Author Antoine de Saint-Exupéry once said “A goal without a plan is just a wish.” He was right. It’s so easy to say you are going to do something, to create hypothetical goals, to wish that things were different, and to hope that all your dreams will come true without taking any action. But that only leaves you stuck in the rut you are trying to escape.
Many goals are easy – “I’m going to find 10 minutes each day to catch up on the news.” Some are harder – “I’m going to set 3 hours aside each weekend to meal prep for the week.” And then there are those that seem entirely out of reach – “I’m going to increase my annual income by 10% within the next six months.”
Below are some steps to take when goal planning. As you will read, it’s not just one and done – all things, whether great or small take effort. The more you give, the more you’ll get.
Step 1 – Trust in the Universe
Before you even set your goals, you have to set your mindset. The truth is that EVERYTHING is attainable. Yes, you read that right. Everything that you can think up is available to you. The Law of Attraction states that like attracts like, so if you set a goal, but don’t believe it’s possible, it won’t happen. If you have negative thoughts, you’ll only receive more negative situations to feel bad about. On the contrary, if you set a goal, believe in it, and take action, you will achieve it.
This is the hard because it’s difficult to put faith and trust in the unknown, we love the feeling of control, and – let’s face it – when things are rough, it’s hard to be positive. Just give it a try and see what happens!
Recommended Reading: The Universe Has Your Back by Gabrielle Bernstein and E-Squared by Pam Grout
Step 2 – Set SMART Goals
You may have heard about SMART goals at work. Companies are all about these, and for good reason. SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant & Time-Bound.
Be specific and detailed in what you want to achieve.
- Vague Goal– I want to make more money.
- Specific Goal – I want to make an extra $100 per week through my soap making business by December 25, 2017.
The Universe can have a sense of humor. If you’re not specific with what you want, you may get exactly what you asked for – such as a $5 gift card for taking an online survey Hey, it’s more money, right?
This allows you to track your progress and help you stay motivated. So, if your goal is to make $100 more per week through your soap making business by December 25th you might achieve this by increasing your marketing efforts and then tracking the sales. This is something tangible that can be physically reviewed and monitored, so you’ll know when you hit your goal.
Goals that aren’t specific are so much harder to track and measure.
Okay, I know I said ALL goals are achievable, and it’s true, but let’s be realistic here too. If you want $1 million by tomorrow, it’s probably not happening unless you win the lotto. But, if you’re just starting out your career and want to grow your retirement savings to $1 million by the time you hit 65, that’s entirely possible and achievable. Make sure you have access to the resources you need to make the goals happen.
Does the goal matter to you? People tell you what to do all the time – you should eat better, sleep more, lose weight, etc. But if the goal is not top of mind for you or it’s just not a good time to start working on it, it’s not worth your effort or energy.
All goals need end dates. When do you hope to lose 50lbs? Eventually? I hate to burst your bubble, but eventually is never going to happen. Set a realistic target date for achieving and then work on it every day.
Recommended Reading: The Push by Chalene Johnson
Step 3 – Take Action & Be Consistent
You don’t have to go at it all at once. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, take baby steps. Even small efforts towards a bigger goal will add up over time. You’ll never reach the goal if you don’t start somewhere.
Recommended Reading: The Compound Effect by Darren Hardy
Step 4 – Track Progress
Get a journal or an app to help track your goals. Writing them down reinforces the behavior and looking at them often will help you realize where you are and where you need to be. When you make a step in the right direction, note it. If you have a setback, note that too. This will help you reevaluate future goals.
Recommended Journal: Chalene Johnson’s SmartLife PUSH Journal
Step 5 – Reward Yourself
It goes without saying that kids love rewards. Secretly, adults do too! Indulge your inner child and give yourself a little extra motivation. I wouldn’t go overboard, but having something extra (such as a manicure, new pair of sneakers, or a tablet) at the finish line will give you a boost to reach those goals. I have a few goals to crush by November and I’m picturing a Lularoe Amelia dress (that I’ve wanted for months) hanging in my closet!
What goals are on your list for the coming months?
Remember, whether you think you can achieve them or you think you can’t, you’re right.