You don’t want to miss this!
Before you read any further, be sure to click here to grab your goal setting workbook! Then block your calendar for Sunday 12/29 at 1pm MT. I’m running a free LIVE goal setting workshop on my facebook page. Can’t make it? You can still watch it later! Link to the video will be on the success page after you download the workbook. See you there!
Can you believe 2020 is just days away?? Where did the last  decades go!?! I still remember “partying like it’s 1999” and all the hype around the next millennium like it was yesterday. At the same time, it seems like a lifetime ago. Because that is how life works – the days are long and the years are short.
Goal setting is crucial in your success. I can’t emphasize this enough. We’ve all heard the phrase “not having a plan is a plan to fail” or some variation. As annoying as it is, it’s true. No one successful ever just woke up there by chance. They made it there through planning, focus, confidence (aka mindset work) and perseverance. Yes, there is luck in everything, but no one every made it the top of their game by luck alone.
Have you ever found yourself looking back and wishing your last month, quarter, year, or even decade, went differently? While this reflection has a sliver of helpfulness in guiding you towards what to do differently, I would not encourage you to dwell on this. The past is what it is and you can’t change it. The ups and down have gotten you to where you are now. They are what made you into the person you are today…for better or worse.
Today we are going to do some work as reflecting on the past, dreaming of the future, and planning for now. Are you ready? Let’s do this!
There are dozens of way to work on goal setting. Today we are going to use my personal approach that includes a lot of reflection and specifics. The more work you do up-front, the more likely you will reach your goals.
Part 1: Where You Want to Go
Let’s start with the end and work backwards, shall we? You could spend days on goal setting. There are dozens of areas in our lives we want to work on. Areas we want changed right now. But we need to remember it took up decades to get where we are right now, it isn’t going to change over night. I encourage you to have 1 area of focus as we get started You can do others later. Here we go!
Focus: what 1 area do you want to focus on for the next few months or years. Do you want to eat healthier? Do you want to run a marathon? Do you want to be able to swim in open water? Do you want to be free from the constant worry of anxiety? Whatever it is, spend the next 5 minutes sitting quietly thinking about what the absolute best version of that would look like. Dream big. Every time your mind doubts it, acknowledge it and set that thought aside. You can use the container method I talked about here.
Now that you’ve done the dreaming, put it down on paper. Journal for another 5-10 minutes about what this looked like. How will you look, feel, and act? Where will you spend your time? Who will you be?
That’s all for this part now. Way to go! Dreaming uninhibitedly about your future can be super tough and riddled with doubt or counter points about the goal being unrealistic. Those are your mind trying to protect you for the change that is coming. Acknowledge them and then put them in their container…with the lid on.
Part 2: Where You’ve Been
Have you heard the saying – the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results? The more we repeat past mistakes the more stuck we get. But no longer – it’s time to start learning from the past to reshape the outcome.
On a blank piece of paper, write down bullet points of all the times in the past you’ve attempted to work on this area of your life. Star the ones that went generally well and X the ones that went poorly. Leave the rest blank.
On a new sheet of paper draw a line down the middle and write “helpful outcomes” on the left and “areas for improvement” on the right.
For all the ⭐s
- What went well? What success did you see? How did you feel? What did you think helped make you successful? What was your mindset like? How were you spending your time? Who did you surround yourself with? Think off all of the positives from these experiences and write them in the left column.
- What prevented you from reaching your goal? There was so much positive but what didn’t go well? What do you think could have been different? Write these in the right column
For all the ❌s
- Can you find anything positive about this experience? Was there a person or activity you did that actually went better than you initially thought? Write these in the left column.
- Why do you think this went so poorly? Was there someone or something outside of your control that contributed? Is that person or thing still part of your life? If so, what have you learned that can prevent the same outcome from occurring? What steps or actions can be put in place from preventing the same outcome? Write these in the right column.
Part 3: Dreaming Big
Now for the fun part! Let’s set some goals! You can make HUGE goals that are 10 years out and still do this. But for simplicity sake, I am going to talk about a 1 year goal and break this down from there.
I believe a goal is a larger idea/belief and to reach these goals there need to be measurable objectives and action items. As you write these objectives, they should be SMART – specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and timely. You can read more about this here. I decided to not reinvent the wheel and will just share this great graphic from Kazoo:
For your big/main goal, I like to have more descriptors and text, which is why I don’t specifically use the SMART framework for this part. Instead, I use the SMART framework for how to reach that goal. I think this approach is helpful in really painting the picture of what you desire. Ready to get started?
