Every year I like to do intentional goal setting for what I want the year to hold for us. I don’t believe in leaving it all up to chance because I want to avoid seeing a year pass by with no progress or change.
Setting up your annual goals helps you look ahead and anticipate what is next. If you’re fall behind on the progress you want to make, you can pivot and start working again towards your goal because you have a framework in place! If you come across a challenge that is sure to stop you, reassess your goals and move some stuff around so you can continue again later – no big deal!
I’ve lived plenty of years that had no measurable progress and know what it feels like when life gets in the way. The year will get tough at times but that doesn’t mean you have to throw away all that you’re trying to accomplish. Plan your goals out right from the beginning and always stay on top of your year.
Once you complete this post, you will have your short- and long-term goals organized and ready to go. Now you can start focusing on really achieving what you want once and for all!
Start With The Right Mindset
Setting new year’s resolutions and wanting to improve your self seems to have gotten a bad reputation. Maybe it’s fear of failure or fear of success. Maybe it’s because it’s hard to figure out where to even begin. Whatever the reason is, many of us have convinced ourselves that we’re not going to get anywhere.
I want to point out two mindset battles you need to overcome.
The first one that you need to overcome will be getting used to the idea that continuous progress is the way. It’s okay if what you’re working on takes a month, a quarter, a year, or longer. Lasting progress is not something that you see overnight so let some of the pressure fall away.
Chances are, you are also trying to create new habits or systems to better your life. This will take practice so stay focused and realize how far you are going every day.
I stumble all the time. I stumble on this blog, in my job and in just about any project I’ve taken on. The difference between me and others though is that I keep trying to improve what I have going on. Be willing to try and see what works and what doesn’t and change accordingly.
The second mindset battle you will need to overcome is perfectionism. Perfectionism is a hard status to attain! We will all fall short at some point. When something does not go according to your plan, continue moving forward anyway. As much as I love planning, remember it is a framework and not law.
My new favorite term that I’m entering the year with is “imperfect action”.
Keep trying and we’ll be here working through the journey alongside you.
Create The Perfect Year By Getting Clear Focus
It’s time to get clear on what you’re focus is going to be for the year.
Pick a word theme that encompasses your goals. This is helpful because it puts opportunities and actions into perspective in this planning session. As new opportunities arise throughout the year, you will quickly know if it aligns.
If there is something that falls out of your theme for the year, you can always refer to your “word” and decide if it’s worth splitting up more of your time, energy and resources. If it isn’t, then don’t worry about it and pick something that does make sense.
An example that I like to use is the theme of growth. This theme goes in so many directions and can be for your work, your skill set, your business, finances, relationships and more.
I like themes because they give you focus without boxing you in! Perfect!
Goals to Create the Perfect Year
Goals are great to have because they help you stay focused on improvement.
For this post, short-term is going to mean something that can be accomplished in six months or less. Long-term goals are those that are up to 12 months.
Don’t be fooled into thinking this has to be small though! I recently took on a project that had a 60-day time frame attached and you will be amazed at what can be accomplished in that amount of time. You really can do some great things in 6 months or a full year!
Write down your goals and brainstorm the action items that need to be completed to help you get to the finish line. When you are thinking of action items, remember that these need to be within your control. For example, writing down “get a new job” isn’t clear enough and a better action would be to attend three networking events to build your connections.
I’m also a big believer of putting a date on action items, whether one really exists or not. Creating check-in points can help keep you accountable to what you want to accomplish.
Review these goals often so they don’t get left behind and forgotten.
Planning Your Perfect Year
Completing a monthly overview of your goals for the year will be helpful to you because it helps to avoid pushing your goals off when things get tough. You will run into challenges throughout the year and getting ahead of your planning will help you be flexible when it’s needed and help you get on track if you get distracted.
Work the action items you created into your monthly overview. This makes your goals real and they become a part of your year!
While you’re doing this, include some of the following so you have a full picture of what the year will hold:
- Important dates
- Fun plans you have made
- Ideas that will help you live the year you want to live
Be as detailed as possible! The goal is to layout your year before your eyes, so you know what to expect and can get to as much as possible.
The beginning of the new year is a great time to get intentional about your goals and planning for the year ahead. Planning has so many benefits! You will have your goal in mind when things get tough and the challenges creep up. You will be able to prioritize opportunities that come your way.
If you are feeling stuck year after year, you don’t need to give up on making resolutions. Change doesn’t happen overnight, be flexible and be okay with progress taking time. Give yourself the space to try and fail. At the end of the day, what will set you apart from the others is that you keep trying and make forward progress towards your goals.
Make your goals a part of your life by working them into a plan now. This will help to make them real and you will be more likely to start accomplishing big things!
Tell us, have you gained greater focus on what your new year holds? Share your focus with us in the comments and let your friends know about this post so they can start getting closer to living the life they dream of too.