First & foremost, I’m sure I can speak for everyone when I say 2020 was definitely a year to remember. Life may have thrown us many curveballs last year, but I believe the reason we’re still here is because of how we chose to handle them. It’s important to remember that everything we’ve been dealing with or going through didn’t magically go away now that it’s 2021. But there’s still good reason to reflect on the previous year and prepare to set and achieve new goals for yourself this year.
It’s like hitting the reset button and having scheduled reflection time to check-in with yourself. From 1-10, how do you feel overall about the past year? Past decade? What goals did you achieve? Or not yet achieve? What can you do differently this year and why? What are some things you can improve on? If you keep doing what you’re doing now, where will you be in 5 years? Be open and honest with yourself! It’s the only way you’ll reach your goals & dreams.
“A dream written down with a date becomes a GOAL. A goal broken down into steps becomes a PLAN. A plan backed by ACTION makes your dreams come true.” -Greg S. Reid
As I reflected throughout this past year, I decided to take a more feasible approach to my goal setting. Instead of the ordinary yearly goals that many of us tend to set for ourselves, I decided to try goal setting in 12 week increments. I got this idea from the book, “The 12 Week Year” by Brian Moran and Michael Lennington and I highly recommend this concept! In this post, I will dive into my strategy for planning out my goals in 12 week increments and I encourage you to follow along with me. I suggest keeping it to 2 to 3 goals max so that you don’t become overwhelmed. You will look at those goals each day, you will write them down on your mirror, in your journal, or do WHATEVER it takes to reach those goals. And you will NOT stop.
BRAINSTORM! You first must know exactly what, why, and how you plan to accomplish your goals. As you see to the left, I first listed the top 3 goals that I wanted to achieve in the next 12 weeks. (Which is also my “Why”) Then, I broke them down further with my “How’s.”
Key points to remember:
- Think S.M.A.R.T – your goals should be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, & Time bound. I’ll breakdown what that will look like in the next steps.
- Create a goal map (as seen below) with your when’s, why’s, & how’s for each goal.
- And most importantly, focus on the process of reaching each goal rather than the goal itself. After all, it’s your commitment to the process that determines your progress!
OUTLINE! There are so many creative ways for you to outline your goals. Develop one that fits your style best. And when in doubt, Pinterest! That’s where I got my outline idea, except it was handwritten. But with my handwriting being comparable to a little boy’s in the 3rd grade, I thought….Mmm ….better not.
3 components when outlining:
- The main goal/outcome. (Your “Why”)
- At least three focus areas under each goal. (Your “How”)
- The specific tasks you plan to do DAILY to achieve each of your main goals. (Your “What”)
CREATE A TIMETABLE! It’s easy to just come up with a list of goals you’d like to “one day” achieve. The real discipline comes when you put a time stamp on it. As I mentioned earlier, this isn’t a 6 month goal or a 1 year goal. You got 12 weeks. So let’s go!
But wait, how the heck do I create a timetable?
Well you can do this multiple ways but here’s what works for me…
1. Prioritize your task list for each goal. List them in the order that they will need to be completed so you can better schedule them into your day to day calendar.
2. Download the notion app. Trust me. I totally understand those people who find it hard to keep up with traditional planners. (Aka me. I am those people.) So ever since I found the notion app, it has made my life SO much easier. It can be utilized for work, your personal life, tracking your goals, literally any and everything!! You can utilize the variety of fonts, colors, template options, and your overall creativity to make it your own! Now with that being said, I also know how devastating it is to rely solely on technology and then wake up one morning to your notes, goals, plans,…..gone. No explanation, just gone. As wonderful and easily accessible as technology is, it’s always good to have a safety net with some good ol pen and paper. 😉 So whichever makes you more comfortable, the point is to just be writing everything down one way or another!
3. Carve out a specific time each day to work on each task and add it into your calendar. Incorporating it into your daily routine and putting a time stamp on it, helps keep it a priority and at the forefront of your mind every dang day! No pushing it off til later, no forgetting about it, NO excuses!
Now, as we look ahead to all 2021 may hold, we must remember that life is a marathon not a sprint. We just have to take it day by day and not overwhelm ourselves if we don’t accomplish each of our goals by the end of the 12 weeks. Just reflect, reset, and start again! That’s our motto! Remember, mindset is everything! Achieving your goals requires you to be in your best state mentally, physically, and spiritually. (You can read more on that here.) Although you won’t always be motivated, you HAVE to be disciplined. So lift your head high, get focused, and let’s do the dang thang! I know last year wasn’t what we thought it’d be but if we maintain hope in what could be, that’s where the magic happens. I’m here for you. I believe in you.