Taking the time to set realistic, attainable, and authentically inspiring goals can seem like an easy step to skip if you’re very ambitious. The whole sitting still and planning stage can seem less important than actually taking action – even if you know you can’t truly make any quality moves without first having a plan to steer you in the right direction. This year, before you make your New Years resolutions, set side a chunk of time to plan your goals right. You'll reap the benefits of a smart plan, we promise.
Identify your intent
Know the difference between your intent (your ideal state of being) and your goals (what you have to do to achieve your intent). Your intent will stay in the back of your mind as your motivator as you plan your goals – which will be, unlike your intent, specific and measurable. The more specific they are, the more powerful and productive your goals will be.
Plan related actions
When you picture your ideal self who occupies your ideal intent, what kinds of actions does she do that uphold her situation? What kinds of books does she read? What kind of company does she mingle with? What does she do to make her work and lifestyle possible and always getting better? Action-oriented practices that support your intent is a crucial daily, weekly, and monthly process of your success, from the very bottom to the very top.
Take responsibility for your own goals and plan to be self-sufficient on your path. However, It's important to have a support system. You'll need someone to hold you accountable and provide support will ensure your success with sticking with your plan. Think about your existing support structure (your current friends, colleagues, connections). Who is key in helping you achieve what you want? Who will hold you accountable? Who do you most want to impress and make proud, right now?
Banish the “shoulds”
Goals you think you “should” want won’t inspire you. Instead, set goals that you are excited to do and will feel good to have completed. If something feels too monotonous or confusing, rethink it. No enjoyable end result will come from a journey of steps that weren’t enjoyable to execute. Stick to your passions. Doing one thing really, really well is enough (or at least, one thing at a time.)
Be open minded enough on your path that you are open to new opportunities. Remember, it’s your intent that you’re after, not your goals. If a new way to achieve your intent comes up and resonates with you but conflicts with your goals, don’t be afraid to try it out.