What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goal /// Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
In a famous study (here), only 3% of Harvard University MBA students set goals and wrote them down. While 13% of students in the study had goals that weren’t written down, 84% did not have goals at all. Ten years later the 13% that had goals earned two times the amount of the 84% without goals. And the 3% with goals that were written down earned ten times as much as all other students in the study combined.
Goals aren’t just about earning potential.
I know it was just New Year’s Day, and everyone was going crazy making lists of resolutions. Most resolutions don’t make it past the end of January. I can already see the early morning gym population that was driving me crazy starting to dwindle, and we are only in the third week of the new year.
I don’t believe in just setting random goals. I like to make my goal setting a process…an ongoing process that I review every month, every week, and every day.
Think about your life. We all have different areas of our lives. The important thing is to be balanced! I have found in that past that if I tend to concentrate my goals on one area of my life, then other areas start to slide. If I concentrate on my work life, my financial life may do well, but my family life may suffer. If I concentrate too much on my social life, my business suffers.
Legendary Zig Ziglar taught about the Wheel of Life, which focused on the 7 areas a person should concentrate on and maintain. When you do this the result will be a balanced life, sustainable, and successful life in all areas. Those areas include:
I have seen some people split their lives in to eight life categories: health, relationships, finance, career, personal/ spiritual development, recreation/play, environment, and service/contribution.It is going to be different for everyone. You decide what is right for you.
For me, I split my life up in to:
- Mind and spirit
- One Dollar Cottage
- The Pink Drink Cottage
You can even use a mind map, like this free one from Life Your Way. Put yourself in the middle, and visualize all of the different areas of your life.
Step 2: Dream
In each area of your life, before you create goals, create a dream. That is to say, write down what you believe in (your values) and what you want for your future. For each area of your life, write down what you want you want your life to be. Make a dream/vision board, if you need pictures to help you.
Step 3: Create goals
Now you are ready to set goals. A goal is a dream with a deadline. Goals should be measurable, time-bound, and in writing. Goals can be long-term goals (over one year) or short-term goals (less than one year).
So now that I have the areas of my life in a list, I can write them all down. I love this “Become a Better You” worksheet from The Project Girl.
This is a rough draft of my January 2015 goal sheet. I know it isn’t pretty, I am just keeping it real.
Step 4: Make a plan
Implement your goals by taking action.
It is awesome that you came up with all of these goals, but if you don’t put them on your calendar, they are no good.
Put the deadlines on there. Put the things you need to do every day or once a week on there.
If your goal is to go to the gym three times a week, schedule it.
I love my Plum Paper Family Planner, because you can divide each day in to 7 sections. Mine are:
- Appointments (I also put my workouts here)
- Home tasks (I put cleaning tasks and errands here)
- Business tasks
- One Dollar Cottage
- The Pink Drink Cottage
- Supper menu
Another way to schedule is to make a checklist. My Plum Paper Planner has checklists included in each month, so I can use these, or you can print one out.
I like this great one from My Love For Words. If your goal is to make your bed every day, or to remember to take a picture for your Instagram challenge, you can enter it on this worksheet and check it off every day!
Step 5: Review
I will be covering my Weekly Review process in a later post, but it is a very important part of my goal setting process.
Notice at the top of my “Become a Better You” sheet that I have “January 2015” written there. I revise these every month. As part of my Weekly Review session, on the last Sunday of the month I go over this sheet and make changes. Maybe things have changed in my life. Maybe I don’t think that 10,000 steps a day is enough, or that I need to be drinking more than 64 oz. of water a day. Maybe I met a goal deadline. This sheet is not set in stone.
The areas of my life have pretty much stayed the same for a while, but my goals are always changing.
- Make a list
- Create goals
- Make a plan