With all the resetting of goals and intentions I had been doing this past week, I thought it would be a good idea to share the process I go through. Let me just start off by saying that your goals should be based on what you want to do in life. They can be inspired by various other sources but should ultimately come from what you want to do. And the way you can be successful in achieving said goals will be based on your WHY. Why do you want to achieve that goal? What is the feeling that you get when you achieve this goal?
Let’s talk about an example. Let’s say my goal is to work out 3 days a week. This is based on my capacity and energy, not some random target. I have learned that over a week, I can realistically only do 3 workouts ranging around 30 minutes. And my WHY for this is working out makes me feel energetic throughout the day and keeps my hormones balanced. Not to mention, it just makes me feel like a badass, especially on the days I am not feeling good about myself.
So for the rest of the post, let’s see how you can work out some goals for yourself and how to make them attainable.
Circle of Life
I always go back to the circle of life when setting goals. You can see what this looks like in the diagram below. The circle of life basically consists of 6-12 areas of your life. There are many ways you can approach this, but for this post, we will only use them as a guide to where we want to focus our attention. And don’t worry, we won’t be setting goals for all of them. I like to start off by choosing about 3 areas to focus on at any given time. For most of us, 2 areas are chosen for us because we do need to focus on our family & friends and work/career by default. Other than this, if you have the capacity, you can choose 1-2 more areas to focus on. Let’s say you focus on nutrition and health like myself.
The next step is to evaluate where you are right now. This can be done by tracking your day, your food intake, your mood, or even getting blood tests recommended by your doctor [Ref: Side Note below].
Once you have taken stock of where you are right now, the next step is to dream about where you want to get to. The dream or the goal can be big or small, but just remember bigger dreams might take longer time and smaller ones might come together more easily.
The next step is to make a plan for how to get there and also set a realistic time-frame for this to happen. For example, if I just started a YouTube channel and want to get 1 Million subscribers in 3 months, it might not be possible. But I can still target to get 500 subscribers in 3 months (I don’t know if that’s possible as well, I am not a YouTuber. Yet.)
Here’s a pro tip from my marketing background about setting goals. Make it a SMART goal. I have modified what SMART means to a holistic lifestyle. When you are dreaming big, setting goals, and making a plan, then make sure that it is SMART.
S – Sustainable – Whatever goal you set should be sustainable based on your current lifestyle. If you are a busy mom, you might not have the time to work out 90 minutes and make 5 meals a day. You might push yourself for a day or two, but it might not be sustainable in the long run. You have to be kind to yourself if you are looking to make long-term change.
M – Measurable – whatever goal you are planning to make should be measurable in some way. Increased energy throughout the day, better sleep, better values in a test, easier periods, any stat you might want to measure, etc.
A – Attainable – The reason for this is, more often than not, we set too big a goal for ourselves, and instead of motivating us, it becomes so daunting that we ultimately give up and think of ourselves as failures or someone who is not capable of that goal. The key here is to dream big but break it apart into small and measurable goals so that you keep yourself on the path to see big results in the long term.
R – Realistic – Again, this is pretty much covering the same concept but dependent on external factors and the support available to us in the external environment. 30 years ago, for anyone to just start a company was hard and would be discouraged. But in today’s day and age, it is quite normal and even encouraged. Vastly different times. Not that you couldn’t start a company 30 years ago, but you had to be mindful of very different things than you would today. The same case if you are trying to sell a water heater in a hot desert region, people might just not need that. So being aware and realistic about where we are, location & where we are in life, and what support we have available is also important in setting goals.
T – Time-bound – This is not something I used to do, but then my husband encouraged me to have a time-bound goal so that I would actually achieve it and not just keep procrastinating on it. The key here is to set a time period that is long enough that you can sustainably achieve it but short enough that you can’t waste time thinking of unnecessary details.
Once you have set the goals, then it is important to break them down into small steps and check on them on a daily, weekly, monthly basis, and note the progress you might be making or reflect on the progress you might not be making and make changes accordingly. And to repeat again, BE KIND TO YOURSELF.
Side Note: In my case, I had lost all energy and vitality, which did not reset even after eating healthily and exercising, so I went to my doctor who got a bunch of tests done and found I was deficient in certain vitamins among other things. This is not uncommon in the world we live in today. So if you are doing everything you can and you are still not feeling your best, then go see a doctor. Whether it is western medicine or ayurvedic or homeopathic doctor, choose whatever works for you, but get professional help.
If you want help setting and achieving goals, then I invite you to work with me 1-on-1. Just send me a mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
So, that’s my post on goal setting for you. Hope this helps.