There are less than 48 hours left in 2013. Do you spend the end of the year reflecting on the previous year and thinking about what you’d like to accomplish for the next year? I’m totally a goals person. I love the idea of setting a goal and working towards it. One of the best feelings is accomplishing a goal you’ve set for yourself. Setting goals effectively is an art form.
What I’m about to tell you is going to reveal what a true nerd I was growing up. But that’s okay. When I was a teenager driving around in my car, I spent a lot of time listening to my dad’s motivational tapes. (Yes, tapes. CDs were invented when I was a teenager, but cars still had tape decks.) Sort of a weird habit and definitely a nerdy thing for an adolescent to do, but I’m glad I did as those tapes stuck with me.
One of my favorite sets was Goals: How to Set them, How to Reach Them by Zig Ziglar. Zig captivated me with his southern drawl and dynamic stories about how he became a successful salesman by knowing what he wanted and going after it.
All these years later I still use Zig’s techniques for setting and reaching goals. No matter what stage I’m at in life, I always want to be growing and striving to be the best version of myself.
Goals are not just for professional life or careers. Goals are for everyone and can be applied to every aspect of your life.
The most important part of the goal-setting process is writing it down. Just having a goal in your mind is not enough to bring that goal from a dream to reality. Just the process of writing it down makes it concrete–write it down and it becomes a commitment.
When setting goals, I keep them specific, attainable, and measurable. Here’s a quick example. Instead of setting a goal to “eat healthier” in 2014, be specific. You might resolve to “Limit sugary treats to one per week,” or “Eat 8 servings of vegetables a day.”
Make sure the goal is attainable. If you are currently eating 1 serving of veggies a day, setting a goal for 8 might be too much. Try to break it down into a more attainable goal, like “Add 1 vegetable serving to my day each month until I’m eating 8 servings a day.”
Notice that each goal I’ve written here is measurable. I can actually measure my progress to see if I’m reaching my goal. It’s not abstract.
I like to divide my goals into different areas of my life. I find it easier to make specific goals this way. It also ensures I’m working on different aspects of my life and achieving a balance by not focusing too much on one certain area.
Today I’m sharing with you my worksheet I created for my 2014 goals. I like it because it’s colorful and it highlights the main areas of my life where I want to grow. I hope you find this helpful as you reflect on what you want to achieve in 2014.
You can click on the picture above or click here for the free printable 2014 Goals Sheet.
Happy New Year, everyone! Do you set goals in your life? What are you hoping to achieve in 2014?