Six Steps to Create Clear Goals for 2019
January is already coming to a close. How did that happen? We might be a month into the year and that’s okay! I’m guessing you’ve been brainstorming about the year ahead and now is a good time to write things down and finalize your goals and strategy for 2019.
I like to talk about goals a little differently. Try to think of goals in three main aspects of your life; you as a person, you as a professional and you as a business owner. Person. Profession. Business. Why? All three areas overlap and you cannot separate You from your business. How powerful is that? Here are six steps to help you strategize your year and build clear goals for 2019.
1) Choose Your Themes:
Using these three aspects, Person, Profession and Business, what are strong overarching themes that keep coming to mind that will help you get closer to where you want to be? Ask yourself a lot of questions like: What areas need work? What do I need or want? What am I excited about? What would I like to accomplish? Who do I want to be? What or how do I want to grow? What would move the needle for my business? Don’t overthink it. You already have a good idea of what you need to work on.
For my goals, I keep coming back to these themes for 2019:
Person – Connection, Health, Projects
Profession – Network, Clients, Learn
Business – Strategy, Content, Consistency
2) Create Your Goals:
After choosing your themes to focus on under Person, Profession and Business, now it’s time to go deeper into creating an actual goal to support these themes. For example, as a Professional I believe it’s important to continually learn. I plan to continue to read books and articles, watch webinars, attend events and ask questions. More specifically, I’d like to ensure I have less time on Netflix, binge watching Suits, and more time reading. So, my goal is to commit to reading 1 book per month in 2019 to build on my theme to Learn. The key is to be as specific as you can.
3) Attach Actions Items:
Listing goals can be overwhelming as it starts to add up when looking at all three aspects of your life. It’s also exciting and motivating! Breaking goals down into manageable bite-sized action items will reduce feeling overwhelmed. Going back to my example of learning, reading a book cover to cover over the weekend with a warm cup of coffee has been a thing of the past with young and busy kids. So, I plan to schedule reading every Wednesday and Sunday night in order to accomplish 1 book per month. Attaching the action of 2 nights per week and scheduling it in my calendar doesn’t seem so bad. Each week will not seem like much (which is the point) and over time it accumulates to something great. Imagine where you will be in a year!
4) Attach Timelines:
The thing with your goals and action items, you don’t have to start everything at the same time. *Insert sigh of relief here… “ahhh”. This step is to realistically think about each action item, how much time you need, when to start, the frequency, and your deadline. Stagger your timelines in order to integrate these newly forming habits. If you try to do too much and all at once, you will set yourself up for failure. Over the years I have discovered the hard way that things usually take much longer than anticipated. Still challenge yourself, but also be honest with yourself so that you are set up for success.
5) Schedule Your Time:
To me, calendars are an essential tool. Endless “To Do” lists don’t cut it. Whatever type of calendar or system you use, break your schedule into focused blocks of time based on your personal and workable hours each week. Under each block of time, start incorporating your action items so that it will become a consistent part of your daily, weekly or monthly schedule. Forming a new, positive habit. I truly believe that it will not get done unless you add it to your calendar.
6) Track Progress:
One final step is to schedule strategy sessions with yourself monthly or quarterly to look back on your goals and see how far you have come. Have an accountability partner to do this with if it helps. Make sure to celebrate your wins! Come up with a happy dance! Also acknowledge areas that fell short and understand the reason. Did you fall behind because circumstances changed and you need to pivot? Did you underestimated how long it would take? Do you need to change your approach? Does something need to be dropped, delegated or delayed in order to focus on a goal? If you revisit your goals you will understand and appreciate how far you’ve come and the direction you still want to go.
To help put this altogether, click below to receive free worksheets to work through your goals and schedule for 2019. Please also email to share your thoughts or comment here on any tips you use to create your goals!