My family thinks I’m nuts because it doesn’t matter how much New Year’s Eve ‘partying’ I do, I still jump out of bed on New Year’s day like it’s Christmas morning. WHY?? Because it’s GOAL time!!! There is something so magical about the start of a new year – so full of new possibilities, new experiences and new challenges.
I have been setting goals every January 1st since I graduated college (let’s say a VERY long time). When I first started doing it, my goals were more like a to-do list because there is something so satisfying about checking things off the list. Then, when my kids were born, my goals morphed into changing my behaviors. For example, being a more patient mom (I think I had that one for close to a decade). Both approaches were pretty ineffective – one was too focused on the tactics and the other too abstract.
For the past few years, I have been using a different approach that pushes me out of my comfort zone (aspirational) with specific actions to achieve my outcomes. Now, I am far from perfect, so I do miss some, but I would say I am hitting 90% every year. Not too bad!
My approach is outlined below…Feel free to give it a whirl!
Identify your personal mission
I start by ensuring my goals address the following:
- What fulfills me from the inside out – my personal side
- What fulfills me from the outside in – my professional side
It’s the yin-yang of my life. These are complementary forces that interact to form a whole system that is greater than the parts. It’s all about the balance that I need to coexist together. My husband, kids, extended family, friends, fitness, and charity fulfill my personal side. My work, business, learning, and creating new things fulfill my professional side. This has enabled me to articulate my life’s mission: Creating new pathways and experiences for myself and others that did not exist before.
Assess and Aspire Visually
I then assess my previous year and ask myself the following questions to think about my changes and focus for the next year:
- Where did I succeed and why?
- Where did I fall short and why?
- Where do I want to grow or improve?
- Where do I want to push myself beyond what I believe is possible?
I bring together my mission, assessment and aspirations so I can see connections, identify where I fell short and/or highlight where I am not aligned. In order to do this, I draw it out! Check out my visual recording below to see how this shapes my thinking for setting my goals:
Once I complete the assessment and aspirations, I draft my goals.
Make it SMART STRAM
YES – STRAM goals! It’s SMART goals with a twist, thanks to Ken Blanchard.
T – Trackable (the new measurable)
A – Attainable
Because specific and trackable need to go together. Then, you can ask yourself the questions of relevancy, attainable, and motivating based on your mission.
See my 2017 goals below on how it all comes together!
Let’s Get Started!
To summarize, below are the steps to create goals that push you to be the best YOU can be!
- Step 1 – Define your mission by listing your personal and professional passions
- Step 2 – Assess your previous year to identify your aspirations for this year aligned to your mission and visually record it
- Step 3 – Use your visual recording to develop your STRAM goals