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When you think about past goals you’ve set, you might start thinking about how you’ve failed. Maybe you didn’t lose the weight, get the job, or pay off that debt. Maybe you started out strong but lost steam somewhere along the line. Life happened. You didn’t have a good support system. Things just got too hard. No matter the reason, it’s time to forget all that and start looking forward. You can’t change what did or didn’t happen in the past, but you can change what happens moving forward. So grab your pen and paper and learn how to write goals that you can actually accomplish!
Step 1: Dream Big
One reason we struggle to meet goals is that they don’t actually get us where we want to go in life. So often we set goals based on what someone else tells us we should want, or we have a short term mindset that doesn’t help us see the big picture.
If you want to accomplish something valuable, if you want to live a meaningful life, if you want to find unimaginable satisfaction, joy, and contentment, you have to dream big. Don’t limit yourself based on someone else’s standards or on a superficial list of things you’re supposed to want.
Picture what you want your life to look like in five years, ten years, 20 years. What kind of legacy do you want to leave when your life is over? What are your grandest, most seemingly unreachable dreams? Nothing is too crazy. Nothing is out of the realm of possibility.
Write it all down. Every dream, every hope, every aspiration. Get it all on paper and don’t ever forget it.
If you need help getting started, try thinking about what you’d like to accomplish in each of these areas, but don’t feel limited by this list. The sky is the limit! (Follow the links for some inspiration to get you started!)
Step 2: Break It Down
So now that you’ve got all your big dreams down on paper, it’s time to start breaking them down. As the saying goes, you eat an elephant one bite at a time. Take a look at the things you wrote down. What are the top three that you’d like to begin working towards this year? That’s where we’ll start.
- This year: What do you need to accomplish in order to meet your big goal? Where do you need to start? What steps can you take this year to move closer to where you want to be?
- This month: Now let’s go a step further. What can you do this month to help you reach your yearly goal?
- This week: Finally, let’s make an actionable plan for the coming week. What can you realistically accomplish that will get you one step closer to your ultimate goal?
With this step, it’s important to get specific. Don’t just say you want to write. Decide on a number of words or pages you intend to complete. Instead of saying you’re going to exercise, specify a type and amount of exercise. The more detail you can give to your goals, the easier it will be to know when you’ve accomplished them – and that will get you motivated to keep moving forward!
Step 3: Set A Deadline
The final step to accomplishing your biggest dreams is to set a deadline. It’s one thing to say, “someday I’ll be debt free and live in a big house on the beach.” It’s entirely different when you set specific, time-bound goals in order to achieve those “someday” dreams!
The biggest difference between dreamers and achievers is action.
If you’re like me, deadlines are a major motivator. Knowing that you are expected to accomplish specific tasks by a certain date and time really makes it hard to push it off another day.
To give yourself even more incentive to stick with your goals and deadlines, enlist a few accountability partners to keep you honest. Let them know what you’re trying to accomplish and make a plan to check in with them at least once a week. Be sure to choose people who aren’t afraid to give you a kick in the butt when you need it. Now is not the time to rely on your “yes-man” friends. You need someone who will tell it to you straight and won’t let you off the hook with excuses!
It is possible to learn how to write goals that will help you live the life of your dreams, you just have to be willing to take little steps that will lead to big change. Dream big and don’t limit yourself, break it into manageable yearly, monthly, and weekly tasks, give yourself a deadline, and stay accountable. I believe in you. I believe you can set amazing goals and CRUSH them. Momma, you got this. You are worth it and you have what it takes to change your life for good!