Goals, whether big or small, can be the stepping-stones to living a happier, more fulfilling life, and the WAY we set our goals can make a huge difference in whether or not we actually achieve them.
Setting goals for things we want to do in our lives and things we are working toward, is all a part of the human success formula. Carving out the path toward our goals may not always be easy or look very pretty, but having and achieving goals gives us a deeper sense of meaning and purpose in our life. They point us in the direction of where we ultimately want to go. They give us hope. They keep us interested and engaged and focused. And, if we pay attention to how we’re setting our goals, it will make us more likely to achieve them.  And let’s be honest, crossing the finish line makes us feel good about ourselves and our lives. So it’s a win-win!

How To Set Simple Goals And Make Them Happen

We can easily get overwhelmed by setting goals for ourselves.  So, sometimes we need to start small. With SO much multitasking on our plates these days, setting mini goals can be really useful and beneficial. When I set my mini-goals, I usually set them for 90 days. When I set these smaller quarterly goals for myself, I’m giving myself the opportunity to create a new habit or organize my time better, or try something I’ve always wanted to try, but didn’t have the time or the courage to do! It really helps me to be able to prioritize and figure out what’s actually important to me right now and why.

Setting Goals And Finding Balance

Many of us are at different stages in our lives right now and our goals are going to look totally different. Some of us need to create new habits, or release toxic family patterns. Some of us need to focus more on spending quality time with our families. Some of us need to focus more on our careers. Some of us are trying to split ourselves between our families AND our careers. Some of us can barely keep our head on straight, let alone getting organized with things like goals! Life gets crazy! It’s a LOT to juggle. We need help. We need to feel like we’re not just spinning our wheels. We need to set goals and we also need to harmonize that with everyday life obligations and responsibilities. This can and WILL bring a greater sense of peace and balance into your life on SO many levels.
So whether you want to start by setting mini goals or just start with one goal at a time, here are a few tips to help you get inspired:

• Journal

Honestly, I’m a big fan of journaling. For EVERYTHING. But especially when I’m having one of those days where my mind is just swirling and running nonstop, I’ll grab my journal and I’ll just write it out. I call it a “data dump”. I find that process to be extremely helpful and even somewhat relaxing. It helps me find some peace and clarity in stressful times and aligns me with what’s really going on. You may not think of grabbing a notebook during times like this, but try it. Getting it out of your mind and onto paper is where you begin to bring it into being. You’ll be surprised what you discover.

• Take a YOU Day

Taking time for yourself is super critical in order to maintain wellbeing in ANY arena of your life. You might not think this is much of a “goal”, but trust me – most of us neglect looking after ourselves. This is one of the biggest things I work on with my one-on-one coaching clients. Scheduling time for you – just YOU – is such an important goal. Put that baby on the TOP of your list. In fact, that has to be your #1. What’s the saying “put on your own oxygen mask before tending to others”? Take a spa day (or pamper yourself at home), call an old friend and catch up on life, or just spend an entire day doing things that YOU love – because babe, YOU DESERVE IT!

• Meditate

Meditation can be super intimidating for some people and some folks think it’s simply not for them. Here’s the deal. Meditation slows things down and brings us into the present moment, where we’re so unaccustomed to being. Yet, this is where the gold is at. Slowing down, going within and just being. Successful people have a meditation practice because it gets them out of their head and connected more deeply to who they are at the core of their being. If you can’t sit with yourself in stillness and silence, how can you expect to sit with another? So even just taking a FEW minutes out of your day to sit, be still,  and do nothing can really help get you feeling more relaxed, focused, and ready to roll on your goals with a clearer perspective.
Here’s a goal setting mediation you can try….
  1. Start by finding a comfortable place where you can relax without being disturbed. Let the family know you’re going offline for a bit and put your phone on DND. (Do Not Disturb).
  2. Take a seat, feather your nest and close your eyes. Begin to take some slow deep breaths in and out through your nose.
  3. Bring into your awareness something you would like to achieve in the next 90 days. As you think of that thing you’d like to accomplish – personally or professionally – create a picture of it in your mind.
  4. As you see the picture in your mind, imagine that you’ve just achieved this goal. Imagine that it has already happened and you’re there in the moment where you’ve just. crossed the finish line. See what you see, hear whatever you hear and feel whatever you’re feeling in that moment. Make it real and make the energy come alive.  within you.
  5. Now, ask yourself, “what is the last thing that needs to happen before you know that you’ve achieved this goal?” (Example: if you’re writing a business plan, the last thing that needs to happen may be seeing the finished product on your desk, if you’re wanting to drop 10lbs, the last thing that needs to happen may be fitting into a certain pant size, etc.)
  6. Now that you have the “last thing that needs to happen”, imagine floating out into the future above your timeline and dropping that image of you achieving that last step – the very last thing that needs to happen so that you know you achieved your goal – into your timeline. Just imagine that you’re hovering above your timeline and you let go of the picture, you watch it float right down into the future – trust that it will land wherever it needs to in order for you to make it happen.
  7. Then, float back to now and down into where you sit. Take a nice deep breath and open your eyes when you’re ready.
Now that you’ve visualized your goal being put out into the future it’s time to put pen to paper and create an action plan for making it happen. What needs to happen at the 30-, 60- and 90-day mark in order for your goal to come to completion and jot down weekly action steps to get you moving! Oh, and TAKE THE ACTION!

