The year is nearly half over and it’s time to check in on your goals. Most of us were in a goal-setting mood at the beginning of the year, but summer doesn’t seem to beckon us to evaluate and sit down to a formal goal-setting process. That’s okay. Instead, take advantage of time at the beach or in a lawn chair to do some goal-setting for the second half of the year.
While you’re at it, make sure you have some paper—ideally your journal—and a pen. To take it a step further, use a journal and writing utensil that you love. To look at what you want in the coming months, you might need some of those giant sticky notes and brilliant colored markers. Or not. You might be a narrow-ruled-paper-and-black-pen kind of person. Go with what feels right to you, not something you think is proper but drives you crazy.
Now make a couple of quick lists. Don’t overthink it, just freely write what bubbles up. Obviously this short article isn’t the end-all for goal-setting. But I suspect that many of us avoid setting goals because it seems like an intimidating process. If you’ll just make these two lists periodically, it will help you clarify what you should be doing and where you’re going in life.
List #1: What I Don’t Want. Why start with a negative point of view? Many times we feel conflicted about what we want in life, but most of us are pretty clear about what we DON’T want. Feel the frustration and even anger while you write—it will fuel your desire to avoid the things on the list. Just don’t get bogged down in emotion and sorrow and regret here. It is what it is, and you’re making a new start.
List #2: What I Want. Write a list of things that you really want in your life. Hit all the areas—relationships, business, Social Media, fitness—you name it, it’s fair game. Get excited about the possibilities. You don’t have to accomplish all of this by the end of the year, so don’t allow overwhelm to stop you. Where do you want to be by the end of the year?
The good thing about setting goals for all of life is that we can't separate any one area–business and Social Media ARE life, along with keeping the house running and spending time with those you love. Being organized and goal-driven in business while relationships and family meals fall apart is a recipe for ending up where you didn't want to be.
Since we’re keeping this simple, choose a few areas of life that are important to you and write down three goals for each area. Like all goal-setting, keep it specific.
For instance, rather than “have a better marriage,” write specifics: “hug and kiss at least twice a day,” “compliment my spouse every day,” or “(fill in the blank with your code for time in the bedroom with your spouse) three times a week.” Rather than killing spontaneity and scheduling feelings, these specific goals will help you stay on track by giving you a checkpoint and reminder during the busyness of life (and the temptation to neglect your most important relationships).
The problem with non-specific, general goals is that your subconscious knows you have a goal but since there’s no concrete marker you constantly feel a vague sense of guilt. Your brain knows you’re not doing “it” because there’s no specific “it” to do. This contributes to a fuzzy, confused feeling rather than a clear direction in which to move.
That’s it. The only thing left is to DO the specifics on your lists, then review them regularly. If you haven’t looked at your New Year’s goals since you wrote them, how’s that working for you? Review your goals every week if possible, or at least every month. Course correction is easier when you stay close to the path rather than finding yourself way off the road.
For your business you might have a much more detailed goal-setting process, but if you haven’t been setting goals at all for your business (or the rest of life), start with this simple method. It beats doing nothing every time.
There’s no rule that says you can only set goals in January. You can set a new course and begin to move in the right direction any time. Keep it simple. The more layers and rules you add, the less likely you’ll actually follow through. Choose simple, specific goals to focus on, and you’ll surprise yourself by what you accomplish by year’s end.
Enjoy your summer and make progress on your goals, all at the same time!
Charlotte Siems is a happy wife and mom of twelve who is a speaker, author and coach. After losing 100 pounds with T-Tapp, she became a Master T-Tapp Trainer, sharing her encouraging story with people all over the world. She has built a successful online business and writes about family life and T-Tapp at www.ThisLovelyPlace.com. Charlotte’s life experiences and training have uniquely qualified her to help others create a successful family and business.