You Can’t Reach the Stars if You Don’t Know How to Get There

In the last year I’ve heard, read, and seen over and over again how important it is to set goals to reach your dreams.

Did you know that…

  • People who regularly write down their goals earn 9 times more over their lifetimes than those who don’t
  • 80% of Americans down’t write down their goals (are you part of that 80%?)
  • 16% do have goals, but they don’t write them down
  • Less than 4% do write down their goals
  • Fewer than 1% actually review them on an ongoing basis.  Guess which 1%?

I did some training last year that was very motivational for me, and it was based on the book Where Will You Be Five Years from Today? by Dan Zadra.  Wonderful book.  I would 100% recommend it.

Since then, I try (keyword: try) to continue to write down my goals and review them often.  Now, I’m nowhere near perfect, but I get a lot more done when I do follow a plan.  And what works for me even more is posting them where someone else can see them–then I’m forced to be accountable.

I’m sure many of you already have heard of SMART goals, but I think it bears repeating.  When you set your goals, make sure they follow these guidelines:

Definition of Goal

  • Specific – Being specific makes it more likely for you
    to reach your goals.  For i
    nstance, let’s say I want to run a race.  I can’t train properly if I don’t know: how far I’m running (there’s a big difference between running a 5K and a marathon), and am I actually running or walking (I can’t train appropriately if I don’t know the intensity).  These are just a few examples.
  • Measurable – If you can’t measure your goal, you can’t accurately track how you’re doing?    There are probably steps to get where you want to be.  How do you know you are going to reach your goal if you can’t track it?  This also helps you to adjust your method if what you’re currently doing isn’t working.
  • Attainable – My dad always asked, “How do eat an elephant?  One bite at a time.”  Why set a goal for yourself that is unattainable?  You can set a goal for yourself to lose 10 pounds in one month, but then if you don’t you’re more likely to give up.  Start small.
  • Realistic – Let’s face it.  I may want to win the lottery, but wanting it and planning for it really isn’t going to get me anywhere.
  • Timely –  Back to the race analogy…when I’m running the race, I need to know: am I running it tomorrow, next month, or next year?  If you don’t know when you want to accomplish this goal, then you’ll continue putting it off.  Set a time frame so you can accurately plan to accomplish this goal.

Right now I am using two goal sheets weekly to help me accomplish my short term goals (which will hopefully help me accomplish my long term goals.  The first is the weekly goal planner by Jana Laurene.  I use this to set my monthly goals (i.e. Lose 4 pounds) and weekly goals (i.e. Lose 1 pound, call 4 hostesses).  This way I can better set my daily goals.

The other one I use is the daily schedule by Buttoned Up.  I make one up for every day except Sunday (because that’s the day of rest).  First I write down whatever is on the menu for that week, followed by appointments that are already set in stone (i.e. work, church, soccer).  Then I can plan my time accordingly.  By using this method, I spend less time wasting my time and energy and actually accomplish something during the week.  If I plan too much time for one activity, I allow myself to waste some time or to get something else finished if I’m not sure I’ll be able to otherwise (like doing the dishes–YUCK!).  If I have a chunk of open space, I don’t schedule it.  Sometimes it’s good to be spontaneous or to just relax.  I’ll use that time to read, spend time with the kids, go somewhere.

And believe it or not, I also schedule time to be with my kids and to spend time with Prince Charming.  I’m the kind of person who will put off those kinds of things because they are “fun” to accomplish something that must be done, like cleaning the bathroom.  Now I know my family gets the attention they need.

What goals will you set this year?

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