Day FoUr!! Good morning. It sure is chilly here in Eugene this a.m, and I’m geared up to head in to work, but first I posted your challenge for the day below. I absolutely love what I do. Helping people change their lives for the better- both in person and online. Helping them gain strengths they never knew they had, to try things they never imagined possible- This IS the reason I wake up in the morning. For my athletes. For my friends. For my family.
For the lives I am so privileged to be a part of!
In life, we have and will continue to deal with set backs, disappointments, and all things unexpected. You cannot always control what happens in your life, but you CAN control how you react. So, when things don’t go as planned, when the seas get rough….take a deep breath, look on the bright side, take note of what you learned, maybe shed a few tears or preferably share some laughs, then accept what you CAN’T change, and set out a plan to change the things you CAN.
Day FoUr is all about goal setting.
WARNING!!! This next part is long. DON’T get overwhelmed. If you’d like, copy and paste the information. Read through it as you have time and take it step by step.
Step 1: Create visions for your life
Before setting out on a mission to create individual goals, consider these main eight life categories: health, relationships, finance, career, personal/ spiritual development, recreation/play, environment, and service/contribution.
In each of these areas, before you create goals, create a vision. Write down what you believe in, what pulls you (your values) and what it is you want for your future. Creating a goal without a strong, compelling vision is often fruitless as because you really don’t have your WHY power to help you when things get tough.
Step 2: Take inventory of your life (think and reflect upon where you are now)
Once you’ve thought about and put down on paper what you want, you have to do a self check with yourself and see where you are NOW in relation to where you WANT to be.
Peer into each area of your life and write down the status of where you are. Be completely and entirely honest with yourself. If you’re in an unhappy relationship, write that down. If you don’t like your job….write it! If you spend too much time wasted on meaningless tasks…that’s something to keep note of! Being honest with yourself will help you make the necessary changes in order to move you toward the life you want to live. Do this for every area of your life.
Step 3: Create your overarching PLAN.
With each category written down, decide on one big, overarching plan to lead you toward your vision for that category.
For example, if your financial vision is to become financially free and be an example to your children, your corresponding, overarching plan could be to become debt free (and stay out of debt) and build wealth.
The vision is something that is a way of life; it’s your legacy. The overarching plan is the biggest goal you set to get there — it’s something that is attainable. After you set your overarching plan, you’ll then be able to set smaller goals that are measureable and attainable.
Step 4: Create measurable goals in writing with benchmarks
After you know what you want (vision), where you are (inventory), and your main plan of getting to where you want to go, you are ready to set goals. A goal is an achievable aim or target in the future.
One popular goal-setting strategy is the S.M.A.R.T. method
Goals should be:
Specific (not vague)
Attainable (achievable given where you are now)
Realistic (not impossible)
Timely (with a definite deadline)
This means that as you create a goal, it should be narrow, in writing, achievable, and have a deadline. Goals can be long-term goals (over one year) or short-term goals (less than one year). Goals can be created for all areas of life, or you can focus on one single area you most want to improve. Examples of long-term benchmarks are: 5 years out, 10 years out, and 20 years out. Short-term benchmarks for goals include anything less than 1 year, such as one week or 12 months.
Decide: What category(ies) do you want to create goals for? Just remember the more goals you have at a time, the harder it will be to channel your attention to follow through with them.
Write: Get it down on paper. what categories you want to create goals for (as little as one category up to all categories), and get to writing. Keep in mind that the more goals you have at one time, the harder it is to focus. Only you know where you stand, so choose goals that make the most sense to YOU and YOUR life. Use your inventories from above to determine where you should focus your energy.
Examples of two bad goals:
1. “Get on track financially this year.”
2. “Be more fit.”
Examples of two good goals:
1. Create monthly budgets the first of every month for the following month with my husband.
2. Get in at least 30 minutes of exercise 5 times each week.
In the bad set of examples, you can see how the goals are vague and do not have deadlines. In the good set of examples, the goals are specific and timely. Both of these goals are written down which is incredibly important, too.
Step 5: Get those goals down on your calendar!
Implement your goals by taking action. This may seem obvious, but I believe implementation and planning needs to be a separate step because it is the difference between success and failure.
For me, productivity and accomplishments are best achieved when my goals are concrete, and in writing on my calendar where I see them on the daily! (at least once) Without this, my success rate plummets.
It is really the little things that separate the successful from the unsuccessful. The successful are willing to do things the unsuccessful aren’t. Just think….what’s simple to do is just as simple NOT to do. So, don’t put off the little things just because in the moment they don’t seem to make a difference. They will. Over time.
Whatever calendar/planner that you use, put your goals down as deadlines. Then, put a weekly “ goals check-in” somewhere on the page too. Your deadlines will keep you on track and focused. Your weekly check-ins will help you to make changes and plan accordingly as you get closer to your deadline.
Maybe for you this means that each week you put in your calendar on Sunday at 9am “work on goals”. Do what works for you and your own life. The key is to PLAN it. If you neglect checking-in with yourself, you won’t give yourself the opportunity to make needed changes.
For example, if you plan to train for a marathon and put deadlines on your calendar but then you find yourself injured and unable to train two weeks into training. You cannot keep those same mini goals, you have to make changes according to your new circumstance.
Step 5: The 4 R’s — Reward, Reflect, Revise, and Repeat
Yes, you are going to need to make changes. As much as you try to control your life, there is only so much you can do. There will always be circumstances that are out of your control. There will also be changes in life that may lead you to change what you want….and that’s okay! Sure, you may think you know what you want in 5 years, you may end up being way off. But that is no reason to put off setting goals and aiming to reach them.
Enter the 4 R’s.
First, reward yourself after accomplishing any goal. We really are creatures of positive reinforcement and you’ll have more success if you reward yourself.
Second, reflect on your progress and think about the journey as time passes. Without reflection it will be hard for you to learn and grow.
Third, revise your visions, plans, and goals over time. As you change, so should your goals. Revision can take place during your check-ins so that you keep moving forward in the direction you want as things change.
Finally, repeat the process by continuing to make and write down new goals as time goes on.
A Final Note!
Remember: The meaningful progress you make by creating and achieving your goals will leave you happier and with fewer regrets. A life without direction is a life wasted.
Live life goal-oriented. Live life positively. Live life positively goal-oriented.