Ah, the G word. We've heard it over and over and over again practically since birth -
"What do you want to be when you grow up?"
"What are your goals in school this year?"
"What's your latest fitness goal?"
"Make sure you're creating SMART goals!"
The list goes on, but I will not. There's so much pressure around goals - having the right goals, having realistic goals, having short term and long term goals, having personal and career goals... it's a lot. And when you're not completely sure about what you want, it can feel like the sky is falling.
And really, it doesn't need to be like that.
Creating and achieving goals can be fun and easy, and honestly - it should be. I'm going to walk you through the best way to create goals to ensure that you'll succeed, but before we begin, just remind yourself that it's okay if these goals change. While you're chasing your dreams, life is going to happen. Struggles and hardships will come your way, and so will unexpected opportunities. It's okay to push deadlines back, make alterations, or change your goals completely.
It doesn't mean you failed or aren't good enough - it's just life. Get back up, re-evaluate, reset, and go harder. Having these goals will help you figure out what you should be doing daily/weekly/monthly to continue taking steps closer towards your goals, which can help alleviate stress.
So, let's begin.
You'll need 9 sheets of scratch paper, colorful pens or markers, and a good bit of time.
On scratch paper #1, you'll want to write "TEN YEARS" in the middle of the paper, with the date 10 years from now underneath. So it should look like this:
July 27, 2029
Now, take about 5 minutes and consider where you want to be in 10 years. What career do you want? Where do you want to live? What kinds of things would you like to have? Do you want to be married? Have kids? Is there something about your appearance you'd like to change? Where do you want to be spiritually? Are there any chapters you would like to close by then? It's best to keep these pretty broad/general because we're going to keep getting more specific on each sheet.
Write your answers all over the empty space on the paper and draw a line from each goal back to the center.
Then, you'll do the same process with 5 years. Continue on with 3 years, 2 years, 1 year, 9 months, 6 months, 3 months, and weekly.
When you get to the weekly segment, leave a little room next to each goal with the amount of hours you plan on dedicating to that goal every week. This part of the process will help you be realistic about how fast you can achieve your goals, and which goals you want to prioritize. Keep in mind that a regular full time job is 40 hours a week, most people sleep 8 hours a night, and you'll need time for eating, showering, maintenance, socializing, your favorite T.V. shows, etc.
Personally, no matter how much I work, I aim for spending 40 hours on my goals. Some weeks it fluctuates more than others based on my schedule, health, prior commitments, etc. But I look at my goals as just as important as my work, so I like to organize it that way.
It can also be helpful to create a weekly schedule or routine. For example, if one of your goals is becoming bilingual, you may want to wake up at the same time each day and spend the first 15 minutes of your day learning the language. This is actually what I do to learn Spanish and so far it's going really well - highly recommend. Having a routine can encourage you to push through on the days you feel unmotivated. It can also make it easier to set appointments, manage your time, and dedicate yourself 100% to whatever you're doing at that given moment.