Researchers say it is important to write your goals down and to revisit them often. It’s what most successful people do. So whether you want to share them with everyone or not, it is worth spending the time getting the ideas out of your head, in front of you and being accountable to yourself for them. It’s something I’ve started to do in recent years and I can really see the benefit of it – particularly at this time of year when you have 12 months of ideas, plans and goals flying around your head.
Knowing where to start with goal-setting can be tricky. I use the approach below to organise my thoughts, but you might be more comfortable with simply listing all your goals and when and how you plan to achieve them.
I like to think basic work/life balance goals can be divided into the following categories:
- Health & Fitness
- Finances & Money
- Career / Education
- Personal Growth
You don’t need to have goals for all of these categories. Only use the categories that are meaningful to you to achieve a balanced life. About four categories is usually an ideal number, and having a realistic number of goals (say two to three per category) helps you to focus and achieve them.
Recording your goals (i.e. accountability)
One way to keep a record of your goals is using a Trello board. Here’s an example of someone who’s using this method to help them totally smash their goals for the year.
Or if you prefer you could just put a few columns in a word document like this one.
And here is another template to remind you that there is no right or wrong way to do this. It’s just a way to scaffold your thinking and to focus on what’s important for you.
Whichever method you choose to record your goals, make sure you save it in place you find it later and make sure you check back in on what you said you would work towards at regular intervals throughout the year.
If you’re doing a great job at achieving what you set out to, reward yourself!
If, on the other hand, you’re finding it hard to stick to your goals, don’t be too hard on yourself. Revisit your plans and set some more realistic goals – or lessen your load for 2019. Remember, the idea isn’t to create more stress or pressure but to give your life balance, focus, direction and order.