Now that you’ve taken the time to sit, think, reflect, and write out what was right, what was wrong, what was missing, and what was confused from this last year (check out the last post all about reflection) - you get to set some goals!
So here’s the part where I tell you that this is the process I used this year… it may or may not work for you, and that’s all good! There is no one right way to set your goals. Do what works for you! I’ll share what I’ve done this year, and if that gives you inspiration to try your own thing - awesome, or if it inspires you to do exactly what I’ve done - cool! Let’s set some goals and make this year great!
Now that we got that little PSA out of the way, let’s get back to the reflection exercise you did (if you haven’t done that yet, please go to the previous post and DO IT! It will help, I promise. Once I finished my reflection sheets/questions, I went back and looked at what I wrote. And I mean REALLY LOOKED at what I wrote, I took it all in, let it sink in, and allowed myself to feel all the feelings that came up from those lists. Now is the time for you to do that same thing - look at your lists, study them, feel the feelings, then we’ll move to the next step.
While reading through my reflection lists, I realized that there were common, recurring themes throughout. So as you look at your list, I suggest that you ask yourself this question: “Are there common themes or connections within each of the lists I have written?” Really look through while asking yourself that question and see what you notice.
I noticed that a lot of "what was right" had to do with spending time with family and friends. But, I also noticed that I felt that “what was missing” was intentional time with family and friends. So, it appears that time and connection with family and friends is really important to me, and I desire more of it.
Another theme I noticed is that idea generation and dreaming are other things that “were right” for me. But, I also said that “what was wrong” was that I was feeling burnt out. I also noticed on my “what was confused” list, I wrote “purpose, clarity, and a plan”. BOOM! Creating actions for idea generation, dreaming, and planning to bring those things to fruition is really important to me!
Basically, while looking over my reflections, and looking for common themes and/or connections, I was able to see what was important to me. This helped me to realize my priorities! When you know your priorities you can create goals that support your priorities, and actions that support the goals!
Stick with me here, as I break this down a bit more for you. Once you can recognize and list out your priorities, you can create goals surrounding those priorities. I’m talking big picture goals, an overarching goal, rather than a SMART goal or super specific goal like you may have been taught previously. Once you have the big picture goals, you break them into smaller goals and/or action steps to work towards that big picture goal. Let’s go through this process a bit using my examples from above.
My priority and big picture goal is connection and intentional time with friends and family. This is big picture, overarching, not super specific.
I broke this down into smaller goals/action plans:
Send birthday cards to family members, specifically nieces and nephews
Schedule monthly hang outs with friends
Monthly date nights with my husband
My priority and big picture goal is to take time to dream, generate ideas, and plan.
Broken down into smaller goals/action plans:
I will spend a minimum of 2 hours each week generating ideas and dreaming.
I will spend at least 1 hour taking steps toward making those ideas/dreams a reality.
Monday and Wednesday mornings are reserved for this time.
If you are a SMART goals person, you may be crawling in your skin right now. That’s ok! Go and make your SMART goals, it’s ok! I am NOT a SMART goals person. I feel like that is too restrictive, and can sometimes set you up for major disappointment and a feeling of failure. I believe goals are there to be a bit lofty, free, and fun! Then you set actionable plans (you can even call them actionable goals), to work towards your bigger, more lofty goals. Goal setting should be fun and exciting! Goal setting should not be something that you dread. Or even worse, your goals should not be something you look at and tell yourself they will never be accomplished because they are so specific and restrictive. If setting goals immediately brings out negative self talk - something is wrong! Repeat after me, “Goals are fun!”
Because this is so fun for me, I like to take it another step further. My next step in the process is to figure out what positive habits I need to create in order to make moves on the actionable goals that I’ve set, and therefore move towards what I believe success looks like in my big picture goals and priorities. If we put it in a flow chart it looks a bit like what I’ve written below. You then start at the end and work your way up! Flow chart to living my priorities and goals:
priorities/what’s important > goals > action plan/actionable goals > positive habits
We’ve gone through A TON of information here. And your brain may be spinning, or perhaps your brain is racing with excitement! So we’ll dive a bit deeper in the “positive habits” area next time. For now, go forth and figure out what’s important to you, your goals, and the actions you need to take to accomplish and/or move towards your goals.
I will be done nerding out about this for a bit, but I’m not done nerding out over you! Please share your goals, or what you discovered through this process so far? Or if you have questions, please email me - I’d love to chat!!
As always, I hope you know how beautiful, talented, worthy and amazing you are. Your priorities, goals, and plans are yours. They should be important and meaningful to you. You do not need other people's approval of your goals, dreams, or priorities. They are authentic and wonderful to you, and that’s what we are all reaching for, living a life as wildly ourselves.
Live Wildly beautiful friends! Xoxo - Chrystal