Purposeful Goal Setting: A Guide to Setting & Achieving Goals
We hear a lot about the importance of goal setting. But many tend to discuss when they achieved their goal versus “how” they achieved their goal. I for one, am an asker (Ha, is this even a word?). I love getting ideas from individuals who have achieved a (similar) goal that I may be working towards or have plans to start. I think many people spend a lot of time thinking about what they want from life and how can they achieve it? But, many fail to create realistic purposeful goals.
A few of my goals have been random. You know, wake up and decide today I will start my loc journey (an example, but a very real-life experience for me). Once I started my loc journey, I then started thinking about the purpose of the journey to be sure I was all in (before my hair actually started to loc). There are things and people who will increase your motivation and inspire you. For me, my inspiration was my cousin Tameka. Over the years, I watched her locs turn into a masterpiece. So, I reached out to her for suggestions and sent her pictures during the initial phase of my locs.
Purposeful goals don’t have to be an astronomical masterpiece. Maybe you want to read or volunteer more. Maybe to increase productivity at work or home. Whatever your short term or long term goals are, give yourself permission to take steps to achieve your goals. If there is anything in your life right now that doesn’t bring you peace, make a commitment to change it. Whatever your goal is, you have the ability to create the life you want.
1. Create The Vision & Commit
What are you passionate about? What would you like to see achieved? How can you use your gifts? What matters most in your life (right now)?
You can apply those questions into many different aspects of your life. Family & Friends, Work, Home, Health & Wellness, Finances, Education, Spirituality, Personal, Recreation & Fun, Creativity.
Your goals should be about you! Something you want and not what others want from you. If you feel the need, definitely get some support from close family and friends. I personally, spoke with Chief two days ago as I am in the process of reevaluating my personal and professional goals. My goals make perfect sense to me, but I need to make sure they are aligned with my purpose. Therefore, I need Chief’s help for alignment purposes.
2. Self-Awareness Check-in
Acknowledge your feelings, desires and your current situation. Self-awareness requires complete honesty. When we have a better understanding of who we and our purpose, we feel empowered to make a change, build on on our strengths and make improvements within ourselves. Self-awareness requires complete honesty. In return, self-awareness helps create what you want and where you go in life. Write down where you are in life, specifically focusing on your identified goal.
3. Identify “A” Goal & Set A Timeline
Many people, including myself, make a Plan B. Why? We are basically telling ourselves that if Plan A doesn’t work out, I will move to the next. We should not be quick to give up on our goals. If you are dedicated and committed to achieving your goal, you are more likely to achieve it. You are more successful if your goal is centered around the SMART Goal strategy. I am not saying, “do not” have a Plan B. I am saying exhaust all resources and possibilities before you give up on your Plan A. Ask yourself, is this goal realistic for me to accomplish? Remember, progress not perfection.
4. Work It!
Work that goal! Now that you have the vision and a timeline, let’s focus on short-term goals. Your daily action plan for your goal will determine if you fail or succeed. You should work on your goal every day. Daily habits create a step closer to your goal.
What will it take for you to reach your goal? Working your goal means you may need assistance on the way. Identify the skills and tools you have. Then identify what you will need. Do you need a calendar (click here to sign up and get a free printable to get you started with your goals), workout equipment, a travel agent, a nanny, etc?
For example, my morning routine had been off schedule for the past few months (since becoming a foster parent). I literally needed time and that is something I no longer had. I do not have family and friends in my area to babysit or help. Therefore, I would squeeze in a few minutes here and there to get in “me time.” My morning workouts, became afternoon/evening walks with my young kiddo. I was able to squeeze in two workouts during the week, while she was at daycare.
Goal planning takes time and a lot of preparation and focus. Figure out what you need to accomplish your goals. And work it!
5. Track Your Progress. Reward. Reflect. Reevaluate. Revise. Repeat.
Goal setting does not always come easy. Goal setting requires a lot of trial and error. At some time you may even feel frustrated. Life happens and it is inevitable to avoid certain circumstance. Yes, circumstances can change or alter your goal, and that’s okay! That’s why it is important to track our progress. Give gratitude for your journey and acknowledge how far you have come.
Practice gratitude and reward yourself whenever you meet a goal, big or small. Take the time you need to appreciate where you are, the progress and effort you have made towards achieving your goal.
Life gives you the opportunity to learn. Use some time to reflect on your challenges and successes. Once you reflect and get an idea on things you can improve or things that worked, then reevaluate. Implement more of what worked and revise anything that does not contribute to achieving your goals.
Finally, repeat! Continue working towards your goal. Create more goals. Goal setting should become apart of your life.
Are you working towards a new goal? Have you recently achieved a goal? Please share them in the comments or email me.