How do you plan your year?
Have you decided what you want to achieve?
I’ve already done my goal setting for the next three months, six months, one year, and even five years down the road.
Hello everyone, and welcome back to my blog! I’m your host – Antoaneta, and, in today’s article, we’ll talk about how and why you should Set Your Goals for 2020 ahead of time.
- Setting up reasonable and achievable goals is a big deal
- Setting up specific goals is vital for your ability to focus on the tasks one by one
- Setting up measurable goals allows you to track your results properly
- Setting up achievable goals is important for your self-confidence
- Setting up relevant goals ensures that you stay on target
- Setting up timely goals helps you stay motivated and prevents slacking off
The summary above is based on the SMART goal setting system. And even though it’s an approach to project management (mostly used in corporate settings), it can do the job just fine in a personal sense as well.
And before you start worrying about what-ifs and possible setbacks, allow me to elaborate – this isn’t meant to be a solid, set-in-stone “road” that I absolutely have to follow no matter what. It’s more of a rough outline, something to help me stay on track and keep me productive. Of course, circumstances change. For all I know, next year my entire plan could change. But I simply can’t allow myself to use this as an excuse. We’ve all got a limited amount of time to work with, and, if we want to get anywhere, we can’t afford to sit on our hands and worry about what-ifs. Don’t be afraid to dream but try and keep it realistic.
New year’s resolutions present you with a great opportunity to set goals and introduce new changes to your life. But here’s the thing about them – people rarely stick to their resolutions. More often than not, they’re quick to forget the promises that they’ve made to themselves merely weeks down the road. And if you’ve already been through this process, you know full-well that it leads to nothing but disappointment and annoyance. So how do you do it properly? How do you do a goal setting that you can stick with? If you’ve been asking yourself these questions, then you’ve come to the right place. That’s exactly what we’re going to be talking about today!
Goal Setting Tip #1: Think long-term and look at the bigger picture
A great way to approach goal-setting is to figure out the desired result before you begin your planning and work your way backwards. If you wanted to, for example, purchase a property, you would first need a certain amount of funds. You could achieve this by investing in the market, by furthering your career, or even by starting a business. The same approach can (and should) be applied to just about any goal that you can think of – from the simplest to the most ambitious of ideas. Additionally, looking at the bigger picture allows you to map out your journey much better by splitting the larger goal into smaller, easily trackable objectives.
Goal Setting Tip #2: Breaking it down
The larger your goal, the more intimidating it will appear. And while some people can find motivation in this, most of us would much rather work with manageable, bite-sized tasks instead. Breaking everything down will relieve a great deal of pressure and allow you to laser-focus your attention on the tasks one-by-one. I utilise this strategy every day in the writing of my books. When you look at a book-writing project, it seems really intimidating. We’re talking about writing thousands (oftentimes – hundreds of thousands) words that you just can’t imagine ever finishing in your entire lifetime. But when I write my books, I simply set a goal of about 1 500 words per day. I know that, as long as I write at least 1 500 words, I’m making progress. This makes the entire process much less stressful, and it allows me to stay on track without pushing myself too hard.
Goal Setting Tip #3: Putting your goals to paper
By putting things on paper, you are making a conscious commitment to your goal. As an aside, it doesn’t matter whether you write your ideas down in a notebook or store them on your digital device – this is just down to personal preference. What matters here is the act of writing, the commitment itself. You’re telling your mind that the achievement really does matter to you. This will not only allow you to track everything a lot easier but will also provide you with additional bits of motivation, which can go a long way.
When I was building my first business, I didn’t appreciate the importance of this. I’d keep all of my ideas, plans and goals in my head. I even went as far as doing a lot of math in my head. But, as I quickly came to realise, this is a horrible idea. Not only does this waste valuable time and energy (which is bound to get overwhelming eventually), but it also prevents you from objectively reviewing your goals. And, believe it or not, there’s a ton that you can understand about your goals by taking a few minutes to review your notes.
