Goal Setting for the New Year (or any time really)

Happy New Year to you! I know some of us don’t like the ideas of resolutions, but what about setting goals for 2019? I personally love setting goals for the year ahead so I have a guide of where to focus my energy.  I asked four experts (career coach, wellness expert, financial expert and life coach) to provide their thoughts and tips for goal setting.  I got a lot out of each of their answers and I hope you do as well!

THE CAREER EXPERT

Allison Venditti, Career Coach and Back to Work Expert
www.careerlove.ca

How do you approach goal setting for a new year or any time of year? 
I always suggest short term (make lunch!) and long-term goals. I am also a huge advocate of writing everything down. Some people use a note book – I use a big sheet of paper on the wall and I cross off as I go.

How do you measure your progress? Any tactics/techniques? 
For each goal I break it down into mini goals. For example – for someone who is job hunting – the goal “find a new job” can be overwhelming and frankly, not that helpful.

Instead something like this is a good way to break it down:
Goal: Update resume
– enter new job information (15 minutes)
– redo skills section (10 minutes)
– check grammar (10 minutes)
– have friend check for spelling mistakes (10 minutes)

I am also a time stickler (per time restrictions above) I have an egg timer that I have clients use to make sure they don’t drag the whole process out. In the age of google where it is super easy to get distracted by puppy videos – having a timer keeps things focused!

Allison’s specific advise to moms who are making career changes
The biggest piece of advice for moms who are making changes in their careers, growing their careers or other activities is that you need to make space to do this. If you want to redo your resume – you are going to have to make the space by giving up something else. Too often I work with people who are burnt out – they went to work, picked up the kids, made dinner, did bedtime and NOW are trying to do a resume while listening for the kids to see if they are awake. Set aside 30 uninterrupted minutes – maybe go into work early, work on it at lunch, make dinner for 2 nights so that you have some extra bandwidth during the time you pick to work on it!

Can you share one of your goals for 2019 (professional or personal)?
My personal & professional goal is to continue to NOT do things. Like everyone else I can get swept up watching others do exciting things and I get really excited because I love what I do. But I also have a 1 year old (and a 5 and 7 year old) and I work for myself so that I can spend more time with them. I spent 2018 saying no but things have started to creep back in! I wrote about how I do not do it all here.

 

THE FINANCIAL EXPERT

Limor Markman, Real Estate, Author and Financial Expert
www.limor.money

How do you approach goal setting for a new year or any time of year? 
I like to approach goal setting by creating a North Star goal for the year that often includes a few facets like income, social media presence and how many people I want to impact. I like to set a goal that is huge and motivating, nothing too easy to hit – that way I have to stretch!

How do you measure your progress? Any tactics/techniques? 
I generally select goals that are easy to measure. For example, any time I can see my income to date, or social media following to see how I am progressing against my goals.

What is your recommendation for people who feel overwhelmed with setting up goals? 
If someone feels overwhelmed with goals, then I suggest to start super small with no more than three goals and make them monthly goals so you can celebrate the accomplishments on a regular basis. Goals are meant to keep you on track on the path you set for yourself. Set them, track them, crush them and celebrate them!

 

THE LIFE COACH

Megan Day, MSc, CLC, Certified Life Coach, Founder of Rooted & Vibrant
www.rootedandvibrant.com

How do you approach goal setting for a new year or any time of year?
Goal setting is a very personal process because each of us has a different set of highest values that we live our lives by.  It is fairly easy to say, “I am going to work out 4 days a week” but unless you connect with the following things, the changes you make will probably not be lasting.

There are 4 components of lasting change:

  1. You need a compelling reason to change, a clear benefit that you are emotionally connected to. Forget about the “shoulds”, this has to be meaningful to you on a deeper level. ex. if one of your highest values is family, then working out may give you more energy to play with your kids or working out may improve your self-confidence which may positively impact your intimate relationship with your partner.
  2. You need to acknowledge the payoff, what you’re getting from staying the same. ex. the payoff from not working out is that you don’t have to take any actions and you get to stay in your safe zone.
  3. You need to realize the loss, what you are giving up by changing. ex. by working out you may lose time to watch your favourite shows or you may be afraid that you won’t have anything in common with your unfit friends anymore.
  4. Finally, what the cost is of staying stuck where you are. ex. the cost of not working may be that your health suffers or you won’t be able to keep up with your kids anymore.

