Every year we all talk about setting goals or changing things for the better. For some it’s becoming healthy, for others it’s finding a new job. Regardless of the specific goal, people tend to chart a new path and it generally starts around the new year!
Well, guess what’s coming up? Yup, the new year!
While you’re making your NYE plans, trying to find a sitter, scoping out flights, and trying to be all fancy… consider planning a structured, well thought out set of S.M.A.R.T. goals for 2019.
My 2019 goals have been in the works since about May 2018! I took on a wife and shit got real… I have no choice but to execute and move my family forward. Part of that for our household revolves around planning for emergencies and/or unforeseen events…. Yep, death, dismemberment, disability, the works! Sorry to be morbid, but life is NOT guaranteed. I had to step my game up with my financial guy, buy insurance, take a hard look at my Retirement Savings Accounts and get them managed. Adulting is tough, but in order to achieve my 2019 goals (really, just in order to even begin them) I had to get to work months in advance. But this isn’t about me or what I’m doing. This post is about helping you!
I have four simple questions that will help you begin your goal setting…. Read on!
Where do I want to be this time next year?
Where have I been [in terms of past goal setting]?
What is necessary for me to get there [habits]?
How do I start [on your mark, get set….]?
Goal setting is not the easiest, contrary to popular belief… at least not when it’s done right. One of the hardest things I do quarterly at work is to set attainable goals, set deliverables to help reach those goals, and create metrics by which to measure my progress [often]!
You can do the same. Let’s dive into the guiding questions:
The first question requires you to look one year into the future and project a lifestyle or condition in which you want to be. This means that you have to cut the shit and really be reasonable with yourself. If you are single now, then perhaps it is farfetched to be happily married with a child on the way by then. Set a challenging, but attainable goal. Work your ass off to reach that goal, if for no other reason than to start developing good habits (see point 3).
The next question tackles your ability to be honest with yourself. We all see ourselves in the best possible light. That is a natural phenomenon. But if we are honest with ourselves with respect to behaviors/habits, choices, discipline etc., we might see that we tend to get in our own way. I’m not here to preach… I’m here to open your eyes to being honest about setting goals and help you avoid giving up quickly. Evaluate the goal! Evaluate your mental/physical toughness! Evaluate the plan (or lack thereof) that led to success or failure of past goals. Take away optionality and force future goals down the path of success. Be honest and go get it!
My third tip involves something that I’ve only mentioned once so far…. Habits!
Fine, you got me! Habits are very important and very powerful, which is why it has shown up in nearly every paragraph. Actions that are habit forming are like a double-edged sword. The right actions will have you singing praises about your new habits! Hello #humblebrag. I want to be direct with you, so forgive my fatherly tone. Go understand the obstacles and eliminate them… NOW! It’s a mental game. This means something different for each person. For me it was laziness and the weather 😊. I can’t take cold in the morning and would stay in bed until the last possible second. Mental games I tell you!
Last but not least is the START!
Oh, was there something profound or enlightening that you were waiting for?
Nah, this is the last sentence… go ahead and start after the punctuation mark!