Goals_Header.jpgMost of us think goals are the same thing as dreams.

But when we talk about dreams, there’s a little bit of “but probably not” hidden in there.

That doesn’t have to be the case. And the new year is a great time to start! I always feel like the new year is a time to press “reset” on my life, to recalibrate where I’m headed, and to set goals that I can reach throughout the year.

You can reach your new year's resolutions without falling off in February. You just have to approach your goals strategically. I’ve been using the same chart for years now to set new goals and help myself break them into doable chunks. Here’s the breakdown:

 

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Strategic Goal Setting

Lay out your big goals. Then break them into small, achievable pieces. Then set up bite-sized actionable pieces to do each week consistently.

Simple, right?

But it works. You just have to recognize that it will go slowly, and be consistent despite that. That’s probably the hardest part. But you can do it!

 

Give Yourself a Talk: What Are Your Big Goals?

What are your dreams? Do you want to travel, or get married and have a family? Do you want “success”, or be remembered in the future?

We all have big dreams like these. Sometimes, we aren’t even aware of them. If that’s you, it’s time to find them.

Here are some questions to help you through finding what you really want. You don’t need a “goal” for all of the following categories. In fact, I’d recommend only picking one or two. Focus on the things that you really want.

  • Career

    • What level do you want to reach in your career?

    • What do you want to achieve?

  • Financial

    • How much do you want to earn, by when?

    • How is this related to your career goals?

  • Education

    • Is there any knowledge you want to acquire in particular?

    • What information and skills will you need to have in order to achieve other goals?

  • Family

    • Do you want to be a parent?

    • How do you want to be a better parent?

  • Artistic

    • Do you want to achieve any artistic goals?

  • Attitude

    • Is any part of your mindset holding you back?

    • Is there any part of the way that you behave that upsets you?

  • Physical

    • Are there any athletic goals that you want to achieve?

    • Do you want good health deep into old age?

  • Pleasure

    • How do you want to enjoy yourself?

    • What makes you truly, deeply happy?

  • Public Service

    • Do you want to make the world a better place? How?

    • Would volunteering or selflessness add real meaning to your life?

This might take some time. In fact, it should. Think about what you really want in your life. And only pick the things that you will be satisfied by working on slowly, for a long period of time. It has to be worth it.

 

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Assign Yourself a Deliverable for the Next Year

Deliverables are the things that you could “easily” achieve in the next year or less that will help you on your way to your goals. I have to stress: they have to be possible, and they have to be reasonable, and they have to be easy.

An example: Last year, I decided what I really wanted was to, among other things, nurture my friendships and build new ones.

My deliverables were to consistently make plans with my friends, find a few avenues to make new ones, and take a vacation with my friends in 2016. Not highly specific, but specific enough that I would know if I had achieved it by the end of the year.

If one of your goals is to “get fit”, what’s a reasonable, achievable mini-goal? Maybe squatting 75 pounds, or doing a pull-up, or running a 5k. You know your own body - give yourself a reasonable, end-of-the-year deliverable.

 

Set Easy, Weekly Executables

Executables are the baby steps that get you to your deliverables. These are the consistent, day-by-day or week-by-week activities that you can do, all the time.

Often, we’re too awe-struck by the immensity of our big goals that we forget that it is an accumulation of lots of little things that get you there. It’s a million tiny choices, not one big choice, that ultimately determines our success.

I can’t stress this enough: make your executables easy. Don’t make your life any harder than it needs to be, and definitely don’t give yourself any reason to fail. You are not your coach -  you are your friend!

“Go to the gym 5x a week” is not sustainable. You know that, I know that, and everyone taking up all of the treadmills in January knows that. But we set ourselves up to fail when we give ourselves executables like this.

“Go to the gym during my lunch break on Mondays” is a feasible executable. In fact, it seems too easy. What can you achieve by only working out once a week? Or less than that on long weekends and during the holidays?

Don’t listen to that voice. If you had gone to the gym every Monday on your lunch break this year - where would you be?

This is important to remember. A year from now, you’ll look back and be so proud of yourself that you started today. And small executables aren’t failings: they’re steps to success.

My executables for building friendships in 2016 were: Make plans once a week. Take a vacation that is NOT a wedding. Go for coffee with one new person once a month.

And I did it!

 

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Follow Through

Now, the most important part: actually doing your executables.

You can put them up somewhere prominent in your home, and put a check next to each piece when you’ve done them.

You can set an alarm on your phone or set up automatic email reminders to get to them.

You can add them to your calendar.

You can meet with a professional who can help you plan and stick to your goals - personal trainers, wealth managers, or a condo coach ;)

You can tell your friends you’ve set these goals, and ask them to help hold you accountable.

Or you can do all of the above!

The most important thing is to do them. That’s why simple executables are so important.

 

Check In With Yourself

Keep at your executables. Celebrate achieving your deliverables. Share your joy with others who are on a similar path. Treat yourself fairly and lovingly. And call me for coffee - I would love to be a part of your journey.

Good luck, friends.


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Irene Lee, Sales Representative

RE/MAX Realtron Realty Inc., Brokerage
183 Willowdale Avenue, Toronto, M2N 4Y9
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