Have you ever set goals for yourself and then completely dropped the ball only a short while later? Think about the New Year: at the end of December, we make all kinds of promises to ourselves about the goals we want to accomplish or the things we want to change – maybe you invest in some tools to help us reach our goals: you buy a gym membership, a new pair of running shoes, or maybe you sign up for a class to learn a new skill. But a few weeks later, you start to lose steam. You don’t feel like you’re getting anywhere, or you’ve lost sight of what exactly you were hoping to achieve. We see this pattern over and over again, and we start to think there’s something wrong with us.
But there is a way to set goals and actually achieve them!
The truth is, we actually set ourselves up for failure right from the start!
The mistake that most people make in setting goals is focusing on a timeline or an endpoint. But the thing you should focus on, and the trick to setting goals you really can achieve, is getting clear on exactly what it will look like when you reach your goal.
If you don’t know what it will look like, how will you know when you’ve gotten there?
There are five easy steps to creating goals you can actually achieve:
1. Get crystal-clear about exactly what your goal is
Say your goal is to find a new job. What job? What would your title be? Your salary? What kind of company do you want to work for?
When you get crystal-clear on what your goal is, your path becomes illuminated in front of you!
Let’s use this example of looking for a new job. If don’t know what kind of job you’re looking for, what kind of pay you need, or what kind of company you want to work for, where do you even start looking? But if you have some clear parameters that you need to reach, it helps you hone in on a direction.
And here’s another truth:
The Universe loves it when you’re very clear about what you want!
When you ask very clear questions, the Universe can respond with very clear answers!
(P.S. – that’s the secret to manifesting, too!)
So get crystal-on what you’re asking for, and pay attention to the opportunities that start to arise!
2. Figure out what it will look like when you reach your goal.
Otherwise, will you even know when you’ve reached it?
Your goal needs to be measurable. That means no vague statements like “I want to lose weight.” That’s not clear enough! How much weight will you lose? Or if you goal is to “be more positive” – what will it look like when you are more positive? Spend some time jotting down some ideas – use adjectives to describe what it will look like or how you will feel when you achieve your goal.
Then test it out – is it measurable? Can you place a value on it?
3. Identify your blocks!
This is a big one!! So far, you’ve figured out what it is you’re hoping to accomplish, and what it will look like when you get there. Here is when your fears start kicking in and you start thinking of all the reasons you can’t succeed. But I promise you, you can succeed! And I’m going to tell you how. Your next step is to write down all the things you think are holding you back from reaching you goal. Big things or little things, write them all down!
Maybe your dream is to open a dance studio. But there’s one slight problem – you’ve never taken a dance class! Does that mean your dream is any less valid or achievable? Hell, no! But it does mean you have some work to do! So make your list of everything that is a barrier to you right now in achieving your goal. You might come up with a long list, but that doesn’t mean you can’t do this!
Because in your next step, you’re going to
4. Create your Action Plan
What are you going to do to work toward reaching your goal?
Look at your list of things holding you back. For each thing, see if you can come up with at least one action you can take that will make that thing no longer a barrier to you. Don’t have a certain skill? Learn it! Don’t have the first clue how to do something? Ask someone who has dont it! Don’t have the right tool? Get it, borrow it, make it yourself…. or invent a totally new way of doing something!
I’ll use myself as an example here. For the past several years, I’ve been feeling the urge to start blogging again and open up an Etsy shop. But my laptop broke two years ago, and I let that be a barrier for me. Guess what. That’s the dumbest excuse ever because my husband has a laptop! Why couldn’t I just use that?? The answer is, I allowed it to be a barrier for me because I was afraid. I was afraid of putting myself out there and afraid of failing, so instead I put it off and told myself I’d start later, when I had the right tools.
How many of you have played that game before?? It’s total bullshit!
As soon as I recognized that I was just letting my fears hold me back, the solution of using my husband’s laptop became crystal-clear to me, and I got right to work!
So look at your list of barriers, and figure out what things on there are only barriers because they’re masking your fears….I’m sure there are a few on your list! Of course, there are going to be things on your list that really are barriers. But you can still come up with things that you could do to remove that barrier. In the dance studio example, maybe the action you could take is to sign up for a dance class. Or, contact a local dance studio and ask if you could interview the owner with a couple of questions about what it’s like to own a studio! Be creative here; there’s no right or wrong answer!
A word of warning – be careful not to assign a timeline to your goal. This is where a lot of people get tripped up! It might seem like a good idea to put a timeline on it, but that can cause us to get disheartened or give up when we don’t see results happening fast enough. Instead, give yourself measurable achievements in working toward
5. Get to work!
So you’ve gotten crystal clear on what your goal is and identified how you’ll know when you reach it. You made a list of things that are holding you back, and you’ve come up with some things you can start doing to break some of those barriers.
Now it’s time to do the work!
You don’t need to have it all figured out when you get started. Just commit to taking your first steps, and your next steps will materialize in front of you. Remember, the Universe gives you clear answers when you ask clear questions! So if you follow the process outlined above, you’re communicating to the Universe that you’re serious, you want this, and you’re going to do what it takes to make it happen! And the Universe always has your back, so it responds by providing you opportunities to follow through and take further steps along your path.
What dreams do you have that you can start working toward now? I’d love to hear from you, so share in the comments below!