You can't sign on to any social media these days without seeing some type of #goal (I feel like squad goals started this whole trend, but I am not a social media guru so I am almost certainly wrong). On my Instagram feed today I see a picture of an entry door with "front door goals" (it was a pretty door, I'll give her that) and on a video of overhead squats someone replied "sports bra goals"because she...liked the sports bra the poster was wearing? Dream big, you guys. Dream big.
I am a fan of the goal-setting. I've always liked new year's resolutions, and this year I used Nicole Antoinette's Best Year Ever goal-setting template to set my goals for 2016. Her big thing is designating "buckets" for various parts of your life, and choosing an intention for the year for each separate bucket. Your buckets can be any category of thing in your life--mine are health and fitness, financial, career, family, marriage, and community, for example (I think you were supposed to have five but I needed six). Then you set goals for each bucket, and some specific milestones to accomplish that goal (for example, my community bucket has an overall goal of "be a good citizen of my communities" and a specific goal of making meaningful contributions to my friendships and charitable causes that matter to me every week).
I also bought a paper planner for the first time since college, and I'm pretty taken with it. I love the "Goal Digger" theme--first of all because I think it's funny, and if you haven't caught on to this yet, I love nothing better than to be amused. Also, this planner is broken up in a way that I really like--it has tabs for each month, and on that tab is a two-page spread of the whole month in little boxes. Following that overview there is a two-page spread for each week, with space for each day and a space to write goals for the week at the top. At the end of each month there's a space to "recap" each week, and then a place to reflect on monthly goals (things you've accomplished, goals that have changed, and goals for the next month). I wrote my goals for the year in the front, and I make a point of reading those every week or so and thinking about whether I'm on track to do the things I want to do in 2016.
I don't use this planner as much for the daily things, but I have been making a habit of pulling it out every Monday and setting my goals for the week, recapping the week before, and penciling in what the coming week holds. I've found that taking fifteen minutes to do this sometime on Monday has helped me bring focus to my week--if I'm being honest, I frequently don't accomplish the goals I set for a given day, but I almost always accomplish the higher-level goals that are a focus of my week. For example, today I decided my "goals" for tonight were to take a bath, paint my nails, and go to bed early (I have been so low energy the last few days, and was trying to regenerate a little bit). But, instead, Dan needed my help working on one of our rental properties where new tenants are moving in on Friday. So, instead of a bath and a manicure I scraped paint off windows and vacuumed and am getting to bed later than I planned. But, I ate well today and I made time to cook dinner (which will help with this week's goal of increasing my energy) and I spent time with Dan, which was also something I wanted to do more of this week. Better to focus on the big things than the little things, when you can help it.
The real reason goals are important is, to borrow from the Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, to begin with the end in mind. Taking the time to think about what you want your day, week, year, or decade to look like help you steer toward that outcome. If you know where you want to end up, you can better figure out how to get there and you can be intentional about how you invest your time and energy. And, having your goal in mind makes it easier to push through the little tasks that stand in your way. If you can focus on what you want most, it's easier to prioritize that desire over what you want now (i.e. what I wanted now today was copious amounts of Easter candy, but I'm freshly committed improving my energy and feeling better overall, which means I need to not binge on sugar like I did last week. Tough break.) When I don't want to go for a long run on a rainy Sunday morning, what gets me out the door is my goal of finishing a half marathon in under two hours this year.
What are your goals for this week? This year? Five years from now? Do you have a plan to get there? Tell me all the things. And go get 'em, tiger.