I’ve got a little/big secret that I’m really excited to share with you… it’s most likely the bridge between goal setting and ya know, actually accomplishing your goals -- and the best part? It’s two very simple + actionable steps.
Here's the thing... I believe in goal setting to my core. I set goals at the beginning of every year and I create a vision board to match that keeps me uber focused and reminded daily of what I want to accomplish each year.
I’ve helped a lot of people define, clarify, and accomplish their goals and I use the same system for myself – and I can tell you that we all (myself included!) seem to get stuck or entirely miss the two most important parts of goal setting.
Let's take it back a notch and review some "shoulds" you've probably heard a time or two in your life about goal setting:
- Goals should be big! They should push and stretch you to accomplish something great.
- Goals should be SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-bound)
- Goals should be kept somewhere visible in order to track progress.
But the two steps you absolutely cannot skip and that no one is really talking about are:
1. The Why
Simply put, we need to know why we want to accomplish our goals. There is a "why" behind each goal that we set. The why can be a bigger purpose in life or sometimes it's just a general feeling we want to feel but we have to find it.
Let's say, for example, you have a hefty financial goal this year, I’d be willing to wager you’re trying to achieve a feeling of freedom, security, or maybe even independence. So, by all means, set your hefty financial goal and goal get em' (I couldn't help myself.) but remember that the reason for the financial goal in the first place is to achieve that sense of freedom/ security/ independence.
Knowing our "why" or our intention for each goal that we set will give us clarity, yes -- it will also (and this is a huge bonus!) open the door to many different pathways for accomplishing our goals. Going back to our example earlier, maybe you decide that halfway through the year that dipping into your savings, going on that last minute spontaneous vacation is going to make you feel more freedom that meeting that stretch savings goal you set. Just maybe. ;) So, you re-visit your goals. You book the vacation. You cut back in other areas. You save. You vacation. and most importantly, you feel your sense of freedom.
2. Mini Goals
The second often forgotten step for goal setting? Our goals need mini goals in order to survive. Yes, I realize I am saying that our goals need goals. However, all I am really saying is that our goals need a plan - I just refer to that plan as a mini goal.
A mini goal is the daily or weekly system/ process/ step that we must put in place to reach our longer term goal – it’s essentially our vehicle to the bigger goal and most importantly? It does two amazingly great things for us.
- Mini goals help us create habits… habits that are actually the only thing (other than magic) that help us accomplish our goals.
- Motivation! Look, results are addicting; we all know that. Setting mini goals gives us something to crush along the way so that we stay focused, proud, and addicted to our success. Cool, right?
It’s super simple…
Here’s an example of a goal:
I will start a blog by June of this year.
Here’s an example of a mini goal:
I will write 1 article a week in preparation of my blog launch.
See? June will be here before you know it and chances are without that mini goal, you may not have a thing written for your blog launch and even scarier? You haven’t spent the time creating a habit of writing which means you’ll be learning to maintain your blog as you launch which means stress overload which means – are you really launching this blog in June?! I'm usually very optimistic but it's not looking good here.
I could talk about goal setting all day! but I'd love to hear from you. Do you have a "why" for each goal that you set? and mini goals to help you accomplish your goals? Well, it's certainly not too late. Let me know in the comments, below.