Let me start this post by saying thank you to the lovely Jaimie who gave me this idea by messaging me on Instagram! As someone who loves setting goals, resolutions and lists of any sort, I forget that it doesn’t come as easily to some people.
A few weeks ago I wrote about looking back at the resolutions I had set for 2018 and how I’ve gotten on with them so far. Being just a few days into July, now is the perfect time to look back at your goals and resolutions that you likely set yourself on a dreary January day.
Or maybe you didn’t set any resolutions or goals at all, but want to tick a few things off your list before the end of the year. Either way, I thought I’d put together a few tips on setting goals and how to approach them, so come New Year’s Eve this year we can all look back and see how far we’ve come!
1. Look at different areas of your life
Whenever I sit down to write out my goals, I usually look at a few areas of my life; my relationships (friends/family/boyfriend), my health (food/exercise), my mental health (self-care), work and hobbies.
I think about each one, and how it can be improved. For example, could I be a better friend/daughter/girlfriend? Do I eat as well as I’d like to, and do I exercise as much as I want to? Am I taking enough time to switch off and take a break from social media? Am I happy in work, am I moving towards my career goals? Have I read as many books as I wanted to this year?
Do you catch my drift? Some areas might not need improving – woohoo! – while others might take a little more effort. Have a think about the different areas of your life and if they tie in with what you’ve always wanted to achieve. The goals/resolutions should come pretty easy then.
2. Set fun goals too
Goals don’t have to be all doom and gloom (ie going to the gym every day – unless that’s your thing). Try to set some fun goals that have been on your bucket list for ages, like running 5km or saving up and going to a restaurant you’ve always wanted to try.
It’s nice to include a selfless goal as well, like doing something for a charity close to your heart, or even vowing to visit your granny once a week.
3. Short term goals/Long term goals
Once you’ve set your goals, break them down into short-term goals and long-term. Long-term goals, for example saving to buy a house, can then be broken down into short-term goals, like saving €XXX per week.
4. Make a plan
It’s all well and good saying you want to go to the gym twice a week or finally start recording that podcast – but making a plan is how to turn your goals into reality.
For example, if you want to go to the gym twice a week, write down how you’re going to do it:
Goal: Go to the gym twice a week
Plan: Schedule in workouts in my calendar every Sunday night. Have my gear washed and ready.
Or if you want to spend less time on your phone:
Goal: Stay off my phone from 10-11pm.
Plan: Turn off phone, put it in the kitchen and read a book/(insert other goal here) instead.
Do you catch my drift? Have a look at how you hope to achieve that goal will make it so much easier than just saying it.
5. Check back in
I like setting monthly goals, so I can look back every week or two and see if I’m staying on track. Some goals might always be on your list (like eating healthily), while others might change. You might even look back and realise that a goal isn’t important to you anymore, and that’s fine.
I like writing down my goals with an actual pen and paper (shock horror!) and then I take a photo of it with my phone so I can check back in with them every so often.
Setting goals doesn’t have to be complicated and involve a 12-step process, at the end of the day it’s all about what works for you!
Some goals might take longer to achieve and more work, while others might be smaller and easier. Either way, every goal is part of working towards who you want to be and what you want to achieve in life.
I’ve been very extra for this post and made a print out you can use to write your goals and plans. There’s also a ‘complete’ section, which you can use to write the date you hope to complete it by, or you could write in the date when you complete it – or both! It’s up to you.
You can print out the sheet here or use it for inspiration to make your own. There’s room for four goals on this sheet, so print out more if you need them! Keep it somewhere you can easily access, or take a photo of it on your phone like I do.
Best of luck with your goals – and here’s to a brilliant next six months of 2018!