We are full swing into “goal season” as I like to call it. The new year always brings a sense of reflection on past, present, and future aspirations. For 2020, I am bringing an exercise to you that I found useful in setting goals (remember I mentioned this in Getting Out of the Holiday Slump).
Six Areas of Life
For the first portion of this exercise, we are going to focus on six areas of your life: relationships, money, travel, self, career, and education. First, sit down and think about each of these areas and what you would like to improve, change, or have in these areas over the next year. Don’t forget, this is a fantasy assignment! Feel free to be exaggerated with your imagination and what you write.
Think on each area for a moment and then record all of your ideas. Write as many as you can under each category. Don’t worry about whether you can or cannot do the things that come to mind, or what it would take for you to accomplish these goals (this is hard for me as a realist). Make sure you have at least one goal under each category before you move on to the next step.
If you are anything like me, this exercise probably has your brain doing circles. I am not the best at unrealistic goals or aspirations, but what I learned is that this could actually be fun! I was able to say within this year I would purchase and operate a farm (yea right!), and that I would like to get my doctorate this year when that isn’t even possible!
Determining your Goal
Now, here comes the fun part! Read over your list and pick one thing- seriously, just one- from each category that resonates with you the most. The thing you want the most, that excites you. Again, don’t limit yourself. Don’t worry about what it would take to accomplish these things. It’s about what feels good. Mark each of the items you chose by circling them.
Establishing a Timeline
After you have established your goals, it is time to write them down. This step is so important for me, because there is something about writing down a goal that makes me feel accountable (I can’t be the only one, right?)! So, grab a piece of clean paper, and at the top write today’s day, one year in the future. Then title it [Your Name]’s 2020 Goals.
Underneath the title write “I am proud that I have accomplished all of these things.” Now add in your selected action items from above and write them in present tense. Write “I have” or “I am doing” instead of “I want” or “I wish.” This leaves out the question of whether or not you will accomplish your goals, but instead saying you will reach them!
I don’t know about you, but this goal exercise really got me thinking about the potential for this year. Hopefully this fun experience had your wheels turning as much as mine were, and we can crush this year together!