Updated: May 14
As I see the leaves falling off the trees, I know this marks a new beginning. The kids are reluctantly getting ready for school; the summer fun is coming to a close. But there is an excitement building. It’s the anticipation of what’s next, what’s possible… Do you feel it?
It’s a time of newness, of possibilities, of creating or reviewing your vision and goals. There are 10 steps to creating and achieving goals. Grab a cup of tea and follow along as we journey through the land of possibility to the treasure of achievement.
Here we go:
1. Be clear about what you want to achieve in the next 3-6 months. Your goals should support your overall vision for the future. With that clarity create goals to propel you to achieve that vision. Ask yourself: What will move me in the direction of my vision?
2. Create 3-4 main goals. These are the larger goals that are actionable over the next 3-6 months.
3. Break those main goals into sub-goals. Large goals can be overwhelming. Breaking it down makes it more manageable.
4. Follow the SMART goal-setting rule:
Hot tip: To aid in goal-setting, use Post-it notes.
Here’s how it’s done:
Get a piece of Bristol board, flip-chart paper, or use a white board. On each Post-it note write your main goals. You should now have 3-4 Post-its on your board. Using a different coloured Post-it note, brainstorm your sub-goals.
Keep asking the question: What will help achieve this goal? What will make this a reality? Avoid the temptation to find all the obstacles, roadblocks, and reasons why it won’t work. Go with the faith that the goal will become reality.
5. If your goal isn’t already up on a wall somewhere, post it now in a place where you will see it regularly.
6. Now leave it. Really. Leave it. Avoid the temptation to start putting the goals into action. Give yourself time.
For the next few days, take it in every time you see it.
Is this what I want?
How will I feel when it’s complete?
Do these goals support the true, authentic me?
Will achieving these goals make me a better team member, manager, peer, parent, spouse, friend?
Will these give me the highest level of fulfillment?
Be curious. Allow yourself to look at these goals from different perspectives. How would these goals look through the perspective of your manager or a family member or a favourite high school teacher?
7. Once you feel these questions have been answered, you are ready to move on. Realize that it may take a couple of days or a couple of weeks to fully answer these questions. Each of us is different. Sometimes we just need that one night’s sleep to feel sure, to change, alter, remove, or add to these goals in order to have that sense of it feeling “right.” Other times we need time to ponder, consider, and contemplate in order to get to that point of feeling “right.” Give yourself the time you need.
8. Now you are ready to create an action plan. In this step you look at each Post-it note and create actionable steps to complete the task. Remember to list the Task and Target Completion Date. For a template to use for this click here.
9. Every morning review your action plan. Transfer any items that require action now to your daily to-do list. (We’ll talk more about that in a subsequent article).
10. Review and celebrate your successes. Each day feel the satisfaction of crossing items off your list. Review your successes each week. As you complete items, put a check mark on the Post-it note on your board. Watch as your vision becomes reality.
This kind of success is contagious. People will begin to ask you what the board is for … let them know. Share your successes. Celebrate as you check off your completed items. Know you are moving in the right direction. Allow yourself the freedom to let this be a living document … change/add/delete as you feel is in your best good.
Be a leader in creating vision and making it a reality. It will inspire you and those around you.