Angela’s Note – Today’s post is a guest post from @gr8lifecoach Leslie Gail. If you’re not yet following this brilliant life coach and author of Life Simplified: A weekly guide to creating the life you love!, you are missing out.
Goals are great if they are the right goals and if you are prepared on how to achieve them. This time of year millions of people are writing down resolutions, even though only a small fraction of those people will succeed. I have learned over the years the secret formula to setting and achieving goals in your life. As a lifestyle expert, author of the book Life Simplified-A weekly guide to achieving a life you love, and MomTV webshow host my life revolves around helping others create their best life. And a critical piece of this is clarifying goals and then creating a road map to achieve them. I am going to offer some simple and practical tools to get you started in 2010.
Create goals you want to achieve
Year after year people write down the same goals. Most goals are ones you think you should achieve instead of the goals you really want to achieve. If you “think” you should lose weight, or if you “think” you should quit smoking, or if you “think” you should start meditating, you are simply setting yourself up to fail. Make sure you come up with goals that inspire you! Come up with goals that are motivating and positive and you will improve your chances of achieving them. Throw away a goal if you have had it year after year without succeeding.
Write them down and share it with others
One surefire way to achieve your goals this year is to write them down and share them with others. Get out a journal and write down specifically what you would like to achieve this year. Don’t be vague here. Writing down losing weight is too general and hard to achieve. Be as specific as possible. Use the SMART tool- Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time sensitive. By sharing your goals with others, you are adding the accountability factor. Others will help you stay on track.
Detail the plan
People often fail because of this missing element. If you want to drive from Los Angeles to New York, you need a road map to get you there. The same applies to your goals. You need a specifically laid out map that details how to get from where you are today to where you ultimately want to go. Do your research and take the time to complete this step. You will be much more prepared to venture out there this time around. If you need a little help with this step you can contact me for guidance at firstname.lastname@example.org
Exercises to get started on right now: Buy a journal and write down the goals you truly want to embark on. Share this goal with friends and/or family. Write down specifically what you are going to do daily/weekly/monthly to get you there. Good luck!!
Angela’s Note – Tomorrow we are going to take Leslie’s mention of creating specific plans to the next level and break down how to do that. Meanwhile, please do the suggested action step – what are your goals? Are they YOUR goals? Inspired just for you?
I’ve thought about my goals for 2010 and they run the mix of personal and professional. Last year I focused waaay too much on professional and so some personal aspects of my life suffered. It took looking around and seeing the damage to deciding that this year I need to improve both as a writer and blogger and as a mom.
I liked Chris Brogan’s (and Kelby Carr’s) notion of creating 3 words to identify my goals because they were broad enough to include the parts of my life that needed improving. So I chose Motivation, Focus, and Results. Those words are definitely inspired for me!
Ultimately, I want to improve my income through my writing so that I could support myself if I ever needed to. I want to be more present with my children and in my home and I want to work smarter so I have the time to be present for those I love.
Genna Cockerham says
I love the part about making your goals public! In my Christmas letter to family I told them I was having great success at Suite 101 (true) and that I am running a half-marathon before they receive their next Christmas letter. When I was debating whether I wanted to run the half in March, knowing I had told everyone in my family I would be doing it, I decided that I’d rather sign up and run it in March than keep talking about doing it. Once it is done I know I have accomplished what I said I would.
In terms of the writing, knowing I told my whole entire near and distant family that I am successful has given me a boost (at least mentally) during the winter/January “blahs.” I don’t want to send a letter next year that doesn’t talk at all about my writing. I don’t want to have to tell people that I wasn’t successful.
Three words are SO not enough for me. 🙂 Everything, Anything, More? Does that count?
So my goals are –
~ Take Untrained Housewife to Page Rank 5 and increase number of registered users to 3,000.
~ Take new client blog – http://mydigitaldilemma.com to page rank 3 by the end of the year.
~ Start new pregnancy blog in tandem with the MomTV pregnancy show I’ll be starting soon.
