How do you feel about goal setting? I’ve always been the kind of person who sets goals. I would set my sights on something I wanted to achieve and I would keep going until I got there. I have always jumped on goal setting guides, courses, books, etc. And I think this year I’ve landed on my favorite goal setting system yet.
In 2022, I felt like I set goals without really considering how to achieve them and then when I didn’t hit all of them I felt like a huge failure. I barely gave myself grace for not hitting all of my goals without even considering everything I did outside of my business including leaving my full-time job in higher education (a job I thought would be my whole career), a cross-country move back to my hometown, watching my daughter full time, and struggling with my mental health through it all. Last year, I saw a TikTok from @erinljones95, where she put her goals into a bingo card, and if you know anything about my background in Student Engagement, gamification is everything to make boring tasks exciting. I made a guide on setting purposeful goals and creating an action plan for the year (Grab the updated version here! 🙂).
But… I still craved something more. I wanted to focus on hitting goals. I felt like I had to make all of my goals measurable. But some of mine feel more abstract or are improving an overarching area of my life. I took time to dig into various goal setting methods and resources. Today I am sharing my favorite resources, top tips, and sharing my system for setting goals and planning my year.
A couple months ago, I participated in a workshop and one of the activities was a meditation where you met with You from 4 times in the future (3 months, 6 months, 9 months, and 1 year) to see what insights the Future Yous can offer, what they have achieved, and what they are doing to be in that position. This meditation helped me to see where I really wanted to go and what was really important to me. Pull out a blank sheet of paper, a fresh notebook, or start a new page in Notion, it’s time to set your goals!
Start your goal setting off with writing on a page “I will…” statements. These statements should claim where you want to be, but making present tense helps your brain to see your goals as achievable and happening now. Include items that are bound to happen regardless of whether you achieve your goals or not. For example how old you will turn, any trips you have planned, or anything else.
Go wild! This is a place where dreams come true, but only if you believe in yourself.
Take these statements and look for themes across the categories for your life. The categories I chose to focus on were Community, Family, Faith, Creativity/Design, Business, Personal Development/Learning, Health and Wellness, and Finances. Choose however many categories to focus on that relate to your goals for the year.
This year, I have set a combination of goals. I have specific and measurable goals, but I also have abstract overarching goals. I came across Andrea Casanova’s Vision Board Mini Course on TikTok. And I am absolutely freaking obsessed with her system for creating a vision board. It’s getting added to my annual planning from here on out. I love how the journaling (or however you choose to do the pre-work) flowed and my brain really clicked with her system. I don’t want to give anything way, but if you are in need of a great system for creating a vision board, go check out her course!
Now its time to set your goals! You can use any combination of affirmations, overarching categorical,or specific measurable goals. I did affirmations for each category, made a broad overarching category goal, and then I set specific goals within each category.
Give yourself permission to think big and grace to not achieve all of your goals. Remember that it is okay to edit your goals throughout the year (I actually encourage you to revisit them once a quarter or season!). You wants, needs, and desires will change and its okay to change your goals without feeling like a failure. No need to work towards things that don’t serve you in this season.
In my Goals on Purpose Workbook, I create a bingo card with 24 goals and a free spot. But there are ways to make this your own! Check off the free spot on your birthday, give it to yourself for getting to another year, or surviving the holiday season. I will also be making an additional change and making a bingo card for every month and the whole year!
Now that you have a vision and your goals, it’s time to create a system that helps you remember your goals and make sure you are making progress towards achieving them. Some of my favorite tools outside of the ones I already mentioned are Powersheets and a good planner (the Laurel Denise Horizontal Planner is my go to!) Make your goal setting your own with stickers, fun pens, and your creativity!
In the Goals on Purpose Workbook, I walk you through creating action plans for each of your goals and setting a date to check in on your progress. Set specific tasks that help you move toward accomplishing your goals that are achievable within that time frame. These are specific tasks you need to do or even rhythms, routines, and rituals.
One thing that has helped me tremendously has been setting “appointments” with specific dates and times I do a task. By scheduling something into a calendar I don’t have to find time to fit it in or remember to do the task. It also reduces decision fatigue when I set them up in a monthly planning meeting and do some initial planning.
My biggest piece of advice is to not spend so much time planning and just do the things. Knock things off your list even if it doesn’t align with your plan. You’ve got a ton of energy one, do some of the things your aren’t prepared to do or do them before the ‘plan’ says you should do them. You go so much farther by doing than by planning to do the things.
Sign up for my email newsletter and receive a copy of my Goals on Purpose Workbook. Feel free to reach out if you have any questions or want some assistance on setting up your goals for the year (or quarter or month!).
What systems do you use for goal setting and planning for the year? What goals do you have for 2024? I’d love to hear! Drop me a comment below or send an email!
Happy Goal Setting!
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