In Part 1 of Setting Realistic Goals, we talked about the importance of setting goals that are flexible and changeable with what life throws at us. Today, I am going to get more specific with how to create, plan, and accomplish your goals. Goals can pertain to any part of your life…professional, personal, relationships, or even just to you personally.
WHAT ARE GOALS?
Goals are plans you make to accomplish something in your life. There are small goals, big goals, life-changing goals. You can have daily goals, weekly and monthly goals, or long term goals. Usually it involves something we have to work at, something that we feel will give us a purpose, like a roadmap to follow to be the person we want to be. Goals keep us interested in life and keeps us motivated to work toward something, no matter what it is. We choose our individual goals based on who we want to be and where we want to be in life.
Other people make goals for us our whole lives. As children we are expected to reach milestones, which are goals that each child is meant to reach at a certain age. Developmentally, we do this naturally. In school, our expected goals are to get certain grades, attend a certain amount of time, and be there when we are expected. We have no motivation to accomplish this on our own, our parents and educators help guide us toward these goals. When we are adults, our jobs have certain expectations for us, maybe we have to sell a certain amount of product in an amount of time. At this point, we need to set our own personal goals and work toward reaching those on our own. Reaching our goals leads to us feeling fulfilled and leads to happiness in our lives.
HOW TO SET GOALS
You might not think there is much more to setting goals than just saying “I want to lose weight” and then working on it when you are thinking about it. But in order to be successful at reaching your goals, you have to set specific, realistic goals and make a plan. I like to think about the long term first…where do I want to be in 5 years…and then break it down into smaller goals, or steps, that I can reach to get to that point. For example, I started writing this blog because in 5 years, I want to be able to work from home and make at least what I am making now, with a little bit of savings for retirement. So I knew the financial part of the goal I had set for myself, so I had to start researching and thinking about how I could accomplish that goal.
The first step is writing down my goal. When you write something down, it becomes more of something on your to-do list and not just a dream. I started doing some research to decide how I thought I could accomplish my goal and I start thinking about writing a blog and utilizing my teaching and writing skills. When writing down your goal, be specific and do not say what you don’t want to do. Keep it positive. Say, “I want to start saving $50 a paycheck” as opposed to “I don’t want to spend all of my paycheck each week.”
The next important step is to tell someone. Once you start telling someone what you want to accomplish, you feel some accountability to that person. A few months ago, I thought I wanted to start a soap making business and I told my daughter. She was very supportive, just like she is with my blog, and when I gave up on the idea, I felt guilty telling her I had given up on that goal. It wasn’t that I was a quitter…it just wasn’t what I truly wanted to do.
HOW TO ACCOMPLISH YOUR GOALS
If you are like me, you have very large dreams and goals. Sometimes, they become overwhelming and it seems easy to forget what you are working towards. Here are some tools to help you along the way:
- Break down your big goals: Every trip has several steps you have to follow to get to the destination, and every goal has smaller goals you can reach to get to the end. My goal seemed too big, too much work, too much time…but then I decided to get a calendar and start writing down smaller goals. First, I made a list of topics I wanted to write about. Then I started by writing a few posts to show my friends and family and get their feedback. Eventually I want to get to a certain amount of followers and then find a way to start making money. I have small goals written down daily and weekly in my planner and I have a feeling of satisfaction when I cross each one off.
- Decide what you are going to do first. Take that first step, no matter how small it may seem. I, for example, started a WordPress account and started playing with my themes, just to see if I liked doing it. Once I got started, I didn’t want to stop. My daily goals are very small, even if it is just learning how to link articles or what gifs are!
- Keep going. Sometimes you are going to need a break from working on your goal. Sometimes it can become difficult when you aren’t getting the results you were hoping for. Take a break if you need it, ask for help when you can. More than likely, anyone you told your goals to are there to support you and will allow you to make mistakes. Maybe you just need to reevaluate your goals, and that is okay. Your goals do not define you, you can change your mind and create new goals when needed.
TYPES OF GOALS
There are so many types of goals, you shouldn’t be only thinking of the long term. Our lives always need improving in some aspect and it is very fulfilling to have something to work toward in all aspects of our lives. Some examples include:
Personal goals such as: “I want to get healthy this year.” “I want to try to be a better listener.”
Life goals such as: “I want to start a family by the time I am 30.” ” I am going to graduate college in 4 years.”
Employment goals including: “I am going to change careers in 5 years.” “I plan on getting a promotion this year.”
You can also break goals down to daily, weekly, monthly, yearly, and long term goals.
Goals are important in our lives and we need to create them for ourselves in order to become the people we want to be. Even if your goal is just to take a shower in the midst of a depression, it helps to set that goal, make a plan, and take the steps to accomplish it. Goals are personal to each of us, we all want and expect different things in life, but the steps and plans to accomplish our goals are all the same.
Comment down below and tell me some of the goals you want to accomplish. Follow my page and leave your email so you can get weekly updates from me when I post something new. Remember to follow me on Facebook and Instagram.