2018 Here YOU come:
How to write goals that inspire you to live your best life
2018 Goal Series: Part Four
I don’t know about you but to me September always feels like a new year.
It’s always bittersweet when summer come to an end. I LOVE summer. I love hot days and ocean swims and adventures. But the older I get and the more I discover my entrepreneurial self, the more I fall in love with fall.
Without the distraction of summer fun, inspiration tends to strike me HARD when the leaves start to turn. With this inspiration, fall becomes an excellent time to revisit goals.
Remember WAY back at the beginning of 2018 when I started this goal series? WELL I’m here today to FINALLY finish it off! Get ready to learn all about my goal process and maybe even get inspired to dream up some of your own. Enjoy ♥
SO what do I mean when I talk about vision and goals ?
Your VISION is your dream for five to ten years down the road. A VISION is all about dreaming BIG and not worrying about the details. That’s the beauty of it. #dreamlife
Your GOALS are the steps you need to take in order to move yourself towards your VISION. GOALS are often broken down into one, three and five year “steps” that are clear statements with a defined by-when.
In this blog post, I’m going to share with you my personal favourite method for writing my vision as well as how to use it to create actionable steps towards your #dreamlife aka goals.
Before we get into the nitty gritty, I need to start off by saying when it comes to writing your vision and goals, I’m a big believer in doing what’s right for you. Goals are personal and how you write them should be personal too. Just because one way works for me, doesn’t mean that the same way is going to connect with you. I highly recommend giving some different methods a try and see what feels best.
Curious about other methods? Some of my other personal favs are creating a vision board, Tim Ferris's Dreamline method, using my Passion Planner, and sometimes even just writing a point-form list. Another method I haven’t tried myself, but know quite a few people love is Danielle Laporte’s Desire Map. This has a strong focus on how you want to FEEL vs. what you want to accomplish. If this sounds more up your alley, definitely give it a looksy.
Overall there are TONS of different methods for writing and setting goals. I challenge you to do a little research and find an option that’s perfect for you. Que the excitement!
With that being said, if you decide to give the method I’m sharing with you today a try, remember to have fun with it. This should be an enjoyable, introspective, inspiring activity. It’s just for you. I know writing goals can feel stressful but that’s not their purpose. If “what am I doing with my life” or “I could never do that” thoughts pop into your head, bluntly tell them to shut up. They’re not invited. Instead, invite vulnerability, possibility, and imagination to the party. Also, remember your goals are not concrete and can ALWAYS be changed. Infact, I almost guarantee they will ebb and flow as you grow and change. So go big and get excited because you have nothing to lose and it’s just words on a page ;-)
Now, get ready to dream big and get excited because you’re taking the first step towards living your best life. You’ve got this babe!
PSSST . . .
How-to write your vision + goals in 10 easy steps
Before I go over creating your vision, I want to stress one thing: GO BIG !!! Because I doubt waking up to go to your cubicle desk job where you aren’t learning or growing and coming home to eat a microwave dinner alone isn’t a dream life. ;-) If that is the dream for you, great no judgement. BUT I don’t want you to think small because it’s easy. Think big because it’s scary and you’re worth it.
Let’s do this!
STEP 1 | SET THE SCENE
What makes you feel most inspired? Is it good music? A cup of coffee? A glass of your fav wine? A pot of tea? A favourite spot to sit? Whatever it is, make it happen. Invite inspiration in via one (or more) of your favs.
I especially recommend having a cup of coffee or tea or glass of something something to sip on. I personally find having something to drink gives you a moment to pause and reflect.
Once you’re cozy, pick your (writing) weapon of choice. You can choose any medium you like as long as it’s a blank canvas (< you can even use a literal blank canvas if you want). For me, I usually use either paper or my computer. If you prefer something else, go for it. Again, as long as it makes you feel inspired.
Step 2 | Sit back, relax and let those brain wheels turn.
Using the visualization I’ve recorded below, Close your eyes and let your mind wander. Begin to imagine your ultimate day….
Remember the Vision + Goals Workbook I mentioned above? If a PDF version of this visualization is more your jam, you'll REALLY want a copy of the workbook. Hint, hint 😉
Step 3 | Brainstorm
Now that your brain is hopefully full the the brim with ideas for your best day ever, start writing.
Set yourself a timer for 10 minutes and write whatever comes to your mind. Write and write and write until you until you can’t write anymore. If the timer goes off and you’re still writing, keep going. Let those brain wheels turn.
Feeling stuck? Keep the visualization PDF from above handy and use it as a prompt. Try writing without it first but if you can’t think of anything else, go through the questions from it and see what else comes to your mind.
