What comes to mind when you think of setting goals? Does your stomach turn over? Nausea? Panic? Dread? Or do you feel overwhelming excitement? Joy? Giddy?
Don’t judge. Some people love the idea of setting goals and making lists. Others will find any excuse (even cleaning the bathroom) to avoid it.
In our personal lives, careers, and business we need goals to motivate us. Moving forward is difficult without a goal in place. They come in all shapes and sizes, are customizable, flexible, and adaptive. And they can be fun. Yes, set some fun goals and enjoy the journey to reaching them.
Smash Through Your Goals – Start Here
Ready. Set. Go. Write some goals! Well, no, that is probably not going to work. To avoid feeling like you’ve failed before starting, take it step by step.
- Start in front of your computer, pen and paper, even voice recorder.
- Find a quiet place to think and reflect.
- Focus on one area of your life.
- Jot down your thoughts about that area. Is it parenting? Your career? Perhaps retirement, health, or relationships What do you want to do, change, or improve about that area of your life?
- Personal – lose weight, exercise regularly, renew your love of reading, family time, save money, invest, buy a home, go to a favorite destination
- Business, career, work – learn new skills, change jobs, earn more money, start a business, move up in a company
Now that you have a few ideas, focus on 1 or 2. Let’s get more detailed in the plan.
Milestones are the detailed steps to reaching goals. It’s great to have a goal. Always a good first step but without a plan (milestones) it is difficult to reach most goals. Here’s a personal example:
One of my goals is to exercise more. To help me reach this goals I thought about and listed steps or mini-goals.
- Hike with the “Walking Dead” hiking group every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.
- Use a fitness app to help track steps, calories, distance, and route.
- One weekend day, enjoy the outdoors with family – hiking, swimming, or walking (kids choice)
My example breaks down the goal into smaller, possible steps. It also has a method to measure my progress (fitness app).
Reaching daily or weekly small steps makes the goal more attainable. It also increases a sense of accomplishment. Every day something is done to reach that goal. It feels good!
Goals are not just about your health, career, or business. They include your lifestyle. Yup, relationships, mental health, child rearing, and the like.
Same approach works for all of these goals.
Goal: Get kids off the electronics (tv, iPad, smartphones, etc.) and outside
Milestones: Create a schedule for outdoor activities
- Create a list of activity ideas
- Do these things with the kids
- Schedule time away from the home – biking, hikes, the park, public pool, fishing, whatever you like
- Include friends, cousins, and other family in your outings. Invite them over for fun in your backyard. Maybe Pinterest has some fun and inexpensive activities you want to try with the kids. Now is the time!
- Sign the kids up for day camps, lessons, and other activities
- Engage in conversation about those activities. “What did you do today at camp?” “What did you learn at swim lessons today? Let’s try that out tomorrow at the lake / pond / pool!”
- Give the kids a time to play on those electronics! It’s only fair, right?
Ta dah! Goals met and without drudgery! Kids spent less time on their electronics, got some good exercise and activity in, and you didn’t have to dread the entire process because it was fun.
Not All Goals are the Same
Keep in mind that some goals are more complex in planning, long-term, and complicated than others. Saving for retirement is a long-term goal that may require help from investment professionals.
Business goals can also be more complex. Setting marketing, financial, or product development / launch goals take multiple steps and thoughtful planning.
It is not to say these goals are not worth making. Rather, a reminder to be patient, create a plan, review the plan, keep working toward that goal.
Gotta Get These Tools
Some fun and serious tools to check out for goal setting:
Smart Goals ($2.99) (iOS) – Track your goals, dreams, and habits. Yes, you are allowed to dream!
Optimized ($3.99) (iOS) – Track your daily activities, log your mood & stress levels, health, sleep, etc. It tracks your activity too. Need a little more? Ari, is your virtual life coach. She gives you personal insights based upon the data collected. Pretty cool, right?
Golden Scale ($0.99) – Set goals and track your progress. It is a simple, stylish app.
Coach.me (FREE) (iOS/ Android / Web) – Need more feedback and human interaction? This may be the app for you. Track goals and habits, connect with the community, receive and give motivation, measure your progress, and milestones.
GoalsonTrack (FREE) (iOS / Android / Web) – Make a goal and this app breaks it down into milestones for you. Track your progress, habits, and tasks. It does require an active membership on the site.
Balanced (FREE) (iOS) – Flexible app that allows you to set your schedule (do tasks daily, weekly, etc.). It prioritizes tasks for you. Stay motivated and inspired while tracking your progress.