Inside: Do you ever ask yourself, “Why set goals when I know I don’t have the time?” Or do you ever feel like you’re just going through the motions of life without any clear purpose or direction? Thankfully, there IS a way to get everything done and still pursue your personal goals. Don’t miss these 5 simple ways of how you can set goals and achieve them.
Every once in a while we’ll go bowling as a family. But this one game a few years ago was a little different.
That bowling ball, those pins, those gutters. They all had me thinking about life. (More on that in a minute.)
As humans on this Earth, we all have desires of things we want to achieve.
We want to advance our career, learn a new skill, or as a kid maybe it was to become an astronaut or a marine biologist.
There is no achievement too small or too big.
So if we all have this natural desire, why set goals? Why isn’t it good enough to just have the “want to”? Shouldn’t that work?
The honest truth is that it’s never that easy.
Here’s the Good News about Setting Personal Goals
As it turns out, there’s a whole host of benefits to goal setting.
Setting personal goals helps you figure out what your truest priorities are in life. This, in turn, helps you filter through everything that comes your way and determine what you’re going to say YES and NO to in your life.
This filtering process causes you to not only face your reality but also envision the kind of future you’d like to create.
It’s through this process of discovering our personal goals that we can begin to maintain balance and live a life we love with no regrets.
But This is What Gets in Our Way
Most of the time, the thing that gets in our way is US. Yep, our own selves.
We end up sabotaging our efforts by the actions we take or the stories we tell ourselves and those around us.
We have so much “stuff” to do like laundry to fold, doctor appointments to make for the kids, that tire repair we’ve been putting off.
The list goes on and on and on.
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This is why less than 15% of people actually set goals.
When I think back on things I’ve accomplished, most of those were achieved through planning and careful thought.
The moments I didn’t dream with the end in mind were the times those goals were put on the back burner.
It was all the “buts” that got in the way. It’s every time we say, “But I’m too this or I’m too that.”
Fill in the this or that with whatever applies to your life, whether it’s too busy because of kids or career or life in general.
This is why setting goals is so important.
Goals give you a destination in which to reimagine your journey.
However, if we allow all the “buts” to hinder us, we’ll never see what we’re really capable of.
The Single Best Reason Why We Set Goals
All the above is true, but the single best reason why we should set goals?
It’s to stop drifting…Stop drifting through life.
Remember my bowling story?
As we were bowling, I paid attention to the ball as it drifted down the lane.
I might add that I’m not very good at bowling, so thank goodness I was playing with my oldest because he needed to use the bumpers. I secretly needed them too. 😉
And those bumpers had me thinking about when we set goals and have accountability that urges us on, it makes those goals more achievable.
When the bowling ball started to veer off course, the bumpers would gently guide it back onto the lane.
So it is with life, the more effort we put into the how we achieve goals and the parameters to keep us on track, the better the outcome will be.
I try to set personal goals that put a little pep in my step. They give me something to look forward to. If I don’t feel an urgency to accomplish a particular goal, I won’t pursue it.
Setting goals helps us move beyond our current circumstances and develop clarity rather than confusion.
We no longer have to meander through life like that bowling ball down the lane.
We can move forward with a purpose and passion that will help create the story of our lives.
This is the importance of goals in life.
Setting Goals and 5 Ways to Do It
Here are 5 simple ways you can successfully set goals for yourself you’ll actually accomplish.
1. Goals help you reframe your thinking
Instead of saying you can’t do something, say “I can…” You can change your mindset by changing your limiting belief into a positive affirmation.
For example the limiting belief, “I don’t have enough time” could be turned into “I have more than enough time for this project or goal when I sit and prioritize my life.”
Another example of a limiting belief is “I’m scared I’m going to fail.”
This limiting belief is usually the one that hinders most people from taking action. I know it does me many times.
But when you reframe your thinking to say “What’s the worst thing that can happen? I’m going to do it anyway,” you help create more positive neural pathways in your brain.
Changes won’t happen overnight, but with repetition, your subconscious will start to change and help upgrade your beliefs.
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Write down some of your limiting beliefs you have about yourself.
Now rewrite those statements into truths you can repeat to yourself.
No matter how silly you may feel, say these affirmations to yourself when you’re feeling the creep of your limiting belief settle on you.
2. Goals help you imagine a better future
Research shows people who think about the future tend to be happier.