Goal Setting Tip #4: Dream Big but Remain Realistic
As I noted above, there’s nothing bad about dreaming big. As a matter of fact, I’d advise you all to dream as big as you can. Think about the absolute best things that you can do or have in your life. Then, think of how you’d get to that point. Find a realistic approach and stick to it. Of course, some things might remain out of reach. Building your own start-up in the span of a few years is a very reasonable goal. Becoming a world-renowned leader in astrophysics, especially if you lack prior experience in the field, however, is probably outside the scope of your capabilities.
Goal Setting Tip #5: Don’t overestimate yourself
A common mistake in the business world, overestimating your capabilities is one of the leading factors for failure. You can achieve anything, as long as you’re dedicated and persistent. But you can’t achieve it overnight. Good things can sometimes take a long time, and rushing won’t get you very far. Best case scenario, you’ll burn yourself out and experience delays.
Goal Setting Tip #6: Stick to Your Goals
After you’ve figured out who you want to be and where you want to go, you need to make sure that you stick to your guns. Sign up for the necessary courses, build up connections, master the required skills, and always stay focused. There will be delays, there will be days where you just can’t seem to move forward, there will be disappointments, and there will be failures. But you can’t use this as an excuse to give up! Keep moving forward, one step at a time, and you will eventually get there.
Goal Setting Tip #7: Track your progress
Set aside a couple of minutes every week to review your progress. Check whether you’re moving closer or further from achieving your goals, and make sure that you’re moving at a steady pace. If you’re moving faster than anticipated, think about giving yourself a well-deserved break. If you’re not going fast enough, look for the things that are getting in your way and work towards removing them from your life.
Goal Setting Tip #8: Celebrate your successes
Tracking your progress also allows you to know the exact time when you’ve reached a milestone. And that’s always worthy of celebration. No matter how big or small the achievement might seem, you should always take the time to celebrate your success. After all, you’ve earned it!
And this is my bonus tip for you:
If you happen to be new to self-improvement, here’s a couple of nice goals to get you started in 2020:
- Lead an eco-friendlier life – lower your carbon footprint, work towards removing plastics from your household, turn towards renewable and reusable solutions
- Work on your budgeting – adopt a more minimalistic approach to life, lower your spending and try to save at least 10% of your income
- Look into investing – research your local investment opportunities, carefully consider your options and sign up for some courses
- Spend more time with your friends and family – appreciate what you have and take the time to show your love and gratitude
- Expand your contact network – go out, meet new people and form lasting connections with worthwhile individuals
- Read more books – sit down and research the topics that you’re passionate about, find sources inspiration and learn new skills
These are some of my personal favourite goals that I’ve also been working towards for many years. And if you’re completely new to the concepts, don’t worry – I’ve got a few interesting articles waiting for you in the resource section below!
And that about wraps it up for my goal setting methodology. Of course, there are many more details, related to goal setting that you could consider, but for the purposes of getting you on the right track, this should suffice. If you’d like to learn more about the subject, please take a look at the resource section below, where I’ve listed a couple of books that I’m sure you’ll find really useful.
What about you? Have you decided on your goals for 2020 yet? Do you have things planned out, or are you still searching for inspiration? Please share your thoughts, ideas, and experiences in the comments below – I always love hearing from you!
Thank you all for reading, and until next time:
Stay green and motivated!
Please note that, as with all of my content, this piece is based entirely on my personal research and experience. Everything that I’ll share with you in this article has worked for me and has helped me improve my own life, but I can’t guarantee that it will be just as effective for you. I am by no means a financial expert or some sort of guru. As always, I’d advise you to carefully research your options or consult with an expert before introducing significant changes to your lifestyle.
- My favourite Eco-friendly store: Eco Bravo
- My latest e-book on minimalism: How to live a minimalist life?
- All of my content about Eco-Friendliness and Green Living
- All of my content about Health and Wellness
- Here’s why you should stop using plastics as soon as possible
- Why rich people stay rich?
- Individual Savings Accounts and how to leverage them
- A quick start guide on how to start investing
- A simple write-up on the Importance of Networking
- Why do I love reading so much?
Books which I think everyone should read:
- Rich Dad Poor Dad – Robert Kiyosaki
- Money: The Top 100 Best Ways To Make And Manage Money – Ace McCloud
- Business Secrets from the Bible – Daniel Lapin
- The New One Minute Manager – Kenneth Blanchard
- Key Person of Influence – Daniel Priestley