Setting goals has its own special magic. When we transform desires and fantasies into tangible ideas and goals and commit them to paper we are taking a powerful step toward attaining what we want in our life.
New Year is the traditional time for setting goals. As we anticipate the year, in the midst of summer holidays, anything can seem possible. As the year rolls on and reality sets in, these goals so often disappear into oblivion. By the time winter arrives, our goals are often long forgotten.
Yet the winter months are a great time for planning and reflecting. Setting mid winter goals can be a powerful way to take stock, refocus and renew our commitment to the goals we have.
Here are 9 tips for a powerful midyear goal setting session:
Get yourself a goal book
If you don’t already have one, go out and buy the best, brightest and most appealing writing book you can find. This goal book can become your planning place, your anchor, a reference point, your doubt processer, an evaluation place, your bright ideas holder, your dream catcher, your inspirer and your celebration place. Revisit it often.
Revise your goals
If you have written goals earlier in the year take them out and work though them one by one. If not, think back to the mental goals, hopes and dreams you had at the beginning of the year.
- What have I achieved so far this year?
- What has changed in my life since the beginning of the year?
- Are the goals I had then still relevant for me now?
- How far have I come with each of my goals?
- Where do I need to go from here?
- Am I prepared to put in the effort to achieve my goals?
- What might stop me?
- How will I overcome this?
Rewrite your goals
Write or rewrite your revised goals for the rest of the year into your goal book.
Make sure you keep your goal-setting SMART.
SMART stands for:
Vague, unclear goals, without focused energy are likely to go no where.
We need to know where we are with our goal setting process. By breaking our goals into small, measurable tasks we can congratulate ourselves each time we take a small step. This is uplifting!
Boring goals tend to fizzle out long before they come to fruition. Our goals need to hold special energy and excitement for us. That way our passion will keep us going when we feel like giving up.
It’s pointless setting goals that are so far out of reach that they seem unattainable. This is setting ourselves up for failure. To achieve our goals we need to be able to believe in the possibilities we aspire to.
Open-ended goals can lack power. By setting goals with time limits we are committing our energy to working toward making active steps.
Set up mini goals
Take your main goal and ask yourself:
- Realistically, is it possible to achieve this goal by the end of the year?
- If not, how far can I get towards achieving this goal by the end of the year?
- What are all the steps I need to take from here to achieve this?
- What are my next 3 steps?
- What are the next 3 after that?
Work out a time line for the rest of the year
- What do I need to achieve 1 month from now in order to be on track to achieve my goal by the end of the year?
- How about 2 months, 3 months, 4 months, 5 months and 6 months from now?
Take out a large sheet of paper and divide it into 6 parts for the 6 remaining months of this year. Write the tasks that need to be done in each segment. Transfer these into your goal book as a month-by-month action plan.
Write a positive statement
Write down a positive statement that reflects where you hope to be with this goal at the end of the year. Write this in the present tense as if it is already achieved.
“It’s 31st December and I’ve successfully saved $5,000 and I’m off to Hawaii for a glorious holiday for 1 week.”
Visualise your achievement
Spend some time creating a rich fantasy about how it will be when this goal is achieved. Use your imagination.
- What it will feel like, look like and be like.
- What will you say about this achievement?
- What will others say to you?
- How will you feel about yourself?
- How will you celebrate?
Bring your emotion into this fantasy. The more real and compelling it seems the more
energised you will become as you move towards this outcome.
Our imagination sets the blueprint for our future successes. All successes happen in the mind first. We ‘grow’ into our successes through using the power of our imagination. The clearer the blueprint the more natural it will be when we achieve our goals.
Revisit your goals often
Your goals need to be kept warm and alive. Read through your goals regularly - at least once a week. Try to do something toward your goals every day. Spend some time every week writing in your goal book.
Lists are a powerful means of reflection. Try listing:
- What I've accomplished so far is...
- New possibilities are...
- Things that are blocking me from moving forward are...
- My advice to myself is...
- The positive outcomes I see for the future are...
Keep track of your progress month-by-month and take pride in each and every step you take. As you achieve your mini goals, reward yourself well. Each acknowledged, successful step creates the impetus for the next successful step.
Happy midyear goal setting. And don’t forget to enjoy the journey!
© Copyright Kay Douglas. Kay Douglas is a registered psychotherapist, counsellor and life coach. She is also the author of four self-help books: Invisible Wounds, Challenged by Childhood, Living Life Out Loud and Power Games (co-authored with Dr Kim McGregor). She is in private practice in Auckland, New Zealand. For more information please visit www.kaydouglas.com
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