Another year has come and gone. You have welcomed in 2019 with renewed excitement and intention to make this year your best ever. I love this time of year. The hope for what’s possible is in the air, gently pushing everyone to step up and believe it can be done.
Amid all the hype, just how do you set realistic goals – and more importantly – how do you smash them this time. This article is a mash-up of the many methods I have learned along the way as we have grown WhichAddOn whilst balancing our large family of 8 and what works for me. If you are still on the hunt for what works for you, I hope this helps you.
Step 1: Get it all out
Get it all out. Get a pen and paper, or open a Word document, a Google Doc or an email. Whatever works for you. Write down all the things that are working for you right now and all the things that aren’t. Once you get it all out, ask yourself this question: What do I want? Now write down everything that you want to bring into your life this year. I want… I want…
Keep on writing until you can’t think of anything else. Once you are done, ask yourself (or pretend I’m asking if it helps to have a coach-like voice in your head): If I could achieve any one of these things right now, which one would make the biggest impact on my life today? Circle it or highlight it and do this again until you have picked your top five goals.
Step 2: Write out the “How”
Take your first most important goal and write down what it’s going to feel like once you have achieved that goal. What does your life look like when you have achieved this goal? What do you need to do to achieve this goal? Write down every single thing that you can think of that can be done now, that you need to learn and action – today and in the future. This is your task list. If you do this for each goal, you will have now have a list of actionable tasks that you can pull from as you plan your days ahead.
Don’t skip this step. It’s the part that most people never do. You owe it to yourself – to do this step. Put some headphones on. Get a tea or coffee. Put on a timer for 5 mins per goal and get it done. You can thank me later. 🙂
Step 3: Make it easy
One of the things that we do to sabotage our success from day one, is that we don’t make it easy to review our goals daily and stay focused. How many times have you written a list like this, set your goals in a notebook, never to be looked at again? I feel like I’ve tried them all. Goal setting apps. Notebooks. Pretty planners. Paper diaries. Vision boards. And even bullet journaling. Every one of these organising tools is useful, but I don’t think that they are designed to stand alone. A few months ago, I found Trello. Trello is the missing piece I needed to bring all that I had learned together in one place. It’s my electronic journal and diary with an easy to manage vision board, right in the palm of my hand. What else could you want!?!
For every goal, I have a Trello board. In that Trello board, I have my list of actionable tasks for that goal. In another list in the board, I put pictures and quotes that remind me of what it’s going to feel like when that goal is a reality in my life. As we all know, motivation passes – like a summer hailstorm, it comes and goes. In another list, I record my progress towards that goal, so that when I review that goal, I am always reminded how far I have come. It so easy to focus on the goal too much, that we don’t appreciate the steps to the success we make along the way.
The final piece to the Trello puzzle for me was creating a Trello board for each month of the year. I have each day listed for the month. And every night I plan my next day. I write all the tasks I need to do, my appointments, my personal and family commitments and anything else I need to remember that day. As a final step, I review my goal boards and copy a few actionable tasks into my next day list, with a click of a button. If I am needing some extra motivation, I copy a picture or quote over there too.
Step 4: Take action
I know when you look at the above, it might sound like a lot of work. Really, it’s not. You might feel like it’s a waste of time to write a to-do list if you don’t like lists, but I promise you, you are already writing a list in your head anyway. And when you have goals you want to achieve – a lot more things to do come along with that – so, make your life easier to manage and write it down. If you are easily overwhelmed and unfocused, just the task of writing it all down will help.
Don’t fall into the trap of planning without taking action. Even with you fail to get it all done, don’t be discouraged. When you are failing, you aren’t a failure. Be comfortable in knowing that you are trying. Try your best and forget the rest.
From the WhichAddOn team to you, we have some exciting goals to smash this year and we want to help you smash yours too. If there is anything we can do to help you, please don’t hesitate to get in contact with your Account Manager or chat to us live at WhichAddOn.com.