This weekend, I finalized my goals for 2019 and started on my Vision Board (more about that in a future post). Goal setting was a concept I had been familiar with my entire life, but have only recently put into practice. This was a fun exercise that forced me to look at what areas of my life I wanted to make progress in next year.
Why should I set goals?
Setting goals gives us purpose and meaning. They give us something to work for. They also help us measure our success. Goals help us see how far we’ve come and how we can move to the next level.
How do I set goals?
There is a tried and true method for goal setting that defines how to set goals known as the SMART method.
For example, setting a goal of “I want to save more money,” is not a SMART goal because it only defines the goal and not how you’ll reach it. A better example would be “I want to have $12,000 in my savings account by the end of 2019 by allocating $1,000 each month from my take home pay.” You have defined the goal, how you’ll reach it, and in what time frame. Depending on your annual salary and monthly expenses, you can determine if this is achievable and relevant.
How many goals should I set?
If it’s your first time setting goals, I would suggest three. You don’t want to have too few or too many. Focus on setting smaller goals that will help you reach your large life goals. So if you want to quit your full-time corporate America job one day to start your own business, figure out what smaller goals you need to set to reach that large one.
How should I track the progress of my goals?
Develop a system that works best for you. If you are someone who needs a little more accountability, start with weekly check ins. You can also break your goal down into smaller chunks to avoid stressing yourself out. If you use the example above, you will have to anticipate some large expenses may come up as life happens. Perhaps your small goal for January is “Avoid eating out this month to have some extra cash on hand for next month since my car taxes are due.” You have now planned for a large expense next month and figured out a way to budget appropriately so that you do not stray from the larger goal of putting away $1,000 per month. You may find that sitting down once a month to track your goal progress works better for you. No matter what, find a system that works for you to help you track your goal progress.
In the next post, I’ll talk more about my goals for 2019 and how I am breaking them down into smaller and manageable tasks that will help me achieve my goals. Dedicating more time to my personal development is one of the goals I have mapped out and I’m excited to share that with you!