• Yoga/Exercise

Finding time to move your body each day is not only for your physical well being, but it’s for your mental and emotional well being.  If working out isn’t your thing, just set a mini goal on this one, and try moving your body for 10 minutes. Take a walk around the block. Spend time in nature. Just in 10 minutes you’d be surprised at how your mood improves. It reduces stress and anxiety, boosts your brain power, improves self-confidence, gets you feeling motivated and excited and invigorated. Setting this goal is a key factor in achieving goals in the other areas of your life as well. So get out there and move that body!

• List of Gratitudes

Finally, make a list of gratitudes each day. If you’re journaling you can do it there. If not, write notes in your phone. Use a sharpie to write post-it notes and leave them around your house. On your mirrors. In your car. Find your gratitudes. Recognize them. They surround you and they are the light that will guide you through.

Invest in Yourself and Your Goals!

By setting goals and following through on them, we are not only making a commitment to ourselves, but we’re making an investment in ourselves. By just setting small goals, we are allowing ourselves to dive in a bit deeper and take a closer look at our specific situation. Where are we right now? Where do we want to be? And are we taking the right steps to get us there?
Taking a closer look can help us hone in on what we really need to focus on and it allows us the opportunity to get to know ourselves much better in the process. When we have a better understanding of ourselves, we can set clearer goals and make better decisions, that will ultimately guide us on the path towards achieving the goals we set, and living the life we want.

Q & A’s:

Q: What advice do you have for someone who has already gotten off track with their goals this year?
A: It’s OK. Don’t get discouraged or give up. This happens. It just means you may need to re-evaluate your situation and your WHY. It all comes down to WHY you set these goals in the first place. Spend some time with yourself and find your WHY – your reason for wanting your goal.
Q: What’s your number one tip for goal-setting and/or achieving goals?
A: Personally, I choose to start by journaling, and writing down my goals as if they already happened. It might sound silly, but it gives me a little boost of motivation and a feeling of inspiration. I also try and set a bunch of mini goals for myself that I know I can achieve. Once I cross a few of those mini’s off my list, I feel like I tap into the momentum of getting things accomplished and then I’m more likely to keep it going.
Q: In what areas of my life should I be setting goals?
A: It’s always good to strive for something. It needs to be a stretch. Whether it’s a big goal like a career change or a mini goal like dropping 5lbs. For me, I always begin with myself. I evaluate where I’m at on my own personal growth path. When I start with myself, the goals that I need to set naturally fall into alignment with what’s important to me, where I am now, and where I want to be. Always keep pushing yourself to improve YOU first. The rest will follow.
Q: What should someone do if others around them aren’t supportive of their goals?
A: This is so hard. Of course we would all LOVE it if our friends and family were supportive of our life choices and goals. But that’s not always the case. The best advice I can give you on this is to trust yourself, and ask them to respect that your goals are important to you. They don’t have to understand your goals or want those same things for themselves, and they do need to respect that this is important to you. Believe in yourself. Follow your heart. And follow through. Stay the course. You’ll get there, my friend.
Q: What if I know I’m the type of person who needs help with accountability and to
make sure I’m following through?
A: I’m right there with you. Hire a coach.  Immediately! A coach is someone who will meet you where you’re at, assess the situation, and help you discover the best plan of action for what you’re wanting to accomplish. Interview several coaches before hiring one to make sure they’re the right fit for you. And, be prepared to make a financial investment in yourself. Committing to hiring a coach is the equivalent of walking through a door of change through which you have no intention of ever returning. Meaning, hire someone who is excellent at what they do and who you feel aligned with. And then get ready to work your ass(ets) off!