⚠️ The Problem
We always have this moment. You sit down with yourself and set out goals for the year. But the fear of falling through on your goals sets in. And you wonder, is it too late already?
I have also personally been solidifying a few of my highest priority items to achieve this year. So I’m popping in here to share with you the underlying principles of how I set my goals for the rest of the year to keep my life from falling apart. Let’s get started!
According to Forbes Health, 29% of participants from a recent survey say they feel pressured to set a new year’s resolution.
According to the same survey, the highest priorities of resolutions fall into improving lifestyle and finances, which are generally very ambiguous areas. Maybe you want to earn more money or improving your mental wellbeing by going to the gym more, start a new meditation habit.
Setting SMART Goals
A SMART Goal stands for: Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Relevant and Time-bound. It is very commonly mentioned in strategic planning in the business context but can also apply wildly beyond that for resolutions crafting.
Specific: Narrow it down (for example for me, a broad goal would be to be successful in my film career this year. But what does that mean? Maybe it means I make a certain amount of short films that garner festival attention?)
Measurable: define the metrics at which success will be determined. This helps you chop your goal down to manageable chunks so you are sure you're constantly moving the needle and heading the right way. It's very important too to check in on how you're doing and feel motivated about your progress. (Again going back to my example. This can look like writing 1 fully polished script, doesn't have to be too ambitious, again, keeping it manageable)
Which brings us to: Actionable: keep your goal manageable and achievable within the next 365 days. I know that sometimes others like ambitious goals so they can reach for them constantly but personally for me, I find that a manageable goal helps me consistently track against knowing with certainty that I will achieve it, again going back to keeping yourself motivated throughout the year
Relevant: the "Why-now?" of goal-setting. How does this goal align with your long term goals and value. An example of this is: if your long term goal is to save money for a big purchase in the near future, this means now is the time to start saving for that goal.
Time-bound: have a realistic timeframe for the goal. If your goal is already segmented into smaller milestones, plan for those as well.
Focus on establishing habits
Goals are not achievable unless they are chopped into smaller manageable chunks/
The fact of the matter is: if an ambitious goal is divided into smaller manageable components. You remove the friction and make it as easy as possible for yourself to achieve these less intimidating chunks. And in time, that ladders up towards your goal.
Habits you build into your daily routines are how you can stick to incremental bits that would eventually build up to your goals. And it does not matter if you miss the mark a couple of times. For me personally, as long as I achieve my goals 90% of the time, I am content. Life definitely happens and can throw a wrench at your presumably perfect day at any moment.
As this was mentioned in Sarah Knight’s book “Get You S* Together” on building your to-do lists, which can certainly be applicable to building habits. “At a certain point, the time and energy you’ve poured into any of the items on your must-do list is going to reach critical mass, and the more of it you spend trying to get one thing perfectly perfect, the less time you have for any of the rest”.
Setting times for your hobbies as well
When you think about New Year resolutions, also factor in time and projects for your pure enjoyment. These may not have an immediate return, but who knows. A person who spend time drawing paintings can end up switching careers to concept design or animations.
Doing what you truly love rejuvenate your stamina for more demanding goals and help prevent you from burning out.
For me, I’ve always loved languages and so for this year, I’ve set out a goal to dedicate an amount of time daily to learning new languages and building my knowledge on linguistics.
Bake in a few active/health-based goals
It doesn't have to be big like running a marathon or something. But baking in goals to make sure you take a walk, drink enough water, or have a healthier diet (again definitely use Smart goal and have a system to track against this so you can find out if you're on the right track)
Baking in healthy goals help reload your stamina along your day and help you avoid burning out.
Set you up for success as you would feel better
Be kind to yourself
Set relaxed deadlines for projects
You will fail so maybe aim for around than 80%-90% of the time
If you are too strict with yourself you will go into a negative loop where you will just give up thinking you've already failed
Have fun with the process
Resolutions planning can be intimidating
You can start off with Idea dumping - what do you want to improve this year? what is the most important thing for you this year?
Document all of this brainstorming process. Maybe go off at a new color coded notebook planner or sticky notes, what have you.
Then from there, it would be easier to focus on what really matters and narrow it down.
Feel free to check out my YouTube video back in January on the topic: