Goal Digger

7 Steps for Awesome Goal Planning

We all have dreams; whether it be graduating from an Ivy League school, raising a family, or becoming a well-known artist, there are things that tug at our soul, reminding us that we have things to do.​ Things outside of the daily routine of school or work or parenting.
I myself am always thinking about all the things I’d like to accomplish. Sometimes it’s all I can think about, calling me to action, so I’ll add “Plan (Insert literally any goal here)” to my planner and it will remain there, forgotten, until it’s time to turn to next week’s page, where I will dutifully write it down, convincing myself that this week will for sure be the week that these task gets completed.  
*Repeat same pattern thousands of time* 

Obviously this method is not working for me, hence causing me to wait a decade to actually launch my own website. It can seem impossible to get around to our goals, when so many other things may take up our time and attention. But I want change, and because I know I’m not alone, I’m going to share 7 tips to help you successfully plan out those goals. 

1. Listen to your nagging voice 

What is your nagging voice? It’s that voice in your mind who is constantly reminding you that watching Will & Grace for the millionth time is not going to help you create your next masterpiece. Or that feeding yourself chips and guacamole does NOT in fact count as lifting. 
Pay attention to what it is saying to you. What has been on your mind? What are the things that you can’t stop thinking about, that your pesky internal voice keeps reminding you of? Sit in a relatively quiet place, or somewhere you are able to be alone for a moment and really think (I’m not saying the bathroom is the most desirable place, but it definitely gives you the chance to lock the door and have some thinking time.)
What have you always wanted to try/accomplish? Where do you want to go? What makes you happy? What makes you unhappy? How have you been feeling lately? Are you constantly miserable because of a job that sucks your soul? Are you constantly tired?  
I know this may seem like a lot of questions, but it is necessary to dig a little deeper to find out what it really is you should be focusing on!  
To help you with this process, I created a quick template that I hope will make your soul 

searching a bit easier. Click Goal Brainstorm Sheet

2. Decide on your Goal Categories 

If your nagging voice did not help in coming up with some awesome goal ideas, or if you’re like me and have way too many goal ideas and want a better way to organize them,figure out your Goal Categories.
A Goal Category is the umbrella that all of your other goals will fall under. For 
example, one of my goal categories is Health. I then begin to come up with all the Health related goals I’d like to accomplish: lose weight, maintain a Vegan diet, increase my daily step count, be able to run on a treadmill, walk without feeling winded, etc. The list can go on and on.

You don’t need to be specific at this part of the planning process. Just write everything that comes to mind. Some other examples of goal categories include: Family, Relationships, Self-Care, Creativity, Business, Community, Finances, Work, Passion, etc. 

3. Fill up your Goal Categories 

Now that you have come up with your Goal Categories, you should have a better idea of the things that are most important to you. As mentioned above, start creating the items in your categories that you’d like to accomplish, that need more work, etc. Once again, do not stress about being specific on this part, just let your thoughts flow and write whatever pops into your head.  

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4. Be S.M.A.R.T. 

Now that the brainstorming aspect is complete, let’s make sure we set ourselves up for 
success by tweaking our current goals list to be S.M.A.R.T. Goals that are S.M.A.R.T. are 
Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time based. As I mentioned earlier, one of my goals is to lose weight. So if I gain 100 pounds, but lose 5, does that mean I achieved my goal? 
Maybe. Maybe not.
In order to have a strong basis to determine whether or not you have been successful with 
a goal, it is important that we make them S.M.A.R.T.  
Specific) What do I want to do? I want to lose weight. 
Measureable) How can I track this progress? Or how will I know that I’ve succeeded?  
Well, I weighed myself, and based on that weight, I have decided that I want to lose 80 pounds. 
Attainable) Is this a realistic goal? What will I do to make this happen? 
This is definitely a realistic goal, because it will bring me down to the amount I used to weigh two years ago. I plan on increasing my water consumption, increasing my daily step count, decreasing the amount of fast food I consume, and doing a bi-weekly weigh in to track my progress. 
Relevant) Is this something that I actually care about or want to do?  
Yes because I am concerned about my health and want to go back to my old weight. 
Time based) When do you want this goal to be completed?  
I want to lose those 80 pounds by June 2019. 

Boom! You now have a S.M.A.R.T. goal. You go girl! 

5. Plan for it 

Now that we have dedicated the time to come up with our goals, we want to make sure that we make it happen. If you use a planner or calendar, add reminders on there to keep the momentum going. Each month on my calendar, I write my starting weight, and every two weeks I have written in a set day for weigh ins. You can do this for almost anything you have planned to accomplish.
Whether it’s just a reminder to write for 15 minutes a day on your phone, or a 
weekly check in with your parents to strengthen that relationship, you should have these reminders somewhere.

Out of sight, out of mind, and we definitely don’t want that to happen after doing all this amazing goal planning! 

6. Share your Goals 

I am a firm believer in this step. If you share your goals, you are more likely to hold yourself accountable. Or you may have some amazing people who will make you accountable! Don’t feel like you have anyone in your life who will care? Shoot me an e-mail, comment, DM, etc.

I definitely care and want everyone to be their version of success! 

7. Progress is Perfection 

Remember that it’s OK to skip a week of clean eating or to forget to do your daily craft project. We are not robots and it’s OK to take a break. I’ve learned that the most important thing is to make sure that I don’t completely give up on a goal just because I forgot to do it like I had originally planned. 
With that being said, it’s also OK to revamp or eliminate a goal if after a few weeks you realize this is not what is right for you. Life is a journey with many paths, just because you chose the wrong one does not mean you are a failure!

You’re doing great, whether you see it or not.  

There you have my 7 step process for successful goal planning! What are some of the goals you came up with? 
If you feel like it’s too late in the year to set some new goals, read Why I waited on my New Year Resolutions, to learn why it can be necessary to wait. 
Tune in next week to learn about the goals that I am FINALLY dedicating myself to. 
Stay Tuned & Stay Motivated  


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