Do you wish you could get more out of life? Maybe you used the wrong approach. Use these tips and the free goal setting worksheet to crush your big goals! –
I scrunched up the list of goals I had made a year ago. Gently rustling into the bin it goes. I drooped and felt like I was a complete failure. While everybody around me seemed to be so accomplished and was getting so much done I had made zero progress towards my goals.
Goal sheets balled up seemed to be the kick-off to my yearly goal setting activities every single time. Not a great way to start the new year off motivated.
Why do I not make progress towards any big goal I have? I have a lot of goals on my goal setting worksheet but feel like I don’t get closer to any of them.
Your Number One Goal is… what?
A Chinese (or Russian?) proverb says you can’t chase two rabbits. Chances are you catch neither of them. You need to focus and work on your number one thing to accomplish your goals. One at a time. Because you can’t ride two horses with one behind. (Attributed to Woody Allen.) Focusing could be the crucial step in your goal setting activities.
But first, let’s be clear about what progress means. Is it to make more money? Read more books? Have a decent home? More margin to fill with fun activities?
I love how John Lee Dumas of the podcast entrepreneur on fire put it in one of his newsletters. He wrote
Progress = Taking A Step Forward Every Single Day
That. That’s it!
You don’t need to win big or see perfect results in no time. What counts is that you move towards your goals. You take the right steps in the right direction. Progress made. It may be baby steps and yet you HAVE moved forward. Imagine you move five steps in one direction? That is how to approach your big goal.
Now imagine you have taken five steps, each one in a different direction. See the difference. You might end up anywhere even at your very starting point. In that case, you have not made any progress at all but wasted your time and energy.
The Dreamland Of Many Goals
I use to have a HUGE list of different goals. I want to be a great mom and wife, a perfect homemaker, learn French and Arabic to fluency, memorize scripture, learn how to bake properly, be a productive blogger, earn an income from home, find ways to save more, help at playschool, etc. My goal setting worksheet is ever growing. I admire people who accomplished these things.
However, I tend to forget that they don’t master ALL of them at the same time. Think of Einstein or Michael Jackson. People who clearly had one thing in their life they focused on and succeeded.
At the same time, they struggled badly with other things. Einstein was a failure as a husband and father. And we all know that Michael’s life was not all happy sunshine. You don’t really know much about other people’s lives and they will probably not show all their dark secrets to anyone.
Do not compare yourself to them.
Your Goal, your Choice, your goal setting worksheet
So now what? If I want to make progress I need to tell some “goals” good-bye. Or at least, see you later.
I keep a list of my goals and dreams. It is a busy list. However, I force myself to choose the ONE most important goal for this particular season of my life. There may be several important goals. But there is only one most important one. For example, last year it has been finding new clients after my baby hiatus. This year I committed to creating this blog.
Your assignment: Make a list of all the things you want to accomplish in your life. Use a place you can easily access and update. You could use free Evernote as your digital organizing tool which is great to go paperless and easy to access using the cell phone. Or good old pen and notebook. Paper is easier to scrunch up. 😉
Subscribe and download the free Focused Goal Setting Worksheets from the library of free resources. You can use the goal setting worksheet to brainstorm goals and prioritize them according to your values in life right now.
Now look at your big list of goals and think long and hard what are the top three goals right now. Then choose the most important item of those Top three on your goal setting worksheet.
Which tasks will bring the most benefit for your project?
Your most important Big Goal might not be a simple thing. For me, it is getting my blog off the ground. This is my big thing at this moment. But there are many, many things related to blogging. It’s easy to get distracted and overwhelmed. I decided to focus on three things this year: Creating (better) content, work on the design of my website and learn the techniques of WordPress.
Creating content is the most important thing of the three and I work on that first thing in my working hours. Only if I have made some progress with that, I move on to design and presentation. If there is time left, I learn about blogging on WordPress.
However, I didn’t spend much time on social media, webinars, email-courses, networking, list-building, newsletters from others, etc. because I had no time left for that! My limited working hours go into the three important tasks until I have made significant progress.