How do you measure your progress? Any tactics/techniques?
Your goals ideally should be SMART goals. SMART goals are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time-sensitive. If your goals are SMART goals, then you can easily measure your progress. For example, saying “I will work out 4 days a week” is not a SMART goal. Instead your goals could be “I am going to go for a 30-minute walk, 4 evenings a week for the next 2 months.” This is very specific, measurable and time sensitive. If your goal is related to how you want to feel about something, I suggest that you use a rating scale of 1 to 10 since feelings are so subjective and hard to physically measure. A SMART goal could be, “On a scale from 1 to 10, my relationship with my partner will improve from a 2 to a 6 by February 14, 2019”. If this were a goal that my client was working on, I would check in with them midway and ask them to rate their relationship.

What is your recommendation for people who feel overwhelmed with setting up goals?
I recommend that people be realistic with their goals.  Lasting change does not happen overnight so please do not be hard on yourself. I would also recommend balancing your goals with self-care as it can be taxing to always be thinking about what not to do and to live your life like a checklist. Life does not always have to be about self-improvement, make sure to build in some time to do the things that fill you up and create fulfillment. For me, these things are listening to good music that stirs my emotions, reading thought provoking books and being outside.  As a mom, I know that life is a constant balancing act, so I try to finding things that I like to do but that don’t take a major budget or a significant amount of time.

 

THE WELLNESS EXPERT

Nat Harrison is the Founder of well&tight, a fitness and wellness studio with a dedicated community focused on helping each other achieve long term wellness, fitness and vitality goals.
www.wellandtight.com

How do you approach goal setting for a new year or any time of year? 
Goal setting for me always starts with reflection. Taking a few moments of stillness (in my car before pick up, before I hop out of bed to start my day, cuddle time before bed etc…nothing fancy or formal. Just myself and my breath. I reflect on how far I’ve come and make an effort to relish the wins. Big and small. I notice themes that comes up and take care to weave them into my goal setting.  For example, recently I’ve realized that most of the success I’ve encountered is from decisions that my heart made and not my wallet. The moment I try to rationalize costs or making money, I know the goal or idea will most likely fail. My heart more than anything needs to be behind a goal 100%. Once I’m filled with gratitude for all that I’ve accomplished and the themes that have lead me to success, I surrender. I use to create very robust 5 year plans and while my A type personality would always achieve them, I didn’t always feel fulfilled.

How do you measure your progress? Any tactics/techniques? 
I use to work in a measurement-driven world but I don’t formally plan for number based analytics in my own business, I am definitely aware of the numbers; it’s much more intuitive now. Are our classes full? Are we adding more? Is the connection among our members growing? Are our members referring friends? When I first launched well&tight almost 3 years ago I use to obsess over the numbers. Are my followers on IG growing, how is my engagement, did I reach my target registration for each program, on and on it went and it was exhausting. Two years ago I let all that go and trusted my instinct instead. I’ve been much happier and the business has blossomed from my intuitive efforts.

What is your recommendation for people who feel overwhelmed with setting up goals? 
When I start feeling overwhelmed I stop and sit in the discomfort. Feeling overwhelmed generally means I’m fearful of something. Once I explore the discomfort, better understand the drivers and shine light on doubt or fears holding me back I start to see more clearly. If that doesn’t help I turn to a mantra that has served me well. Surrender. There is something much larger at play and I trust that source to guide me. My intuition always has the answers, I just may not be able to hear it clearly over the fear and doubts roaring in my hear. Our trainers, my husband and my mastermind are always key resources for me. I often bounce ideas off them and they always have incredible suggestions or simply hold space for me to discover the truth myself.

Photo by S O C I A L . C U T on Unsplash

League of Moms / 01/13/2019

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