The definition of goal setting means you are making a plan which requires you to think about the future. When you set goals, you’re thinking with the end in mind and identifying what you want.
If we just trudge through life without forward thinking, that’s when we start to drift in a direction we may not have wanted.
Who doesn’t want to be happier and imagine something better for themselves and those around them?
What do you want your future to look like? Ponder that for a few minutes and write it down. Make a personal goals list.
Creating a vision board is a great way to reimagine your future too. You can create it with cut out pictures from magazines or a digital version online.
Then print it out and hang it up so you can view it daily.
3. Goals help you reflect on the past and pivot
Just as in thinking about the future is great for goal-setting so is continually reviewing your progress.
Sometimes when you feel stuck, the best way to become unstuck is to think about a time in which you were successful.
What were the steps you were taking then to help you achieve your goal? Could similar steps apply to this new project or goal now?
If not, it’s completely okay to stop and pivot with a new idea or a new way to approach your dream.
Pivoting can be your best friend. It keeps you moving in the right direction towards your goals and dreams without stopping and having to rebuild momentum.
Just like the bowling ball gliding against the bumpers but still progressing forward, you too can still achieve your goals by pivoting in a new direction.
For example, I have a goal of launching a course for busy moms by a certain quarter of the year. I had written my desires down along with some action steps and a proposed schedule I could follow.
But then life happened, and school started back up. Which for me means I go back to work full-time too, and my spare time is extremely limited.
Instead of feeling like a failure because I wasn’t hitting my benchmarks, I pivoted my ideas just a little bit and tweaked and adjusted.
Now, I’m back on track, but the road looks just a little different than it did before.
Each week conduct a weekly review and goal check-in. This only works though if you do the work and are honest with yourself about your progress.
Ask yourself how the last week went and which areas were the strongest but also which areas were the weakest.
Take those strengths and weaknesses list and determine if you should be pivoting and heading down another path. Or maybe you only need to tweak and adjust your plans.
4. Goals help you grow
It’s like that old adage “practice makes perfect.” When you set goals and works towards them, you’re inevitably going to hit some roadblocks.
But when you maintain the attitude that you “can do it,” you’ll push through the hard parts and come out the other side stronger than before.
Each time we face difficulties and try our best to reach our goals, we truly grow.
We are more capable of overcoming whatever comes our way.
Winnie-the-Pooh’s creator A. A. Milne had the right attitude when he wrote:
“You‘re braver than you believe and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.”
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Find the next 3 moves you need to take in order to achieve a specific goal. Don’t get caught in the weeds of trying to see the whole picture.
Take small incremental steps each day that will set you on the path towards your goal.
Get started with these first 3 moves right away to help jump-start your momentum. The first step is always the hardest, so prepare your mind for that first step.
Sometimes starting is all it takes to get the ball rolling.
Remember, growth doesn’t happen overnight nor do we magically accomplish our dreams without work.
5. Goals help you take action
There’s a catch to this step. The key is you have to write them down.
Goals only become more action-oriented when you create a plan to go along with them. One of the best goal-setting activities is to mold an action plan for yourself.
This action plan becomes your roadmap that helps you every step of the way. I like to think of an action plan as a virtual assistant who’s there guiding you in the important next steps you need to take.
When we put plans in place to help guide us down this journey of life towards our goals, we are much more likely to take the right kind of action.
Decide right now that you no longer want to drift through life. You no longer want to aimlessly wander down the path with no big dreams in sight.
Find a journal or notebook where you can write your thoughts, dreams, and desires down.
Then take the next step and work on an action plan to help you get there.
Still Feeling Stuck?
Maybe the words “action plan” or “growth” or “reflection” all have your head spinning with overwhelm of where to even start with setting your own goals.
Don’t worry! I’ve got you covered.
You can click the button below to grab the FREE roadmap I created for you on how to set your goals!
Download your free Goal Setting Roadmap
This roadmap will not only help you find your goals but also help you take action towards achieving them too.
Use this checklist to help you remember why you set goals in the first place. It will lead you on your journey from start to finish.
- Click the button below to grab your free roadmap, plus join my newsletter!
- Print out the roadmap. Cardstock is best but any white paper will do.
- Keep the roadmap posted so you can use it as you travel down your journey to achieving your goals.
Which action are you going to take to achieve your goals?
Leave a note in the comments below on your next action steps.