Only after I established a strong routine of creating content, created a beautiful blog design, and felt comfortable using WordPress, I moved on to the next thing on the list.
Unsure when or how often you should sit down and plan a little bit? This post helps with that: (Click the image to learn more)
It’s hard sometimes. The perfectionist in me wants to do it all, all at once, better than anyone, and all on my own. Of course! As we all know this is working just fine!
I found myself with an anxiety disorder thanks to the perfectionist in me.
Trust me if I say I have been there. I wanted to accomplish so many things and then I was supposed to choose only a few things in my goal setting activities?!
If you struggle with giving up goals think about why you want to succeed in certain areas. List the benefits for your life and for your loved ones. What will be better once you have reached this goal? Why does it matter to you?
Another hack that has helped me is looking at the list of goals and then evaluating in all honesty how much progress you have made towards each goal in the last one, five or ten years.
I did not move much. So why not narrow down my list to have a chance to ever reach any goal? I didn’t cross out anything. I just labeled some goals to “dreams”.
Tools And Assets For Reaching Your Goal
Right after your goal setting activities set up your tools and assets. Make time, clear the space, eliminate distractions. Try to make sure everything is ready to start when you are.
Streamline your tasks as a homemaker, use a cleaning schedule, do what you can so that mundane, yet necessary tasks don’t drain all your time and energy before you worked on something that will bring you closer to your goals.
Set up routines that help you get work done. Use a timer for tasks that you know can be time-suckers if you let them. (Hello Pinterest, I’m looking at you!) Stream TV series or wait for webinar replays instead of watching them live so you can schedule them to fit your needs.
If working from home on your goal list you might find this post helpful with my best practices to rock working at home.
Use your time wisely
Now that you have a list of Top priority goals in place, you have a great asset at your fingertips to make decisions on how to spend your time. If you have some quiet minutes use them to work on your number one goal. You may be making baby steps. But if you head in the right direction each time, then you will approach your goal. Just keep moving forward and you will eventually get there.
Your focused goal setting worksheets will help you make better decisions in the future. It will be much easier to plan out your week, identify actions steps and milestones, and set monthly goals. If some opportunity turns up check if it is in line with your goal plan. If not, say No to it. There will be fewer distractions and less wasted time.
If you need to learn where you spend most of your time, try to keep a time log for a while and find time-suckers. Also, create action plans and beforehand decisions about what to work one in those precious time chunks you get unexpectedly.
Show up and do the work
Woody Allen, one of the most productive persons in the industry, said:
He was constantly asked for advice on how to get published. All the time, people told him about their plans to write that awesome piece. But he says that those who actually did the writing have the best chance to get published. So his best advice was to sit down and write the piece.
Many people fail because they don’t act. They dream of writing, they say they will write, they plan to write, but they don’t take action and — write!
Now you have a clear focus and a goal to reach. Put blinders on and get to work. Just start and do it.
Make a list of all tasks that need to be done to succeed. Choose to mono-task on the important things. Give them your full attention and your best time of the day.
My most important task is creating content and I do this as soon as I am home alone in the morning. I turn on voicemail and start writing. Before that I used to write in my little one’s nap time in the afternoon. Sometimes I got another hour in the morning when she would still be sleeping.
Two hours a day only, but spent intentionally and committed to my goal they got me quite far.
Another productivity hack to get more done is batch-tasking. Read all about batch-tasking here and make it work for you if you have a lot to work on. Download the free batch-tasking workbook in the subscribers’ library.
I know you have a lot on your plate. But use your precious time wisely and decide to focus on your most important goal each day. Not all day, but every day. All your steps will keep adding up until you will be there. I am sure in a year from now you will have made huge progress and approached your big goal.
Just focus and then show up every day to get that thing done. It will get you far.
Chase many different goals and you stretch yourself too thin and will probably not reach any of them. You can be a productivity rockstar if you focus on one thing at a time. If you cannot go with one goal only then limit yourself to as few as you can!
So, what are you up to?
*Please, pin this!*