happened to me before. Without the right tools and encouragement, setting goals doesn't mean much. But when you know how to set good, intentional goals and create a plan to work towards those goals with purpose, you will actually reach them.
What are good goals?
Good goals are goals that you set with purpose and intent. Goals that help you reach your big picture instead of things that are temporary or don't really matter in the long run. Setting a goal for yourself means that you are committing to making something happen in your life or business. But it doesn't do any good to set a goal if it isn't something that you truly want to work toward in the long run. Setting good goals might not always be easy. In fact, sometimes setting a good goal for yourself means that you have to be honest about something you may not want to face. You might have to set a goal that you don't even want to achieve, but you know you need to. Good goals are the ones that make you a better person, help you move forward in your life or business, and keep you focused on what really matters.
how to reach your goals
I shared a peek into my goal planning process last year, along with tips for setting intentional goals so I don't want to tell you something you already know. But I think it's worth revisiting the idea of a simplified goal planning process. Goal planning can be intimidating and overwhelming and that's probably why a lot of people don't even attempt it. But it doesn't have to be. It can be simple and intentional. These simple steps can help you set intentional goals and actually reach them:
- Reflecting + evaluating your past year - It's always good to start with where you are at, and to do that you have to look at your past year. Look at the goals you set for yourself last year and how far you've come on each of them. Figure out what worked and what didn't and what you'd like to be different in the year to come. Looking at what happened during the past year will give you a better idea for what should happen moving forward. If there are goals that you didn't reach, you can determine what happened to get you off course and how you can improve that for the year to come.
- Dream big - This is the fun part. If you could do anything this year, what would it be? Dream big and think about things that you'd love to accomplish in your life or business. They may not all sound realistic at first, but we will reign that in with the next step.
- Narrow down - After you dream big and think about all the things you'd like to achieve this year, you'll end up cutting out half of them. We can't do everything and do it well, so it's important to choose a few main goals that you want to focus on for the year. Keeping your big picture goals in mind, be intentional and purposeful about the goals you choose. Reaching your goals becomes much easier when they are good goals that you genuinely want to work towards and when you are realistic about things that you can reach during this season of your life.
- Create a plan - Goals aren't good without a plan to reach them. You can do this by roughly planning out your year and what you will do to take steps towards reaching your goals. Remember that little by little, progress adds up. The key with this step is to create small actions that you can do over a planned period of time to work towards each goal. Start with a deadline and work backwards so that you give yourself enough time to work on each action step.
Tools for an Intentional New Year
I want you to have an intentional new year too. Because I am so passionate about sharing great tools and resources with you, I put together a giveaway of some of my favorite tools for an intentional new year and I'll be giving away these 4 items to one lucky winner at the end of the week. But even if you don't win, these tools are definitely worth checking out if you're planning to have an intentional and purposeful 2017.
Included in the giveaway:
- Powersheets One Year Workbook - I absolutely love using the Powersheets for my goal planning. It is such a great tool for guiding you through intentional goal setting and a great way to keep it all organized in one place.
- The Grace Journal - I created this journal out of a need for showing myself more grace. Too often we get caught up in the busyness of life and feel like we have to be perfect every day. This journal is the perfect place to let go of everything at the end of each day or week and give yourself grace for the things that weren't so perfect.
- Savor Devotional - This is one of the best devotionals I've ever read through and each entry touches my heart and speaks to me for the season that I am in.
- She Plans Weekly Planner - The PowerSheets are a great tool for planning out your goals, and pairing that with a weekly or daily planner will help you to actually reach those goals. I love using a planner to plan out my days so that I know what to expect each day.