Day 15 - Finding Direction: The Importance of Setting Goals

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Do you have dreams or resolutions this year, but not sure where to begin? 

Are you 2 weeks into January and feel lost and overwhelmed?

Crystal Paine writes in her book Saying Goodbye to Survival Mode, (affiliate link) "We only have one life to live.  In order to make the most of it and live intentionally and purposefully, we have to constantly reevaluate our lives.  Creating and monitoring short-term and long-term goals is a life-changing way to make sure we are heading in the right direction."

Research has shown that for those people who set goals, only 1% of them write them down and review them often.  This 1% is among the world’s highest achievers.

Crystal suggests writing out goals in different categories such as work, marriage, financial, health/fitness, personal, family.

This past week, my husband and I sat down and discussed our personal and family and my business goals.  I had written down things I had wanted to do in the next year.  We reviewed them and we realized what I had written down was more of approaches to my big goals instead of goals themselves.

My husband is a high achiever and is constantly reviewing the goals he sets for himself.  He helped me by teaching me what goals are and how to set them for the year.  He taught me about a simple goal setting technique called SMART.

Here are some tips for setting Goals using SMART:

  • Make them Specific – A goal needs to be specific. “I want to be a better mom” is too general of a goal.  The goal needs to be specific to how you would be a better mom.  For example, I will read a book to my children every day for 30 minutes.
  • Make them Measurable – When you set a goal, you have to be able to review the goal at 3, 6 or 12 months to see if you have been successful in achieving that goal.  You need to be able to track your progress. 
  • Make them Achievable – I am guilty of aiming too high with my personal and business goals.  I tend to think I am superwoman and have all the time in the world.  You need to be realistic about what you think you can achieve this year.  Factor in your season of life and how that will affect your goals.
  • Make them Realistic – This goes hand in hand with making your goals Achievable.  Do not try to make goals that are similar to everyone else.  Your life circumstance is unique and your needs are different.  Start simple but try and challenge yourself.
  • Make them Timely – It is important when you are making goals, to have a timeframe in mind.  I have goals for my business that I have set for 3 months, 6 months and 1 year out.  That way I can check in monthly to see how I am doing and see if I am closer to my goal or if I need to readjust my goal date or get motivated to do more to achieve that goal.  It is important to check in with the goals you set on a regular basis.

Another great tool to help you with setting goals is to choose an Inspired Word of the Year and write your goals focused around the word you have chosen.  Jessica Fischer at Life as Mom has a great post about choosing a Word of the Year and has a free printable goal worksheet as well. 

My Word for 2016 is Priority.  I realized at the end of 2015 that feel I am being pulled in a million different directions.  I sometimes feel like a chicken with its head cutoff.  This year will be different.  I have my personal, marriage, family, homeschool, and business goals set around this Word: Priority. 

By writing out my goals, I feel empowered and in control.  I feel less stressed because I have a plan.  All my goals may not come to pass, but my plan gives me some peace of mind.  I am no longer shooting in the dark.  I have focus.

If the thought of writing out goals is overwhelming because you are trying to just get through the day, start with a few, small goals.

"By recording your dreams and goals on paper, you set in motion the process of becoming the person you most want to be." -Mark Victor Hansen

Remember, the next step after writing out your goals is to get working on them.  Start by writing out actionable steps you can do for each of your goals. Then, start working on achieving those goals!

Don't forget to Share with others.  If you missed the last 2 weeks of Nutrition and Exercise Challenges, you can find them on the 31 Day Fertility Care Challenge Pinterest Board.