~ Sell an average of one ebook and one consultation time slot per month. (I’ve discovered I am really good at the consultations. Not good at sticking to 30 minutes. But great at brainstorming and helping people)
~ Write 5 articles per month for Suite101 – four in my topic and one in a different topic.
~ Help Untrained Housewife authors create a dozen ebooks to promote through the site by the end of the year. Two in progress right now.
~ Maintain homeschooling with my children – 4 days on and 4 days off in tandem with DH’s work schedule. Even through the summer
~ Have a baby in April! 😉
OK then – those are my goals. LOL! Notice there is nothing in there about housework. That could be bad. Someone tell me it would be ok to have the goal of earning enough money to hire a house cleaner to come in once a month and deep clean the house for me.
Genna – You’re right – there is a huge accountability factor that comes from writing your goals down. Even more of an accountability that comes from TELLING your goals to someone else. 🙂 I’m proud of you for announcing it to friends and family the way you did!
Wow, writing down my goals. That’s a tough one for me – I have a lot of them, but here goes (in random order):
Get rid of all the clutter in our house. If we don’t use it, it’s gone.
Start my own business. This is a hard one because there’s 2 or 3 different areas I would love to venture into, and I keep waffling between them.
Take up running. This is probably more of a ‘should’ than ‘want’ goal, although I really want to get the benefits that come out of it.
Plant a killer organic garden.
Speak in public at least once. I’m terrified of this but it’s something I really want to improve on.
Reduce the toxic chemicals that come into our home by making more of our own food, cleaning products and bath/beauty products.
That’s it. The top of the list is start my own business – I really want to do that!
My mind is always way too scattered to set any kind of goals. Looking back over the years, I see success but when I look ahead, I’m never sure of which way to go. I bet I would be more successful if I’d focus, but I want ten thousand different things in life and tons of travel. At this point, all I really want is a steady increase of money that comes from doing what I’m doing, which is the minimal commitment on all my web-writing ventures (but I don’t want to fall behind anymore) and occasionally I love expending extra energy into side-projects (when the passion strikes). Outside of my professional goals, I just want to keep improving as a wife & mom, I want patience, kindness, wisdom and peacefulness. As for the house, I want a housekeeper, too. So yeah- not much, and everything.
Ginny (MAD21) says
It’s interesting that you should include goals in your list (as it should be). For the last week I’ve been reading a lot of blog posts reflecting on 2009 and talking about goals for 2010. I had no intention of doing such a post on my blog, honestly, I just never really thought of it.
I’ve never been a person to set New Year’s resolutions, or write down general things I wanted to accomplish in a certain amount of time.
It’s funny actually, one would think I would write lists like that because I’m rather neurotic about planning things out. But really, it happens more after I’ve decided on something I want to accomplish.
For example. I was at my heaviest weight I’ve ever been after my second daughter was born. I looked awful, I felt awful, and life was just.. awful. So. I made a plan. Stuck to it, and lost 100 pounds. It’s been more than three years since I reached my goal, and I have to say, it’s just as hard to keep it off as it was to get it off. However, it’s why I have my current goals for how active I have to stay, and what foods I eat.
That’s kind of how I’ve always done things. I have to admit, I’m one of the lucky ones who is living the life she always wanted. (It wasn’t always this way, believe me.) Don’t get me wrong, life isn’t perfect, there is always something going on. But in general, it’s hard for me to dream about having something more, or different.
I think for my family, we don’t really set lofty goals. We are more process people. We enjoy the journey to get to the destination as much as the destination itself. When something comes up that we decide we want to do, we make plans on how to get there.
The problem with making big visionary goals is once you’ve achieved them, what do you do? Sometimes it’s as if what you have is never enough. We choose to live life as an ongoing process, as an ongoing story if you will. We plan things out along the way, yet we are enjoying where we are in the moment.
