This is one of my favorite times of year. It is so full of hopes and dreams. The ending of an old year and starting of a new one comes with a clean slate. A new year is a giant reset button!
New habits are difficult to set in place, but easier if you take baby steps. People often put too huge of goals out there. They do not take care to break them down in bite size pieces. Then they take an all or nothing approach. The first slip up they think, "what's the use?" Hence, few goals make it through January much less, a week. So, how do you overcome this? Why, of course, reverse engineer your goals.
- Get a large desk calendar
- Several Colors of Sticky Notes
- Composition Book or Journal
A Dozen Steps to Make and Reach Your Goals
1. Brainstorm Target Goals
Brain storm your Target Goals. A Target Goal is your main destination. Get crystal clear on why the goal is important. Imagine your life after achieving your goal. Write down why you want to acheive the goal and why you do not want to stay the same.
2. Cluster Stepping Stone Goals
Cluster-think mini Stepping Stone Goals to help you accomplish the big goal. What new habits will help you acheive your goals? What mini goals can you set as stepping stones to your end goals?
3. Blockout Special Dates
Block out birthdays, anniversaries, and other special dates. On a macro level, honor these special times in your life by planning time for loved ones and self. On a micro level, block out time during the day for devotions, meals, and exercise.
4. Keep it Simple
Set only a few Target Goals. Keep it simple. Be clear. Be specific. If you want to loose weight, how much? If you want to get out of debt, how much? If you want to build a nest egg, how much?
5. Set Realistic Deadlines
Set a reasonable deadline for each goal. If you work at a reasonable pace, how long will it take to reach your goal? If weight loss is your goal, you will need to form new life style habits. Otherwise, when you reach your goal and revert to old habits, you will return to the state you are trying to get out of. The same for getting out of debt or building a nest egg.
6. Make Sticky Note Deadlines for Target Goals
Stick a Sticky Note on each deadline. Why use Sticky Notes? It is easier to plan and to move deadlines around in the planning stage than penciling and eracing as you reverse engineer your calendar.
7. Set Stepping Stone Goals
Set mini Stepping Stone Goals to get you to your destination. These mini-goals are the results of new habits. What new habits do you need so you can acheive each mini-goal? Break down your big goals into 10% mini-goals. Lets say your major goal is to loose 50 lbs. A mini-goal is to loose 5 lbs. This is a doable goal. The same with debt or savings.
8. Set Sticky Note Deadlines for Stepping Stone Goals
Set a realistic Sticky Note deadline for each mini-goal! Place a Sticky Note on the mini-deadline date on the calendar.
9. Journal the Journey
Keep a journal. Bullet Journal your journey. Have both bullets to check off and space for daily feedback on what is working, what isn't, lessons learned, and adjustments to be made. List your victories each day!
10. Use the Buddy System
Find a buddy or a friend to report to and help encourage you. But do not talk about your goals to family, friends, and, on the internet. The brain has a way of checking it off as accomplished the more you talk about your goal.
11. Get Back Up
If life happens and it will, don't give up! If illness, injury, or overwhelm take hold, review the steps above, get up, brush yourself off and know that getting back on the path is a choice. Choose it! You can do this! Restart where you are.
12. Celebrate Victories!
Celebrate the reaching of every Stepping Stone Goal. Every Stepping Stone Goal acheived represents a milestone or mile post you have passed. You are 10% closer to your Target Goal! You can share your Victories. Rejoice in those victories. Enjoy the Journey!
As you do these dozen steps, you will find goals become reachable.
What ways have worked for you in acheiving your goals?