We all have goals, both personal and professional. Many of us even have similar goals such as finding a partner, starting a family, purchasing a house or making a shift in our careers. But it’s all too easy to find yourself working towards goals that don’t align with what you really want out of life. Often, it’s because you’re thinking not about what you want but about what your partners, parents or peers expect or what you think they would approve of. Other times, you end up working towards a goal that isn’t right for you, such as a career path that doesn’t suit you, and you may not even realize it until you find yourself in an untenable situation.
So, how can you make sure that your goals actually line up with what you want out of life? You’ll need to spend some time getting to know yourself, if you haven’t already, and employ some careful thinking about what excites and challenges you and where you want to be in one, three, five or 10 years. Each goal you set should move you toward that place, whether it be personally or professionally.
One reason many people find it difficult to set goals that align with what they want out of life is that they don’t know themselves as well as they think they do. Put some thought into who you are – crystallize your values, beliefs, temperament, interests, strengths and weaknesses and even your daily biorhythms. The better you know yourself, the better equipped you’ll be to set goals that can bring you more of the happiness and fulfillment you crave.
A big part of this is thinking about what excites and challenges you. For example, let’s say you’re interested in revamping your career and want to set some professional goals for yourself. You need to know what kind of work really interests you because that’s the work you’re going to be motivated to pursue and able to enjoy over the long term. If you enjoy traveling to exotic locales, spending time outdoors, and digging deep into history, perhaps you’d be happy as an archeologist – but probably not so happy as an accountant.
Once you know what kind of work makes you excited to wake up and get started in the morning, you’ll be able to take steps toward making that career happen. Perhaps you’ve had some experience in the business world and feel inspired to become a better leader, so you decide to enroll in an online MBA program. This goal aligns well with what you want out of life: to grow as a leader.
Envision the Future
When you think about who and where you want to be in few years, what comes to mind? If you don’t know where you’re going, you could end up anywhere, so sitting down and visualizing the future you want for yourself is crucial to setting goals that will contribute to your happiness.
Think about what you want to achieve over the next decade of your life. Who do you want to be in 10 years’ time? Where do you want to be professionally in a decade? Once you’re able to visualize that, write down 50 goals that you have for yourself for that period of time. Don’t worry, I’m not going to ask you to try to accomplish all of them; you’re a human being, not a goal-achieving machine. What you should instead do is split that list up into four types of goals: those to achieve within the next year, those to achieve within the next three years, those to achieve within the next five years and those to achieve within the next 10 years.
Now that you have divided the list, prioritize the goals in each category. Think about the four most important goals for the next year, the next three years and so on. At the end of this process, you should have 16 important goals for the next 10 years, and you will be able to start thinking about how you’ll approach each goal. Break each goal into shorter tasks and give yourself deadlines for accomplishing them. Hold yourself accountable to your goals to find success.
Setting goals that align with what you want out of life is one of the best ways to find real, lasting happiness. Know who you are, what excites you and where you want to go in your personal and professional life, and figuring out how to get there will be the easy part.
Tiffany is a leader in content, she prides herself in her ability to create and provide high quality content that audiences find valuable. She also enjoys connecting with other bloggers and collaborating for exclusive content in various niches. With many years of experience, Tiffany has found herself more passionate than ever to continue developing content and relationship across multiple platforms and audiences.
With the festivities over, you feel rested and recharged and ready for the year ahead, pen in hand and a blank piece of paper you sit pondering what goals you should be striving for in 2016. It can seem quite daunting … what should they look like, how do you plan for them and why should you even have them?
Setting goals gives you focus, it ensures your actions are aligned to achieve the outcome you want whether it be for personal or for business. Having goals gives you purpose, it gives you direction and it ensures greater productivity. A goal is something you want to achieve, it is something you wouldn’t necessarily accomplish if you didn’t plan for it. Most importantly, goals need to be specific, measurable and actionable.
Procrastination is our worst enemy, it happens to the best of us, and it happens when we haven’t got clearly defined goals and strategies in place. When we identify what we want to accomplish and commit to it, we align our conscious with our subconscious and are on the path to achieving results.
3 step plan to getting started:
1. Write each goal down
Writing your goals down creates a feeling of commitment and becomes a constant reminder of something you need to accomplish, it enables you to hold yourself accountable.
2. Start small
Writing your goals down allows you to analyze how realistic your expectations are. Don’t set unrealistic goals that you are unlikely to accomplish, start with smaller achievable tasks that create momentum to work toward your ideal. If you set tasks that are too difficult to achieve you are setting yourself up to fail.
