While many course creators and bloggers tout goal setting around New Year, few tend to encourage their audience to set and pursue their goals year-round.
Goals setting has become a buzzword that some use to amp up course sales at the end of the year.
Setting goals shouldn't be a random event in your life. Goal setting gives you the roadmap you need to live an abundant life. It's pointless complaining about what isn't working for you if you are reluctant to make the changes necessary to gain clarity of purpose.
Why clarity of purpose? This is how you figure out why you are on this earth. It's how you identify what you want out of life and what you're willing to do for it.
Even if you think raising successful children is your only purpose. You owe it to yourself to reduce the struggles that come with raising children solo.
Pain and challenges are unavoidable. The struggle is optional.
You can eliminate struggles by setting goals for yourself. Goals that move you forward. And it's not about structuring your life until you can't breathe. It's about intentionally creating the life you want.
But New Year's resolutions do not work. So why keep making them?
The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result
Every year millions of Americans set New Year's resolutions. Why? Because you want better for yourself. You understand that setting goals help you live your best life.
But if setting New Year's resolutions is such a good method for setting goals, why is it that only 9% of those polled say they were successful at it?
Because New Year's resolutions do not work.
Studies show only about 9% of Americans surveyed thought they were successful in achieving their New Year's resolution. Why is that?
Reasons 91% failed to keep their New Years resolution include:
- Setting unrealistic goals
- Forgetting about the goals they set
- Not enough support or accountability
Approximately 1 in 10 of those surveyed said they thought they set too many goals.
This epic failure of setting New Year's resolutions as a way to live on purpose is the reason by mid-January we celebrate Ditch the New Years' Resolution Day!
I argue that the reasons given for failing to keep New Year's resolutions would not matter if you build an effective goal-setting strategy. One very popular alternative to the New Year's resolution is the New Age resolution. New Age resolution is setting goals around your birthday.
But just saying you are going to set goals around your birthday is not effective. You have to be strategic in setting goals. That is how you set goals that help you win in life.
”If you don’t design your own life plan, chances are you’ll fall into someone else’s plan. And guess what they have planned for you? Not much.”
~~ Jim Rohn
Why using your birthday to set ongoing goals for your life is a winning strategy:
- Helps you CREATE and FOCUS on what stirs your EMOTIONS
Focusing on your age creates an emotional TRIGGER by which you can set annual goals and gives you focus on your own personal ambitions.
- Create a sense of URGENCY
You’re not getting any younger. You can’t get back your last age. Those numbers mean something to you.
- Provides a FRAMEWORK for taking ACTION Where focus goes energy flows. You can now put a massive amount of energy into your goals. Now you can take massive action.
We are intimately familiar with our birthdays. By anchoring our goals and objectives to our birthday we trigger emotions that empower us to achieve them
Some of us have a love/hate relationship with our birthday. Our birthdays evoke emotions in us.
Emotions are everything. Emotions govern our sense of wellbeing.
~ Tony Robbins
But why set goals
1. Save yourself time and money by not spinning your wheels through life.
2. Provides clarity and keeps you from being a “slave to impulses”. Having a workable strategy for setting your goals gives you the power to choose your path. To pivot or adjust when the need arises, and to own and control your destiny.
“Life is happening for us. Not to us.” ~~ Tony Robbins
3. To create a fulfilling life. You gain control. The struggle you feel is a result of not having control over your own life. Weight gain. Paycheck to paycheck. Difficulty with children or work. They all create a feeling of life happening to us. By taking control and setting goals that work, you grasp the reins of your life. You decide where and how to go.
You own your genius.
4. It frees you from struggling with life. Yes, you will still feel pain but you can focus your energy on your goals instead of your struggles.
Here are my 7 tips to develop a winning goal-setting strategy:
1. Decide and commit
Ask yourself these questions: What do I want out of life? What do I want for my children? Where do I want to be in life in 5, 10, or 20 years?
It's hard to know what plan to develop unless you know what you want. So decide what you want then commit to doing what it takes to achieve it.
2. Believe it can and will happen
You must believe that what you are about to do will happen. You must also believe that you are worth all the effort you put in. And finally, you must believe that you deserve to achieve your goals.
I think this is one of the reasons we don't set goals. We don't believe that better things can happen for us. It's time to believe!
It is the Lord who goes before you. He will be with you, he will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.
3. Create a plan of action
Once you decide to set goals around your birthday, create a plan of action. What is your objective? To lose weight? Make more money?
Develop a framework and take action.