Main goal: In one year I will live my life in a way that follows the 4 pillars of wellness outlined by Nutrition Health Life LLC.
- Body image: Rate myself as a 8 or 9 on a scale of 0-10 with how much I love my body
- Relationship with food: Eat intuitively over 75% of the time every day
- Diet: Eat the way I desire at least 80% of the time
- Exercise: Exercise at least 30 minutes a day 5 days a week
- Mindset: Practice a brief morning routine daily
In this example, I will use my objectives to gauge how close I am to reaching my larger goal. It is through those smaller goals I will be able to reach my larger goal. Please note – these are A LOT of objectives. I’d recommend you stick to 1-2. Moving forward I will focus on 2 – diet and exercise.
Part 4: Making the Road Map
Now it’s time to break down that HUGE goal and make it into smaller goals. These will help you assess progress and be more likely to readjust if you need. We are going to work backwards from where you want to be to where you are now. Whatever you end goal time frame is, divide it by 4. These will be your benchmarks. These are here to help you assess progress and determine if you are on the right track.
For the example above, we have a 1 year goal already set. We will then make quarterly goals leading up to that 12 month point. Where do you think you’ll need to be at each point (working backwards) to be where you desire in 1 year? Use the paper from Part 2 to help you determine what has worked well previously and what hasn’t worked well so you can set up goals that you are more likely to achieve.
Month 9 goal
Diet: I will meal prep a week in advance
Exercise: I will sign up for a 10K around the 12 month mark
Month 6 goal
Diet: I will eat vegetables at every lunch and dinner
Exercise: I will incorporate 3 different types of exercise into my routine each week
Month 3 goal
Diet: I will practice intuitive and mindful eating daily to bring awareness to what I am eating and how I feel when I eat
Exercise: I will be able to jog for at least 30 minutes straight
These goals will give you a framework. They can (and should) be broken down to be even more detail. I would recommend saving this detail for each quarterly check-in.
Step 5: Reflection and Refocusing
Each quarter you should set aside 1 hour to reflect on the progress you are making. What has worked? What hasn’t worked? Is your goals still the same or do you think your larger goal has changed? Do you have too many or too few objectives? Use the paper from Part 2 and reflect further. Are you falling into some of the traps you’ve fallen into before? Are you on track for success?
After you’ve assessed this, it is time to set up action items that you will work towards each month. This makes the goals more tangible. A large lofty idea for a year from now can be hard to imagine. Even 3 months from now can be tough. This is how we create action items that we can do right this very moment. Here is an example:
Month 3 goal – Diet: I will practice intuitive and mindful eating daily to bring awareness to what I am eating and how I feel when I eat
- Month 1: Be able to identify hunger and fullness accurately
- Month 2: Understand what cravings mean
- Month 3: Follow hunger and satiety cues and be able to stop myself before caving into a craving.
Month 3 goal – Exercise: I will be able to jog for at least 30 minutes straight
- Month 1: Start a jog/walk routine for 30 minutes a day. Run 1 minute, walk 2 minutes.
- Month 2: Begin to increase the time spent jogging and decrease the time spent walking.
- Month 3: Jog for 30 minutes straight
Ideally, you’ll reflect and plan for these goals throughout the month. Check out my post on starting a morning routine and grab my freebie in the resource library so you can incorporate goal setting into your daily routine.
That’s a lot to take in – what do you think? Are you ready to make 2020 your year? No more excuses about pushing off your dreams and desires. THIS can be your year if you want to work towards it. I am excited about all of the dreams and goals I have for this next decade of life. I too am doing these same exercises as 2020 creeps up. I have already started some planning for 2020 itself, as well as spent time dreaming of where I hope to be down the road.
As I personally reflect, I’m amazed to think of where I can go from here. In 10 years I am going to have *at least* 2 teenagers and a tween! I can just begin to imagine where I will be professionally and with this business. My hope is by that point I will have impacted the lives of hundreds of thousands of people through my various endeavors – people who will have a new sense of empowerment and purpose when it comes to their health. Thank you all for your support as I begin this journey.
Feel free to leave your goals below! I’d love to hear what you’re working towards!