Let’s face it, sometimes vision boards and New Year’s Resolutions just don’t do the trick to help us reach our goals. Why is that? The human brain is wired to do what it needs to survive, not necessarily to optimize every goal we have. In order to create goals that stick, we need to account for our lives getting busy and inertia kicking in (i.e. around the holidays). Without the right planning, it’s all-too-common to see a goal fail, once the initial motivation wears off. It’s really up to us to create a goal-setting framework that manages what we want in the future, and the discipline & motivation it will take to get us there.
Here’s a 40-minute goal setting exercise, which touches on 4 areas to stay accountable in the new year – What’s important to you?, What do you want to accomplish?, Why do you want to accomplish it?, and the strategy it will take to get you there.
Remember, we plan for work and project deadlines, so why not do ourselves the same favor?
1> Define your areas of importance in 2018. Is it the year of building relationships or of building business? Do you want to read, write, work out, or relax more? Only you know what can fulfill your life, so take a moment and write down what it is that’s important to you. Even spending 5 minutes doing this will help you get a clearer picture of what you’ll focus on in 2018.
2> Create a vision. Take a moment and partner each area of importance with a vision. Where do you see yourself traveling? Are you waking up under the stars while camping on Oregon? Are you laughing until you cry with your friends and family? What kind of conversations are you having with your loved ones? Are you contributing to the community more? At the core, who do you want to be and what do you want to accomplish this year?
3> Define why you want to live the vision. The purpose of your vision is essential to making your intentions stick. The more you dive into this area, the better you’ll remain disciplined in taking actions on the strategy it will take to get you there.
4> Create a strategy. Action is required to accomplish your vision. You want to make this section realistic and gradual. You don’t have to change everything at once, in fact, that’s a sure way to burn out by March. Instead, start gradually changing your habits. If a goal of yours is to connect with family more, you could make it a goal to call a family member once a week, or have a family get-together once a month. Putting one foot in front of the other is the best way to accomplish your goals – it won’t happen all at once. A physical strategy could be upping your workouts from once a week to twice a week for the first 3 months, then gradually increasing to three times a week after that.