As you look ahead, have the things you think are important in life, also known as values, changed? What do you want to experience and achieve? Take some time to dream about every aspect of your life. If you couldn’t fail, what would your life look like as it relates to your physical and mental health? What about your home and family, spirituality, finances, career, and social life? Writing your goals down creates a map that can keep you on your custom designed path to success.
You can accomplish a lot in 12 months -believe it. Here are 6 goal setting tips that can help make your dreams real:
1. Write your goals in a positive or affirmative voice.
First, promise to write your goals down. Please do not skip the step. It’s also important to write in a positive voice. The beauty of dreaming is that you automatically focus only on the things you want – not on what you want to avoid. Writing goals in a strictly positive voice is critical to the process. Your conscious mind is at work during goal setting, but your subconscious mind benefits most because it is designed to carry out instructions. It doesn’t judge or determine what’s right or wrong, it just works. Start off strong by making sure that the goals you create are written down and positive.
2. Give yourself something to reach for.
Don’t cheat yourself here – create goals that make you stretch. Create goals that make you excited and maybe even a teeny bit scared. Shoot for the moon!
3. Write your goals down in detail.
Instead of writing “become debt free and build an emergency fund” write “eliminate credit card balances and save 3 months of net salary in a money market account”. Next, break the goal down into actionable steps like: ban use of credit cards until balances are cleared, review or create a household budget, implement the debt-snowball method and open a money market account. Attach deadlines to your action steps and create mini-rewards along the way to stay encouraged. Writing like this directs your subconscious mind to get busy. Your outcomes will match the level of detailed information you provide. Can you visualize the financial goal I mentioned above? Picture yourself casually turning on your computer with a hot cup of coffee in hand. You log in to check your credit accounts and smile at the zero balances. Then you log on to online banking and an interest payment has been added to your money market’s growing balance. You sip your coffee and revel in the tingling feeling that comes having completed an important goal. Can you see it? So can your subconscious mind.
4. Your goals must complement each other.
Creating goals in each area of your life will help ensure that they don’t contradict each other. This is a critical part of the goal setting process. For example, unless you find a way to earn more money, you can’t plan to get out of debt and go on an expensive vacation – something has to give. Personally speaking, I’ve set some pretty big goals for myself in 2015 – I also have a job, a family and will need time to recharge. During my planning session it became clear that I would only be successful if I change the way I spend my time. I’ve since decided to wake up earlier, plan more thoughtfully and limit TV to a couple of hours on Sunday to free up time.
5. Protect your goals.
Seedlings need protection until they’re strong enough to withstand the elements. This is equally true for your goals – they need protection from negativity. Keep your self-talk positive and be selective about the people you talk to about your goals – especially if they involve big changes in your life.
6. Review your goals daily.
I cannot emphasize how important it is to review your goals. Conduct a daily review – in fact, try to do it multiple times a day. Looking at your goals will help you stay positive and focused. When you’re making decisions, ask yourself, “Does this take me closer to, or further from my goal?” If the answer is “closer to,” then you’ve made the right decision. If the answer is “further from,” then the next step is clear. Visualize the completed goal, feel the stress melt from your body when the last bill is paid, see the new home, feel the sand between your toes. This process will start both your subconscious and conscious mind on working towards the goal.
Find a quiet space for yourself to dream, plan and put your goals on paper, review them daily and you’ll be amazed by the dreams you’ve made real at this time next year.