Have you ever asked someone where they want to be in 5 years and they shrug and say “I don’t know?” I GUARANTEE YOU they know, but they’re afraid to tell you. And, why? Because they haven’t taken the time to devise a plan for how to achieve their ideal life in 5 years.
Maybe you’re one of those people (which wouldn’t be surprising because less than half of the human population admits to setting goals); I’m not here to judge. But, what I am here to do is get your butt in gear because honestly, it’s just ridiculous that you could be THAT much closer to getting to where you want to be by doing the most simple thing…
By goal setting we accomplish a few different things:
- We determine what it is we really want to achieve.
- We keep ourselves motivated
- We hold ourselves accountable.
- We break our large goals up into smaller, more achievable steps.
- We feel dang good because we are continuously improving, which means we get closer and closer to where we want to be every. single. day.
That’s great, Alexis, but how’s it done?
There are many different ways to goal set as is evidenced by the myriad of goal setting templates and journals you can find online, but here’s what has worked for me.
Step 1: Have a conversation with yourself. If you can’t be honest with yourself about what you really want in life, you for sure can’t be honest with someone else. Take the time to talk to yourself and figure out where it is you want to be in 5 years (*note that this process can be applied to goals of any length). The most important part here is that you don’t let the opinions of others influence this internal dialogue. This is about what YOU want, not what anyone else wants or worse, thinks you can or cannot achieve.
Step 2: Once you have your large goals decided upon, you have to start thinking about the steps you can take to achieve them. If we’re talking about a 5 year goal, we should start with 1 year goals to get there.
For example, if your 5 year goal is to become a board member of a prestigious local chamber, your 1, 2, 3, and 4 year goals could be as follows:
Year 1: Attend every chamber meeting and networking event.
Year 2: Join a chamber committee.
Year 3: Take on a high level position in said committee.
Year 4: Apply to be a junior board member AND get the position!
Step 3: It’s more than fine to leave your goal in 1 year chunks if you’re one of those people that ALWAYS accomplishes their New Year’s Resolutions. If you’re not, and statistically speaking, you probably aren’t, you may want to break it down a bit further…
Continuing with the Board Member scenario…
Under year 1, you could list out each chamber meeting and networking event. I personally like putting checkboxes by each task so that I can check them off as I go.
Under year 2, list out the committees you’re interested in. Jot down reasons why you think each committee would be a good fit for you. Do you have to apply to be involved with a committee? Write the application deadline down. List all of the committee meeting dates.
Year 3 will look similar to year 2. Just switch out the list of committees you’re interested in with a list of potential committee positions.
Under year 4, write out the list of requirements necessary to become a junior board member. Write down the application deadline. Write down the meeting dates.
A monthly or semi-monthly goal breakdown works great for me, but you know yourself better than anyone else. If you feel like you need shorter term goals to keep you going, go for it!
Finally, just because you wrote it down does not mean that you have to accomplish it. You are NOT a failure for pivoting. Goals change, just be sure to keep working towards them, whatever they may be.
If you’re in need of good goal setting template to get you started, I’ve got you covered. Just type your name and email in the form below and I’ll send it right over!