3. Share your goals
Telling people what you have planned makes you commit to it even more because it’s no longer just a passing thought or a dream, it becomes real as other people expect to see change and therefore also hold you accountable. Just remember, new year resolutions are all about self improvement; along with the goals you set yourself enter the new year with an optimistic outlook and a positive mindset. Be grateful, gracious and appreciate who you are and what you are capable of.
Susan Stevens is the founder of New Zealand-based Meme & Co, a jewelry and accessories company with an innovative, woman-centered business model. She has over 18 years experience in sales, marketing and advertising, she climbed the corporate ladder and was committed to her career but her priorities changed when she had her children. Life became a struggle, trying to find a balance between wanting to retain her worth and independence in the workforce without compromising her ability to be a present and attentive mother.
Then, Susan made a terrifying leap – leaving a six figure income to no job and a big mortgage. With a very strong resolve never to go back to the corporate world, and through commitment, perseverance and a passion to succeed, she found as one door closed other doors opened. It was this journey that gave her the motivation and the drive to create an opportunity for other women who want to be in control, who value their independence, who want to be empowered. Her drive to keep a balance between work and family life ultimately resulted in `taking a leap’ into the unknown and embarking on a personal journey of self reflection, new challenges and growth.
Meet Susan here… www.memeandco.com, and on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest or Instagram
Every month, we create new FREE goal-setting calendars for our community… and we’ll be adding in new freebies and fun life and career-planning tools soon!
You can print your calendar or fill it in and save it online… but use it for your goals, not your appointments. This calendar is a place for you to write down your plans for the month and what you will achieve with deadlines.
Check it every day or on a Sunday before your week starts to make sure everything is on track, and that you are working toward the goals you set out earlier in the month!
Download your own She Is Fierce! Goal-setting Calendar here:
As a Fierce Woman, you’re probably no stranger to working on a meaningful goal or two at any given time. You also know the importance of staying motivated and working hard until you cross the finish line. However, even with a belly full of fire it can take a lot longer to reach them than we’d like. I love accomplishing goals and the quicker I do, the sooner I can stretch myself further by creating new ones. This is where my secret to momentum comes into play.
Let me be clear, I’m not saying the journey towards completing our goals has no value. The twists and turns along the way are always teaching us something and provide even more opportunities for growth. Never discount your journey but be fully aware of how long you’ve been on the same one. Before I let you in on the secret, grab your pen and answer the following questions with complete honesty.
- My goals are…
- I feel my progress towards these goals are at a reasonable pace…
- I’m frustrated with how long I’ve been working on these same goals…
- I’ve quit goals due to the amount of time passed without reaching them…
- I’ve achieved many things and have grown a lot in the last year…
I hope what you wrote down felt good to see on paper and you are proud of your progress. If not, I invite you to challenge yourself and use the following secret to gain momentum:
Protect your path!
If you protect your path, you’ll arrive at the desired destination much faster. Your path includes your actions, behaviors, and the environment in which you live. Without a deliberate effort to protect your path, it might take so long to reach your goals that you never do.
Two Ways to Protect Your Path
1. Keep detours to a minimum!
It’s going to take a lot longer to realize your dreams if you keep taking detours. Those detours are called your distractions. We all have them and they’ll pull us from our path quickly and easily if we’re not careful. Advances in technology have given us many great things but they’ve also weighed us down in distractions. Just think of how many detours are held in the palm of your hand when you reach for your cell phone or tablet. Be aware of your detours so you can make less of them.
2. Clean up the litter!
Litter on your path can take many different forms. Sometimes, we act as the litterbugs by engaging in negative self-talk or by repeating behaviors that sabotage our progress. Sometimes, it’s other people who are throwing the litter by being unsupportive and doing things to undermine our efforts. Love yourself too much to be the one throwing the litter and love those around you who are throwing it too. In most cases, you’ll meet people who feel threatened by your growth and positive changes. Enforce your boundaries with love and never take someone else’s trash personally.
I will not tell you protecting your path is easy but I will tell you it is possible.
Practice these two tips and start protecting your path a little more each day. By doing so, you will experience more momentum and find yourself reaching those goals faster.
Hastie is a writer, speaker and creator of CenterStage! Her program teaches women how to step out from behind the curtains of their limiting beliefs and into their power. She believes women need to discover who they really are in order to live a more meaningful life.
The former pro-figure competitor used to be shy and hid under baggy clothes while working out. After witnessing a woman at her gym exercising with the lights off, she wrote 10 Steps to Become a More Confident Woman in the Gym, which you can download for free on her website. Hastie can be found in Pittsburgh, PA asking every new person she meets who has the best pizza in town. She is super organized and loves colored office supplies.
Meet Hastie at www.Hastie.guru, on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, YouTube or The No Fear Zone Radio Show on WPHT 1210-AM (CBS)