Google and other large organizations use Objectives and Key Results (OKRs). A description of this framework is detailed in Measure What Matters by John Doerr. to scale by setting objectives and measuring your results.
Other tools like S.M.A.R.T. goals can help you to properly frame your objectives and keep sight of your goals.
“If you want to grow you have to do something that will make you stretch so you have to take a leap. You may skin your knee but you will discover talents you never knew you had. Give yourself a chance. Trust yourself. Listen to your heart”
~~ Les Brown
But personalize them for your situation. When you make them your own, you will have an emotional connection to them.
Just like there’s no one size fits all diet. You will need to customize these frameworks to help you reach your own goals. Develop your own strategies from these existing frameworks.
Also, ask yourself questions such as who can help me plan and achieve your goals? For example, will I need a personal trainer or financial planner to guide me in accomplishing my goals?
In my course Successful Goal Setting Strategies for Solo Moms, I break down how each framework can be combined to work for your personal situation. Join the waitlist to get notified about our next session.
4. Write them down
Thinking about what you want is only the first step. To start the path down to the reality of achieving those dreams, write them down.
- use a notebook or planner
- create a "do-by grid" (the date by which you want to achieve it)
- put an x on your calendar to correspond with what you have in your "do-by grid"
"Write the vision; make it plain on tablets, so he may run who reads it."
5. Create a tracking system
Create a way to track your efforts and achievements. This is not a plan to whip yourself if you didn't meet your goal. It is a way to measure what matters to you. It's hard to know if you're meeting your goals if you don't track your efforts and check your results.
Not tracking your goals will only keep you struggling. Just what we're trying to reduce or eliminate.
6. Celebrate the wins
Did you lose one pound in 30 days even though your goal was ten pounds? Usually, we tend to bemoan the fact that we didn't do what we set out to do. But I encourage you to use this opportunity to celebrate that win.
Look at it as a step in the right direction. Pat yourself on the back because you deserve it for your hard work. Give thanks. You did it!
7. Review and recalibrate
So how did you achieve a one-pound weight loss? Are you able to do more of that to get closer to your goal next month? Or will you need to change your strategy? For example, drink more water, eliminate snacks, or walk a little longer.
Take this opportunity to reexamine how you can change (recalibrate) your plans to achieve your specified goal going forward.
Review: Set up a quarterly review of your goals. Have you reached them? Does that change your objectives? For example, if your goal was to drop 10 lbs and you lost it.
Reframe: This is a time to reframe your goals. If you achieved something then you can drop it from your list. Or from the example above you might set a goal to develop a plan to sustain your weight loss.
Reclaim your stance - Believe. I can do this. You can do this. Remember your why. Photo of Wonder Woman stance.
Do these things to reinforce your success at achieving your goals:
- Share your objectives with a mentor, coach, or therapist (depending on your needs)
- Keep a journal (specifically for this project if possible). Write in it every day.
- Put objectives and results you desire in a planner. If it’s not on the calendar it’s not real
- Expect that you will not “feel like it” some days.
What not to do to keep your focus:
- If your friends and loved ones are not supportive don’t share your desired results with them. They will only get in your way.
- Let mistakes trip up.
- Let others talk you out of your dream
- Be afraid to set goals that seem impossible
Goal setting can be a chore. Or it can be a way of life that sees you reduce struggle and find joy in the middle of chaos. One strategy that can help you achieve your goals is to get an accountability partner. That partner could be a friend who has your best interest at heart. Or it could be a professional like a counselor or coach.
Finally, one thing that could stop your progress before you even start is to share your goals with people who live their lives scared. Or worse they don't want you to succeed. So be alert and choose wisely.
Remember you're not alone and you don't have to parent in silence.
If setting goals for yourself seems like climbing the highest mountain without the right gear, do not be discouraged. My upcoming course, Successful Goal Setting Strategies for Solo Moms, will take a deep dive into the 6 secrets that will help you set winning goals for your life.
The course covers how to:
- Develop the mindset that you deserve to live with a lot less struggle
- Embrace the mantra that "you are the master of your fate and the captain of your soul"
- Learn to un-anchor yourself from past hurt
- Adopt a strategy that can work for you and your family
- Record your goals in a dedicated format
- Develop a strategy for tracking and reviewing
The course will provide the tools and strategies to keep you focused on your goals while reducing your struggles with everyday life.
Benefits of my process:
- Save time and money
- Reduce or eliminate struggles
- Provide clarity of purpose
CTA: Join my waitlist for my upcoming course, Successful Goal Setting for Solo Moms
Not ready to take a full course? Download my free checklist. It will help you get some clarity on your life's goals.