The idea of setting goals can often create mixed feelings. On one hand the process sounds great! Setting goals will keep you organized and productive and it will help you accomplish the things you want to accomplish. However, for many people setting goals can be a daunting task.
Whatever the struggles may be, setting goals is necessary for staying focussed and productive so I have created a list of simple steps to help you not only set your goals but track them overtime.
1. Take the time to think
The first thing you want to do before writing anything down is to think. Spend some time in a quiet place and think to yourself, “What do I want to accomplish?” This is the time where you can be as vague as you would like. Just allow your thoughts to wonder. Remember that the only person hearing your thoughts at this point is you so don’t limit yourself and don’t take what other people might think into consideration. Just be with you and listen to your mind and thoughts.
2. Divide your goals up into categories
Once you have some time to think, divide your goals up into categories. Separate them first by the type of goal, such as health, fitness, school, or finance. I have found that doing this helps remove some of the stress that I previously associated with goal setting. I used to feel so overwhelmed when I had all of these random goals scattered across my life. When I divide them up I feel calm and organized.
Once they are put into categories based on their type, your goals should then be divided up based on their time frame. Which goals are long-term? Which ones do you want to be accomplished within the week? I think that is important to have all types of goals; daily ones, monthly ones, and yearly ones. Having short-term goals will help you stay more productive on a day-to-day basis where long-term goals will act as an overall destination that you will work towards reaching.
3. Write them down in one place
A lot of times we feel overwhelmed or stressed when things are scattered. This is why suggest writing all of your goals down in one place. Doing this will not only make you feel more organized and centered but it will also help you keep track of your goals overtime. I don’t know how many times I have opened up a random notebook or document on my computer and found a short list of goals that I completely forgot about. Pick one place, whether it is a journal or your phone/laptop and write all of your goals down there. Now they are in one place and you won’t lose sight of any of them!
4. Make sure they are measurable
It is very common to have goals such as “study more” or “be healthier” and though these are excellent things to want to achieve, they are incredibly difficult to track. At what point can you check these things off? What is considered “more” and what defines “healthier?” As you are writing your goals down it is important to make sure that they are actually measurable. The easiest way to do this is by using numbers and concrete amounts. For example instead of saying “study more,” say, “spend at least 1 hour studying everyday.” Set specific amounts for goals that involve things such as losing weight or saving money. Doing this will help you actually track your goals and see when you have accomplished them.
5. Revisit your goals often
Ok now you have written measurable goals down but you aren’t done yet! A very important part of goal setting and tracking is to revisit your goals often. This is a typically neglected part of the process. When you take time to look at your goals everyday you will be reminded of what you want to accomplish and it will push you to stay focused and productive. I suggest glancing at your goals every single day and feel free to make adjustments or changes because everything is a learning process. Also once you accomplish a goal, check it off! It will give you an amazing sense of pride and joy.
Goal setting is an amazing process that will help you along whatever journey you are on. These are my five simple steps to setting and tracking your goals. Find what works best for you! I wish you the best of luck in accomplishing your goals!