Okay, you all know I’m a big planner and if you’ve been following my little blog for any time at all then you know I used to always (okay, maybe always is a strong word but mostly) posted my monthly goals at the beginning of each month. I posted my annual New Year’s resolutions this year but I haven’t actually posted my monthly goals since last December. I’d made a decision in March of this year to take my blog and writing more seriously and I think either consciously or sub-consciously I thought I should stop with the monthly goal posts since no one was going to be interested in those.
Well, you may still not be interested, and if so, feel free to skip that day’s post (don’t worry…thousands of people skip ALL my posts so I won’t be offended) but I’m going to start the monthly goals back up starting in September. I’ve discovered I’m the type of person that needs accountability to push myself to achieve my goals and dreams. So today I’m going to go over 5 tips I have for setting goals.
Write It Down
It’s been proven time and again that people who write down their goals/resolutions are much more likely to achieve the results they are after. No, I can’t quote any research here on that but I know for me it’s definitely proven to be true. Write your goals down and refer to them often. I have a notebook/planner that I carry around everywhere and I love to plaster individual goals on colored sticky notes and plaster them everywhere around my house/car/office.
Make Your Goals SMART
One thing people do is make vague goals that are difficult to achieve or even measure. Goals should be specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timely or SMART:
Blah goal: I want to create an emergency fund this year.
SMART goal: I will create an emergency fund of $1200 by year end by saving $100 a month into a savings account.
Blah goal: I want to lose weight
SMART goal: I will lose 24 pounds by year end by going to the gym three times a week and tracking my calories and carbs at each meal.
Share Your Goals
This is one reason I post my goals for the world (or my 5 regular readers, ha ha) to see. I’m also not a shy person about telling people what I’m trying to do in life. You need a tribe and if I put it out there that I’m not going to eat out at all this week then my friends are going to know not to ask me to lunch every other day. If I say I’m not eating sweets this week then I’m probably not going to be invited out for ice cream or if I am invited anyway then I have my excuse ready to go for why I can’t join them at Dairy Queen. Oh man, I’d love to but I’m not allowed to because I already promised myself and the world wide web that I’m not eating the S’mores blizzard this week.
Break It Down
Big goals can often seem overwhelming and cause moments of panic that lead people to think their goal is too big and too scary and they abandon the goal before they’ve even given themselves a fair shot at reaching it. I usually set fairly big goals for myself at the beginning of each year. Sometimes I look at them a few days later and think, Holly, you’re nuts, this will never happen! This is where it’s useful to break those big goals down into smaller goals.
An example is that I set a goal to earn an extra $6,000 over my base salary this year. That seemed a bit crazy to me but if I break it down over 12 months then that works out to $500 a month extra income that I need to earn and suddenly that huge number doesn’t sound quite so scary.
In my earlier example I mentioned my intention to earn an extra $6,000 this year. I am behind where I should ideally be at this point in the year to reach this goal since I haven’t gotten the extra hours I was expecting to get at my part-time job this summer. Does that mean I should beat myself up over it or abandon the goal? No! I still have 4 months left out of this year to adjust course. Generally my full-time job gives out bonuses once or twice a year. Doesn’t look like we’re getting our summer bonus but I’m still hopeful for a Christmas bonus and that will help offset the shortage. I can also pick up another job in November/December when a lot of stores are hiring for Christmas help. Some people might need some help with their Christmas shopping or need a babysitter over the holidays.
Goal setting has definitely been beneficial to me and my younger son will sometimes set goals but it’s really not my older son’s thing. So how many of you set goals? And if you’re not a goal-setter then why not?