The New Year is just around the corner and I can't believe it, I mean where did 2019 go. I reached many of the goals I set for myself, and didn't reach others. Isn't that how it usually goes? We head into a new year with wildly ambitious goals and then life happens, but what if you didn't let life get in the way this year from truly achieving what YOU want.
The YOU part is what you have to keep in mind. So often we set goals that we think we should be setting based on what others are doing or what we think we should be doing, and not actually setting goals that will make us happy. So make sure when you sit down this year focus on what you really want, and not what you think you should be setting as a goal.
The other part of goal setting is being flexible and realizing that what we want changes as we change. So what your goals were five years ago and what you thought you wanted your life to look like, is probably completely different than what it is now, or maybe it isn't and you have been keeping the course. Either way this is your journey and you should be the one to follow that path that you want. It is never too late to change directions, believe me.
2019 was a big year for me. I turned 40, I moved, and I made a big decision that has changed the direction of my life. I decided to go back to school to get my law degree. Being an attorney is something I have always wanted to do, but was scared of failing. I always said someday, and last year I decided someday was now.
Was making this decision scary? Heck YES!
Was there a lot of work to make it happen? Heck YES!
Will there be sacrifices I have to make to be successful? Heck YES!
Will it be hard? Heck YES!
Will it be worth it? Heck YES! (at least I hope so...LOL...I only just finished my first semester)
The thing is, none of this would have been possible without setting the goal and taking action towards reaching it. And it doesn't matter what the goal is...big or small, personal or professional...there are steps that have to be taken to get to the finish line.
I created a system for setting goals so that it was more manageable for me to reach the goals I wanted. This system allowed me to check in on my progress which made me reflect on the goal and if it was something I still wanted to achieve.
So here is my D.R.E.A.M. B.I.G. goal setting technique to ensure those goals you want to achieve become reality.
Determine smaller action steps
Big goals can be overwhelming. After all, what goal worth going after isn’t a little overwhelming? Any big goal will have smaller steps needed to take to get there. What are those smaller steps? Start by making a list of smaller action steps needed to get to your final destination. Focus on these smaller steps so that you can start seeing progress towards your goal.
Once you have created those smaller action steps from your big goal you need to set yourself deadlines. Ensure that these are specific and reasonable. You don’t want to set yourself up for failure by setting deadlines that are unattainable. Be thoughtful about the order in which some of these steps might need to be taken, ensure your deadlines follow that order. Set a reminder on your calendar as these deadlines approach.
Evaluate your progress
Set up a system to evaluate your progress. Nothing feels better than checking something off your list on the road to reaching your endpoint. So whether that is an app like Evernote or Todoist or keeping it in your planner like this one (link), find a way to track those smaller steps along the way.
Having someone to check in with is a great way to stay on track. Knowing you are going to have to report your progress to someone keeps you accountable to the goals that you want to reach. The idea here is that you are both working towards a big goal. The ideal partner should be excited and encouraging of your dream and you of theirs. You do not have to have similar goals, but you both should be working towards something so that you both are invested in the process of keeping each other accountable. Set up a schedule for check-ins and make sure to lay out some ground rules for the relationship to ensure you both are receiving the benefit of the relationship.
Milestones with rewards
Now this doesn’t mean after every little thing is completed you should be throwing yourself a party, but make sure to set milestones along the way. Especially if your goal could take several months or years to achieve. For example, if you are wanting to change careers, there are several steps you might have to go through to get there. Like maybe signing up for some classes, updating your resume, networking, etc. Set some milestones where you can treat yourself to something that you enjoy, but might not always do for yourself like a manicure or Starbucks.
Don’t be so focused on the end result that you miss out on the journey. There are so many lessons to be learned on the way to achieving our dreams and goals. If we aren’t mindful of the journey, we can miss out on these amazing growth opportunities. So be mindful and enjoy the process.
It’s all about the BIG PICTURE
When roadblocks come up (which they will) it is important to make sure that you have that end goal in mind. Whether you have it set as your screensaver for your phone or computer, or on your vision board, make sure you see it often to be able to remind yourself that while you may face setbacks along the way, the goal is worth it.
Keep in mind how achieving this goal will benefit your life as a whole. What exactly will be better in your life once this is achieved and what are the side benefits? For example, if your goal is to lose weight, you may be doing it to look better, but a side benefit is being healthier. Also, how will achieving this goal make you feel? Will you be happier, feel more accomplished, freer? Whatever it is, keeping these things in mind help to propel you towards the finish line.
Get a coach
A coach is a great way to stay the course when you are working on reaching big goals. Coaches also empower you to set those big goals you might be afraid to set. They are there to support you on your journey to reaching them as well. If you are interested in setting up a free discovery call with me to see if this is something that would benefit you, email me at email@example.com!
The thing to remember is that reaching your big dreams and goals is ABSOLUTELY possible, but it takes focused action on your part. Write them down, plan them out, and don’t let fear or inaction stand in your way.
Dream Big and setup 2020 as the year that you reach the goals you want to achieve!
One of the other goals I set for myself in 2019 was creating an online course for small business owners or people who were wanting to start their own small business. There is a whole course dedicated to goal setting, check it out here. I also created a great FREE Worksheet for small business owners to do a business review, and now is a great time to do it, get it here.