Happy New Year y’all!!! One of my favorite things is to set goals. For years I shared our goals here publicly for everyone and even though I no longer do that, I still set goals every year. Yes, even for 2021 I’m setting goals because I believe they are incredibly important. And so, I thought I would walk you through the process I go through every year to help me set better, more intentional, and more purposeful goals.
1. Forward Focused
When it comes to setting realistic and purpose-filled goals, it’s super important that you keep your future in mind. I used to do this exercise with my one-on-one financial coaching clients and it’s super impactful! It will help you figure out and determine exactly how and where you want your life to go!
Write down today’s date but five years in the future. So I would write down January 5, 2026. Then write down what your age will be on this day. If you’re married, write your spouse’s age. If you have children, write what their ages will be. Then I want you to sit with this for a moment. Really take in those ages and what you envision your life looking like.
For example, I will be 39 years and my husband will be 40. My three children will be 13, 12, and 10 years old. What do I want a typical day in my life at nearly 40 years old to look like as a mother entering the preteen and teenage years? What do I hope to have accomplished by this time in my life? What does my husband hope to have accomplished by this time in his life?
I encourage you to write all of this down and journal it. Really allow this exercise to hit you in the heart.
2. Reality Check
Up next is a reality check. I do this every year for both my personal and my business. I write down three questions for both personal and business and I answer them honestly.
What is going well?
What is NOT going well?
What needs to change?
That’s it! Just those three questions. I have found that after completing the five-year exercise above, I’m able to answer these three questions with brutal honesty and clarity. The truth is, we won’t be able to make the positive changes we hope to make if we aren’t honest with ourselves and this reality check is a great way to get real with our life.
3. “I AM” Declarations
Here in the South, these are referred to as “I declares” because you’re declaring what your New Year will look like. What you’ll do, is write down, “In 2021 I am…” and then you will list your “I am” statements. For example, I am happy. I am healthy. I have $5,000 in my Emergency Fund. I am in love with my husband. I am content. That sort of thing.
The purpose of doing this is to help you get crystal clear on what you plan and want your life to look like in the New Year. In doing this exercise I have discovered many times what I actually want and what lies deep in my heart.
Now, it’s important to note that you should do this in order. Meaning start with the future (the five-year exercise) and work your way to this point. Starting here with your declarations will probably result in you setting goals that don’t have your best interest in mind. Or if you’re like me, you’ll end up setting goals that really should belong to someone else.
4. Set those Goals
I’m a huge fan of breaking down your goals into categories. I’m also a huge fan of keeping your goals list short sweet and to the point. A huge list of goals is not only overwhelming but more than likely many of the goals on that massive list may not be the important ones. I know for me, I used to set so many goals for the year and then feel defeated because I only accomplished 3 of them. When in reality, those three were more important than the other ones for my given season of life.
Here are the areas that I usually set goals in Spiritual, Motherhood, Marriage, Financial, Health, Household, and Personal. For example, under Spiritual, I could write: Study 1-3 John and spend 10 minutes in prayer every day. That’s it. Same goes for Household, I could write: Start sinking fund to replace the carpet. Under Marriage, I could write: Away weekend trip just the two of us. And so on.
The point here is that you don’t need to have a zillion goals. And heck you may not even need to have as many categories as I have listed! The point here is to start with your future in mind and bring it back to reality. Determine what actions you need to be taking today in order to achieve that vision that you have in the future.
There you have it! After you’ve completed this exercise leave me a comment telling me what one of your goals for the year is!
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