Let's talk goal planning!
The new year is officially HERE, and even if you're not already in the full swing of things quite yet, I'm going to help you get there with a few simple goal planning strategies to help define, align, and follow through with your goals this year.
My love of planners is no coincidence — I've been a list making, paper loving, type a planner since childhood. And as part of the 2018 Refresh Weekly Planner, I've incorporated my favorite, simple method for creating and aligning your goals with your life right in the planner.
This strategy is broken down into three basic steps:
1. Identify upcoming life events.
2. Align your goals.
3. Go DO.
1. Identify Upcoming Life Events
Before listing out any goals or resolutions you have for the year, take a few minutes to think through the next twelve months and write down all of the things on your anticipated life agenda.
I say "anticipated," of course, because life can take a turn in an instant. But starting by identifying what you know will help plan and align your goals for the year.
For me, my husband and I have a few personal endeavors, such as moving cities and into a new rental house, that are on the big picture plan for this year. In addition, I'm working through a few major changes in my business that will correlate to my biz-specific goals for the year.
Maybe you'll just be starting a business, pursuing that new hobby (finally!), taking a big trip, planning a wedding — whatever is already on your radar for 2018, write it down.
2. Align Your Goals
Thinking back on that list you just made, what are some goals that you'd like to work toward either in addition to or alongside the big life events you're already aware of?
For instance, since we're moving into a house this year, one of my big goals is to set up and style my new office, including an efficient inventory storage and packaging station.
Planning a wedding? Maybe you have a fitness or stress-related goal that will improve your overall health but also be a positive influence leading up to your wedding day. When setting your goals, think of WHY you want to achieve that thing. If you want to start a trendy new hobby or a business just because everyone else is doing it — that won't necessarily be a strong enough reason to keep your drive and help you see it through.
One way to identify your goals with a little more clarity is to think of what you want life to look like a year from now. Write it down, make a mood board, or create some kind of visual inspiration to help you see and understand what this lifestyle looks like. Use that visualization as your guidepost for crafting your goals for the year.
Note: I recommend keeping your "goal" list short; I tend to keep mine at three major goals for the year and build smaller, layered goals and action steps into my process that contribute to the bigger picture.
3. Go DO
The final step is sometimes the hardest: go DO. In the 2018 Refresh Weekly Planner, I give you space to break each goal out by quarter into actionable steps that are smaller and more attainable. When you can see the process by breaking it down, you're more motivated and inspired to move forward on your big picture goals.
Going back to my example of designing and styling my future office, in Q1, I'm focusing on doing research online to find small space and storage solutions, packing table inspiration, and style inspiration to start creating a very clear vision of what I want my office to look like and how I want it to function.
Don't stop by writing down your goals and action steps and then tucking them away for weeks at a time. Write them down on a post-it note and keep it posted in your workspace, on your bathroom mirror, on your way out the door — anywhere you'll be likely to see this note throughout your day. By keeping it nearby and easily accessible, you're keeping your goals top of mind and creating positive momentum around the things you're working towards.