Goals. The word means something different to everyone. For some, it can mean finding a better job or finally starting that side hustle they’ve always wanted. For others, it can be saving enough money to retire early and travel the world.
But reaching your goals is usually easier than defining them. We all daydream about what life would be like “if only we had money or if we had a better job,” but creating a plan to reach our goals can be downright overwhelming. We might even start to tell ourselves all kinds of reasons why reaching our goals is just too hard.
Planning your life’s goals starts with you. Even if you have a pretty good idea of what you want to accomplish, it’s still better to have a concrete strategy to put your plan into action.
Stop Dreaming and Start Writing
Dreaming about the “what if’s” is different than having life goals. Where you see yourself in five or 10 years and is far different than how you plan on getting there. Regardless, the first step of reaching any goal is by putting pen to paper.
Find a place where you can be alone and think about what you really want to accomplish. Think about what’s really important to you, any ideas that’s you’ve been tossing around and what you struggle with the most. Write down everything that comes to mind, positive or negative.
Define Your Goals
Once you’ve written everything down, it’s time to narrow down the list. Start by identifying the things you can’t live without. It can be your friends, family or whatever else makes you happy.
Next, picture yourself “Get Life You Desire”. What does the end result look like? This plays a major role in your success. If you can’t picture what your life would look like after you reach your goals, look inside yourself to find out why. Not being able to envision success is a surefire way to never accomplish what you want.
Once you’ve written your goals on paper and identified ones that have an expiration date; i.e. age-related, financially driven or health wise, you can start planning. One of the best ways to make it happen is by working in reverse.
Think about the very last step you would take to accomplish your goal. What would that be? Once you identify it, you can then work backwards to create stepping stones. Each stepping stone needs to be something you can realistically achieve in the near future.
SMART Goal Planning
Similar to a marketing strategy, you need to set SMART goals for yourself. Identify your strengths, weaknesses, what’s realistic and achievable and any potential obstacles. Doing so will give you a sense of direction, clearer focus on what you need to do and help you determine the best ways to strengthen your weaknesses.
For instance, if you wanted to transform a side hustle into your full-time job, what would you need to do? You would need to ensure that you had enough money in the bank to leave your current position, that you had a solid portfolio of past work examples and a business plan, which clearly defined how you can make the transition.
Once you’ve written all your goals out and created a way to make the magic happen, you need to choose which ones you’re going to start with. Choose the ones you want to accomplish first and get moving. Remember those stepping stones we talked about? Use those as your guide and check off each step you successfully complete.
As you progress and continue to check off those stepping stones, tasks that once felt overwhelming will start to feel a little less challenging. You might even feel that you can do more, which will propel you even closer to reaching your goal.
It’s important to note that even when you’re feeling more confident, it’s better to focus on one goal at a time. Spreading yourself too thin and trying to accomplish at one time can lead to major setbacks.
The key is to channel your energy into reaching one goal at a time and using what you learned to then reach your next goal. Consider it as a learning process and take what you’ve learned from “life goals planner” reaching your first goal to not make the same errors while striving to reach your other goals.
Practice Patience and Gratitude
Reaching your goals is a process. As with most things in life, you need to be patient, understand that good things take time and know that your efforts aren’t for nothing. It’s easy to feel let down when things don’t go according to plan, however, if you have patience and practice being grateful, even for all the little successes, riding a rocky wave won’t seem impossible