Once you’re feeling complete with everything you’ve written, take a look over it. Circle or highlight all the things that make your heart skip a beat you’re so excited. Cross off anything that doesn’t light you up or your so-so on.
Step 4 | Write your #dreamday
Take your brainstorm and start to block it out into a little story. I like to break my brainstorm down by the hour. I find this makes it easier to turn into a story.
Once I’ve broken it down by time, I start to string together my story. Try to include how you’d like to feel along with the measurables. This will make your story more exciting and the key elements more imaginable.
Step 5 | Read, Fall in love or revise
Read through your vision and smile to yourself because it’s made you beyond excited to create THAT life.
Not exciting you? Think about what would make it more exciting/ empowering and revise it until you get that ooey gooey feeling.
If you love everything you wrote then your vision is complete! Do a little happy dance before we move onto turning it into defined goals!
Step 6 | What stands out?
Go through your vision and look for specific aspects of it that stand out.
Maybe it’s a doggie friend.
Maybe it’s a specific place you live.
Maybe it’s visiting a specific country.
Maybe it’s a certain number of kids.
Maybe it’s a business goal.
Whatever these specific stand out points are, write them down. Spoiler alert - we’re starting to create your goals. Boom!
Step 7 | Separate into categories
Start breaking your standout points aka GOALS down into 3 or 4-ish categories. Ideally the mix of categories your choose will be the building blocks to get you to your vision.
These can be whatever you want but here are some ideas to get you started:
Personal | Health | Fitness | Financial | Career | Spiritual | Business | Occupational | Mental | Family | Social | Learning
Mine are Adventure, Job Love, Living and sometimes I add Dance.
This step is optional but I find it keeps things organized and easier to keep focused. It’s also a great check into see if your #dreamlife would be balanced.
Step 8 | Add any missing pieces
Now that your stand outs are broken down into categories, are there any additional goals you’d like to add you haven’t already written? If yes, add them.
On the flip side, are there are any goals you’re now thinking “hmmmm not sure if I REALLY care about that.” Cross those bad boys off.
Step 9 | Let’s make these goals S-M-A-R-T
If you’re feeling the love for all your categorized standouts it’s time to make them into what are called S-M-A-R-T goals.
I know what you’re thinking, what the heck are S-M-A-R-T goals?
S-M-A-R-T is an acronym for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Timely.
These stand for:
Specific- What do you want to achieve?
Measurable- How will you know when you’ve achieved it?
Attainable- Is this something you have control of? Is it possible?
Relevant- Will achieving this make an impact on your life?
Timely- When do you want to achieve it by?
The S-M-A-R-T method for writing goals is one way of telling your brain what you want and give it clear, defined steps to get there.
Example: Say you have a goal to drink more water (side note: if this is your goal, go bigger gal, I believe in you).
Instead of making your goal:
I want to drink more water.
You’d say something like...
I drink 8 glasses of water a day by October 1st 2019.
Specific > Instead of more you’re stating 8 glasses
Measureable > When you’ve drank 8 glasses you know you’ll have completed this goal.
Attainable > Drinking 8 glasses of water is something 100% possible and in your power.
Relevant > This is where our water goal falls short. Is drinking more water REALLY going to impact your day to day life? Yes drinking water will attribute to your overall health but are you going to get excited about it? If yes, perfect, it’s a keeper. If not, how can you elevate it so it’s more relevant?
Timely > To make this goal happen, you have a by when of October 1st 2019. This keeps it top of mind and out of the SOMEDAY.
Now that you have a bit of an understanding of what a S-M-A-R-T goal looks like, I challenge you to give it a shot! If you’d like more examples and inspiration check out mine here.
Another thing to note, you can decide which format you like best:
I will drink 8 glasses of water a day by October 1st 2019.
I drink 8 glasses of water a day by October 1st 2019.
I have drank 8 glasses of water a day by October 1st 2019.
I easily drink 8 glasses of water a day by October 1st 2019.
Personally, I think “I will…” goals say to your brain “I will do that…..tomorrow” and there will always be a tomorrow. That being said, do whatever you feel most connected to.
Step 10 | Celebrate
You DID it! You created your vision! You wrote your goals!
How you use them is up to you.
Make them your desktop.
Shout them from the treetops.
Basically, do whatever you want to do to celebrate taking your life by the reigns.
Well there you have it!
I hope you enjoyed this post and are ready to create all the goals! Reach out in the comments if you have any questions (I’d be more than happy to answer them) or if you just want to share. I’m here for you gal!
With that, here’s to cooler days, cozy sweaters, and making our goals happen.
P.S. Remember that Vision + Goals Workbook I mentioned above? If you haven’t already, click the button below to get your hands on it ♥
P.P.S. Did you miss out on the rest of my 2018 goal series? No worries, I’ve got you!