As for my blog, I have a general idea of where I want it to go, but honestly, I just pray everyday that God will lead me to make the right decisions for it’s direction. God has opened doors left and right since I started. I figure that if what I want for it is meant to happen, they will continue to open along the way. But in the mean time, I’m constantly pursuing new opportunities. I may not know how to get to the end result, but I’m going to keep walking. Some goals I have for the blog would be:
– to increase readers;
– create more dialog;
– provide more quality content in areas we aren’t covering;
– look into quality advertising so the site can pay for itself, but not look like a commercial site trying to sell people things; and as always
– provide opportunities for people to make a difference in the lives of others
I definitely agree that once you have decided on doing something (such as losing weight, or starting a business) that you should tell people about it, along with your plan on how to achieve it. I love the process of beginning new things and involving those around me in helping the dream to come true.
Oooh, accountability. I love it! I posted on things I’d like to do in 2010, but some were rather vague. I’ll have to go back and clarify so they are measurable. But I do have a few to mention that I haven’t mentioned yet:
-sell enough of my first ebook by April to cover the cost of putting it together
-increase readers and dialogue
-volunteer at women’s shelter teaching a music and movement class for moms and little ones
-travel to DC, NYC, Utah, and Seattle this summer
There are others, but I’ll have to thing about making them more specific. I’m looking forward to tomorrow’s focus on making a plan.
Thanks, Leslie, for your inspiration in going in the direction of my dreams!
@Noelle – business is fun but challenging! I would make a list of your interests and passions and work from there. Whatever it is that you decide to do, must be something that you still love after dissecting it to pieces.
@Ginny – I rarely make “new year’s resolutions” and tend to make action steps and plans as I go along. Each time I complete one project or get one thing going well, I am looking for the next step.
@Lisa – You are so successful in so many different areas I can’t help but thing that setting some specific goals would make a difference. 🙂 But otherwise – carry on! Lol!
@Amber – Tomorrow’s post will deal with planning so you’ll be able to help take a few of these goals and make some action steps to accomplish each.
Erica Mueller says
Gah. This is my first year to actually make resolutions. I’m generally a self-motivated person and if I say I’ll do something, I’ll do it. I just plan to live day by day without any big long-term goals. So, this year I’ve set a few and I’m using MindBloom plan and track my progress. I love the visual aids the site gives, and the fact that I can share it with others who have accounts means others can see it. (that’s motivation right there!)
I’ve always been a list person. Breaking tasks down into small, doable chunks helps to ensure that my goals are realistic and that I don’t get overwhelmed.
So excited about 2010!
Sara Sophia says
This is worded perfectly–I am a huge goal setter but really find myself failing in the follow-through. With placing my marks to reach so high, I usually throw in the towel when the next step isn’t automatically apparent. Its all about being concise and planning for ones own time constraints.
Thank you so much for such a well thought out post.
I just wanted to share something I came across today. If this doesn’t jog your what’s-my-dream Imagination, then I don’t know what will.
Well, am getting in a little late on this but still wanted to share my goals for the year –
Write 10 articles for Suite, 4 for UTH or Untrained Housewife, 4 for Hubpages
Blog post thrice
Take on limited private client work since focus is on residual income this year. I tend to say Yes to everyone and then, end up feeling swamped.
Take my blog – http//themomwrites.blogspot.com to PR 6 from a PR 4 and have at least 200 subscribers
Start a new blog. Take it to PR 3 before year-end.
Write an ebook on organizing and one on baby care.
Get into my pre-pregnancy clothes. In other words, shed 20 pounds!
Bake once a week (will not allow said 20 pounds to melt but can practice self-control:-))
Move to a better apartment building.
Then, there are the smaller goals of organizing home, making new friends, renewing old friendships as well as my personal Buddhism goals.
So, yeah, have my work cut out for me this year.
@Erica – I too am horrible at “resolutions” and tend to make new goals whenever I take on a new project. 🙂
@Sara I’m glad you found this post helpful! I love Leslie’s talks on MomTV and am often inspired by what she shares.
@Prerna – Your goals sound great! Very specific and details. Think about your “shed 20 pounds” and check out the Day 3 post. What will it take to “shed 20 pounds”. Drinking water instead of soda? Walking daily is a great start! Think about what other SMALL and realistic lifestyle changes will help you meet your goals.