Every year at this time, I have a ritual.
I head to the store and select a brand new sparkly notebook to write my goals in.
My two little ones share in this tradition. This year R. picked out a llama notebook and D. selected a cat notebook.
We arrived home, grabbed some pens, opened our brand, spanking new notebooks and got ready to jot down our plans for the year.
To my surprise, they both started rattling off a long list.
Meanwhile, there I sat….staring at a blank page.
I was dumbfounded and frozen.
I’ve always been an overachiever. Getting up at the crack of dawn. Putting in long days. Juggling it all. It was like a badge of honor.
But this year, it almost started to feel like a badge of shame.
Was I really taking care of all of the things that were important to me?
I still have big dreams, but I was starting to wonder, how can I cram all of this in?
How can I get everything done at work, and still nurture my relationships, my family, my creativity, my health and my spirituality?
I started getting overwhelmed and as a result, I did a very bad thing.
I shut down.
I know from talking to you the same thing happens when you start a design project. The “project” feels so overwhelming that you end up doing, well, nothing.
So, instead, I told myself the same advice I tell you when you’re designing your home. One step at a time and we’re going to get there.
And with that advice in mind, here’s how I started my goal planning process:
I started by breaking down my desires into separate “buckets” or categories of the things that are most important to me.
That way my brain could figure out the goals in context of those categories.
I listed things like family, kids, health and career, being sure to keep the list to seven or fewer.
This let me organize my thoughts and gave me a launching point.
If you’re working on this step, feel free to use my worksheet and just change the titles to whatever you want to focus on this year.
Ask the Right Questions
With my list of buckets in hand, I sat down and asked myself some key questions that I hoped would help me gain clarity and further pinpoint my goals.
First, I asked myself, what would an amazing life look like five years from now? What would look like if I looked back on an amazing past five years?
I’ll admit, this one was challenging for me because I have a very difficult time envisioning way into the future.
Despite this, I still committed to doing it.
As I worked through each of my buckets, some things were still hard to define, but many other things started to become clear – especially in the health, family and kids buckets.
For example, when I envisioned what extraordinary would look like five years from now – one of my dreams – traveling all over the world with my children – came into clearer focus.
Then, I asked myself, what would that dream life look like one year from now?
Realizing that we are nowhere near the goal of traveling the world got me to take action for this year and commit to a few local, easy-to-get-to places so we can start working toward that five year goal.
Like always, we’re starting small.
Next, I asked myself, how much time do I have?
When I got to this step, I once again started feeling overwhelmed – especially looking at my career bucket. I could see things were really overflowing.
To overcome this, I enlisted the help of a business colleague.
Together, we put time into the context of numbers.
For example, it’s super important for me to not miss quality time with my children.
So, we mathematically figured out the number of days and hours I had available to work on my career goals without interfering with my family time.
This was a game-changer for me.
I could clearly see that there are simply not enough hours to do it all, which helped me further define my goals.
Want to see how we worked this out? I included a worksheet that will help you determine exactly how many hours you have to achieve your dreams.
If you haven’t done so yet, get your copy of my 3 free worksheet downloads. Don’t miss out on these.
Click Here to Get Your Copy!
Finally, I had to dig deep and ask myself, does this goal really serve me?
And if so, since I clearly can’t do it all, how can I use the resources available to me to get it done?
Or, if necessary, what resources do I need to add in order to achieve those goals?
From there, I started plugging away at the things I really wanted to commit to.
And that is how I started planning 2019.
Once you know what you want, then you can start mapping out your day, week, month, quarter and year – but you cannot do this until you’ve tackled all of the above.
Does that make sense to you?
If so, go ahead and download my worksheet below. This will help you get started. Print it, or open it and start filling it out right online.
It’s not easy. I know, because I worked through it all myself. But trust me, it’ll be worth it.
All of your dreams are right in front of you for the taking. You just have to create the plan that will lead you there.
I encourage you to take this first step today.
P.S. I’d love to hear from you. Please leave a comment and share which of these tips helped you, and what you want to achieve this year. And if you know someone who could benefit from this message, I hope you’ll share this blog with them today!Even sending this to one person helps.
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