At the first of the year I wrote a blog about the importance of setting goals for the upcoming year, and how to ask pivotal questions that can help us evaluate where we are and what we want to accomplish. The start of fall is a good time to check in with your goals and decide if you need to reevaluate. Goals are the key to our success and our ability to lead purpose driven lives. They propel us forward and prevent us from getting stuck in the quicksand of fear, the kind that holds us back and allows too much time to pass before we realize that we didn’t pursue our dreams.
In her book, Codependent No More, Melody Beattie addresses the difference between resolutions and goals. Her emphasis is on the fact that resolutions are often short term, rarely do they last; but goals are meant to be impactful, something we work toward to make our lives better in the here and now and over the course of time. Goals help us begin each day with intention and they build our self-esteem. For every goal we accomplish, we realize our potential and we are inspired by our own success. Undeniably, goals are the impetus for change.
Beattie suggests that in order to get started, we need to ask ourselves a series of questions. I couldn’t agree more. I believe that questions, and the process of seeking answers, helps us to lead a happy, fulfilling life. Questions inspire us to take stock of our lives, and what we have yet to accomplish. As we look for answers we pay close attention to the opportunities that lie ahead.
Questions to Get You Started:
If you have yet to set goals for 2015, it’s not too late. It’s never too late to set goals, short and long term, and to live your life with intention…
What do you want to happen in your life this year? Think in terms of friendship, family, and love.
What do you want to happen in your career?
What would you like to do or accomplish?
Where would you like to grow?
What would like to change?
What problems would you like to solve?
What decisions would you like to make?
What obstacles might get in the way? (This is huge! You have to know your barriers, people or situations that get in the way of you achieving your goals. You also have to recognize your own behaviors and actions that get in the way.)
Write Down Your Answers:
As you ask these questions, along with any others you can come up with, write down your answers. Be sure to let your thoughts flow, without judgment or self doubt.
Categorize Your Goals:
After you brainstorm, categorize your goals into short-term and long-term goals. Short terms goals might include daily goals and weekly goals, while long-term goals might take you a month, two months, or even a year or more to accomplish. For long-term goals, be sure to break them down into smaller, more manageable steps, such as daily and weekly objectives to keep you on track and prevent you from taking on too much too soon. Remember, slow and steady wins the race. Anything worth accomplishing is going to take hard work, dedication, and patience.
Additional Suggestions for Success:
Everything Can Be a Goal. Everything we’d like to do, accomplish, or change can be turned into a goal. Nothing is too big or too small. Maybe we want a new career, a higher salary, or just a vacation. Remember, one of the best ways to build self-esteem is to turn everyday tasks into goals; therefore every task that you accomplish is one more reason to celebrate.
Write Down Your Goals. Writing your goals on paper makes them more concrete. There is a level of commitment when you see something on paper and you can reference it for inspiration. More importantly, writing down your goals keeps you focused.
Check Off Your Goals. Checking off your goals after you reach them gives you a sense of accomplishment. If you don’t achieve your goals by the date you set, reevaluate. The main reason we don’t achieve our goals is that we don’t break them down, we expect to accomplish them too soon, or we don’t have a concrete plan for how to get there.
Keep in mind that things happen when the time is right, but sometimes the right time is when you set your mind to something and you have a plan for how and when to make it happen. May today be the start of many new goals.
Best to you in all your future accomplishments!