Every year in the month of October I honker down and think of goals for the next year. This year, I have been so busy trying to meet my goals set last year that I have not written one goal or had the opportunity to ponder what will be next. Today is November 1st and I can honestly say I am not worried about this and I am not scrambling because I did not meet a goal deadline. The reason I am not worried is that because I am organically living my life, the goals I set last year and even unmet goals from the year before are unfolding now with little to no effort on my part. I’m just living my life and doing what I am supposed to do – moving forward. It is extremely exciting to know that goals are ever changing and can be accomplished by just living and not stressing over it. Perhaps you are a “goal setter” or a “perpetual list checker.” If you are one or both of these people, this post is made just for you. If you are planning for the next month or next year, here is a quick read on 5 Stress Less Tips for setting goals.
- Don’t Reveal Your Plan to Everyone!
Be very careful who you share your goals/dreams with. Do you know that I was talked out of studying psychology when I was in college and I majored in sociology? Now to you that may not seem like an issue but it. At the time, I told my guidance counselor my goal to be a lawyer, and she directed me to sociology because she felt it would be better. I did not put up much of a fight. I listened to her and later complied. Now, almost 25 years later, I am back where I started, just finishing up with my master’s degree in mental health counseling. I say all that to say, not everyone will support your goals. People may try to thwart the outcome, create obstacles, give you their “best advice” or press you with questions that may have you second guessing yourself. Please do not let this happen.
It is important to know the right people to discuss your goals and dreams with. These people are not “yes” people but they understand their place in the discussion, and their objections (if any) will be made in love, not harassment you about unmet goals or disguise questions wrapped up in their doubt of your abilities. You need genuine support and accountability partners. So my advice is that you have your goals well thought out and solid before you share, be prepared for a questions and describing your plan of attack of these said goals.
- Be Certain the Goal Is Aligned To You, Your Purpose, and Something Attainable (Not Something That Sounds Great To Your Instagram, Twitter, or Snapchat Friends).
Goal Alignment: I could set the goal to practice every day for a month to win a talent but if I cannot sing, why would I do this? There is no way I would win the talent show unless all of the judges were tone deaf. (smile)
Purpose: Yes, if I tell people about my BIG unattainable goal, this sounds really cool to others. It may even make me seem more important than I am but if it does not fit within my skill set and life purpose, it’s not worth faking the funk.
So, when you are setting you goals, please make sure your goals are in line with your life values.
- Do Not Allow Your Goal To Conflict With Your Other Goals.
This means, you cannot set a goal that you want to save $5,000 dollars in 12 months but go out and buy all things designer that is above your budget. Having goals that contradict each other only sabotages the goals. Not to mention how conflicted goals weigh heavy on your daily thoughts. Let your actions and your thoughts line up with your goals.
- Write Your Goals Down on Paper
You would be surprised to hear the number of people that have a goal in mind but forget to write it down. When you write down your goals, you make it plain what your expectations are. It also makes it easier to picture your success.
Be clear when developing the goals. Rather it is a goal about your finances, career, family, education, or spiritual life; it needs to be clear and specific. It is not enough to say I want to save $5,000; you must be strategic in outlining how you plan to make the $5,000. The more information you give to the goal, the clearer the final outcome will be to you.
Please make it a habit to review your goals. Revisit your goals because as I said earlier, goals are ever changing and you are evolving.
- Know When to “Hold ‘em” and When to “Fold ‘em.”
Know when to keep the goal going and know when to put the goal on hold. A lot of times we set goals that are beyond the stars then we set a goal too low. There is a happy median of setting goal. We must look for that middle ground and focus on attaining the goal. If you are in over your head, know when you need to modify or change the goal to fit you and your lifestyle.
For example, I had planned to finish my book this year. I have it written but need to fine tune and alter some pages. I have not been able to get to it. I graduated this year and I had to study for multiple exams to become a licensed graduate therapist. I could be upset that the goal of finishing the book was not accomplished, I could give up and scrap the book but that would not be rational. Overload myself with writing the book while doing other things or scrapping the goal is not necessary. I had to adjust the goal – pick up the task of finishing the book when it works better with my lifestyle.
The idea of a goal is not to create additional stress in your already busy life or to make you feel bad about a goal not reached. The purpose of the goal is to motivate you to be better than you were before the goal was set.