Once I have chosen my word, my next step is to set 3-5 year-long, or overall, goals. I like to dream big when I set these goals! My aim is to choose goals that feel a bit daunting to push myself outside my comfort zone. Once these goals are in place, my next step is to break them down into achievable pieces, first by quarter then by month. This is simple sounding, yet a key step. It is also the step that has led to the successful completion of my goals over the years.
Thinking about big, year-long goals as a whole often make them feel unachievable but breaking them down allows you to tackle manageable pieces. Then systematically working through the manageable pieces on a monthly and quarterly basis is what leads to accomplishing the bigger goals.
Let me give you a real example of how I used this process over the last couple of days. One of my overall goals this year is to launch three new courses, one in February, one in April and one in July. This is definitely a daunting goal for me when I think about all three courses in broad terms, so I pulled out my quarterly and monthly planners for 2017. As I began to map out and put on my calendars the work required to create and launch each course, the goal became much more doable. Seeing what I needed to do laid out quarterly and monthly allowed my to get a realistic idea of the time I would need to complete the goal and gauge if that was reasonable within the realities of my life.
One of the interesting things I have learned over the years is laying out goals like this occasionally leads me to new goals along the way. Sometimes the new goals override my original goals, other times they get added into the year, and sometimes they get held until the following year. That happened with the first course I am launching this year. The idea for the course came to me in the second half of 2016 based off of another goal I was working to complete. As I looked at my schedule for the last few months of the year, it became apparent I wasn’t going to be able to fit it into my planning, so I moved the launch to February of this year.
Now here we are at the beginning of 2017, and its time for me to set a new word for the year and to finish my goal planning. I would love to invite each of you to join me. If setting a word for the year feels overwhelming right now, try setting a word for the first quarter. Similarly, if setting year-long goals feel intimidating, try setting a single goal for the first quarter.
Start small, make it attainable and build from there. I promise it is incredibly satisfying to reach a goal you set no matter how big or small. The important thing is to write it down! Putting your word or your goals on paper makes them real.
To help you do this, I am sharing my Goal Setting Cheat Sheet. This is what I use each year to document my word and my goals. I use these sheets throughout the year as a reference; updating them as needed. And, at the end of the year, I add them to a master file I have because it is reaffirming to look back over what I have already accomplished.
I hope you find the cheat sheets helpful and using them becomes part of your New Year’s planning. As always, please reach out to me on Facebook or Instagram if you have questions. I promise I will be back with a blog post in the next week or so to share my word of the year with you!
I wish you a warm and wonderful 2017 filled with dreams, hard work and great successes!