Each year I start off with goal setting, brainstorming ideas for the upcoming year and thinking about how to make my dreams come true... anyone else? I'm a firm believer in goal setting and keeping your goals in front of your eyes every single day. So many people don't set goals and are surprised when nothing changes in their life, or they set goals in January and don't measure their progress or ever look at them again. I can't stand the thought of being complacent and not growing for an entire year, so I want to share my tried and true method of successful goal setting with you.
You've heard it before... goal setting has to be SMART!
Specific: Keep your goals specific! Vague goals produce vague results. Instead of saying "I will be successful," write down the ways you will be successful. Getting that promotion? Signing ten new clients?
Measurable: Make sure you can track your progress to achieving your goal. Don't just say "I will be debt free." Say "I will be debt free of $7,093.28." I doubt you'll remember everything in your head, so be sure to write your goals down and put them somewhere you will see them everyday! It's powerful to look back at journals from years past and see which goals you have achieved and how the Lord has provided blessings in your life.
Actionable: What are you going to DO to achieve your goal? Instead of "I will get in shape," say "I will get in shape by working out 5 times per week for 30 minutes."
Realistic: Dreaming big is great, but setting goals that are out of reach can be discouraging. Be sure to set a healthy mix of small and large goals to keep yourself motivated all year long. For example, if you have zero money saved, it's probably not realistic to set a goal to save $50,000 in one year. Instead, you could set a goal to save 10% of each paycheck this year.
Timely: Setting a deadline is an important part of goal setting. To avoid procrastination, be sure to include some short-term goals instead of having a deadline of December 31st for all of your goals.
Sometimes on the blog I share goals that are personal but I only share them 90% of the way...I leave out the really important ones that are scary and might not be achieved. Today I'm sharing two of my SMART goals that I wrote down in my journal because they are the ones that scare me; I know I need support to achieve them and my readers have been a constant source of support and encouragement to me for the last 3+ years (thank you!), so here goes!
1. Move to Paris (France, duh!). I have wanted to move to Paris for YEARS! I made plans with a friend that if we were still single, we were going to live in Paris for a year. Well, that friend probably won't be able to move to Paris now and I have a serious boyfriend so the timeframe has changed a bit, but the desire to be in Paris for an extended period of time hasn't. I think moving to Paris for one month is completely doable if I arrange my event calendar accordingly and manage my consulting clients via email, which is realistic. I just have to pick the time! What do you think? Maybe I'll be having Dallas Blogger Brunch at a cafe in Paris soon... If you know someone in Paris, let's talk!
2. Buy a new car. This is a very normal thing that normal people do everyday, BUT when you realize how expensive health insurance is now that you're self-employed and your other huge goal is to move out of the country temporarily, it gets complicated. I'm scared to take the plunge, but it is definitely time!
Take a look at your personal goals or resolutions and make sure they are SMART. What are your goals for 2017?