Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Goal Setting
We’ve been setting goals since elementary school. But I’m not sure we needed a list of goal setting tips to achieve what we wanted. However, the older we get the more complicated we tend to make things. That’s okay, we’ll get there.
When we were younger, we worked for good grades, good behavior, and perfect attendance. When children start getting allowance or earning money, they often save up for something they simply can’t live without.
And then as we venture into adult life we set goals to graduate college and get the perfect job and move up through the ranks. We’re still into saving money for a major purchase. Many people add in relationship goals and others that round out a complete life.
Then of course there are the weight loss and health goals. In fact that’s where many of the goal setting tips focus on.
How many New Year’s Resolutions have been made in regards to losing weight and getting healthy?
Some goals I’ve set in my more recent years:
- Run 13 half marathons in 2013
- Ride my bike outside at least once a month every month of the year
- Write a book and set the launch date
- Write another book and set launch date…that I had to change
What are some goals you’ve set?
Where exactly do these goals come from?
Why set goals anyway?
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Goals start long before the first of year, the first of the month, or even the first of the week.
Goals begin with WHO we are.
As we learn and grow through life so our desires and ambitions.
Our core values shape the goals that we set. If we’re not in touch with who we are, or refuse to honor that person, then our goals have no meaning and will likely fail.
Before we address goal setting tips, it may be helpful to look at different types of goals.
I’ve identified three.
- Motivational goals – These are goals to keep you moving, going forward.
- Example: Instead of a latte everyday, set a goal to replace it with water for 3 days and then have a small latte on the 4th day. There’s some motivation, because you know that you’ll enjoy a latte at the end.
- Challenging goals – These goals push you out of comfort zone. They are often short term. These goals make you work for something and help you see that you can do hard things.
- Example: 5 Day Planksgiving Challenge. We did this last November in the Faith and Fitness Sisterhood. We committed to holding a plank daily while thinking of things for which we were grateful. Planking is a difficult move. It’s quite challenging, but many women were inspired when they completed the 5 days having planked each day.
- Success goals – These goals are the ones that you set to achieve something. They may be the longer goals, but these are the ones you set expecting to reach a new level or complete something. Often a success goal includes shorter motivational or challenge goals along the way.
- Example: You sign up for your first 5K.
Keep these types of goals in mind as you work on setting your goals.
How do we set goals that we’ll follow through with?
Our goal setting tips focus on these three areas:
- Defining our core values
- Determining our why
- Implementing the how
Before we set any goals, we have to be in tune with our core values.
What are things that are important to you?
How would you prioritize them?
Examples of core values:
- Making a difference
- Hard work
With your goal, you need to identify why it’s important, so you have an investment in that goal that ties into who you are and what you’re about.
This is why we identify our values first. We must connect the why to a core value.
Example: You’re now a retired grandmother, and you want to spend time playing with your grandchildren. You’re setting a goal to lose some extra weight. Why? You value family time, and you know that you will be limited by achy joints and becoming breathless when you prefer playing with your grandchildren.
It’s nice to know our values and have a why for our goal, but we still have to take action.
How are we going to do that? How will you achieve the goal that you have set?
Implement a plan of action.
Identify the steps you will need to take to reach your goal.
- What resources will you need?
- What is a realistic timeline?
- Who will support you?
- How will you stay accountable?
I can’t emphasize enough that even if we have all the right steps in place, we still need support and accountability. It’s key to our success for anything we take on. “Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up.” Ecclesiastes 4:9-10a (NIV)
Examples of support and accountability: A running group, a trusted friend or family member, Faith and Fitness Membership Community.
Goal Setting Tips Summarized
Define your core values
Determine your why
Plan how you will achieve it
Final words on goal setting…
- It’s okay to make yourself a priority. In fact, you must if you want to be the person that others need you to be.
- Don’t overwhelm yourself with too many goals.
- Whatever you choose to focus on, break it down.
- Celebrate your milestones.