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Goal Setting 101: 2021 Remix

January 1, 2021

LOTS Goal Setting Guide

back to the blog

Ready to get after some goal setting for 2021?! I know I am.

When I first started sharing more about our Life Outside the Shop I decided to move away from writing at my previous health & fitness blog because it was starting to feel like work outside of work.

But, I’m still pumped about sharing that side of myself with you when it feels right;) So, I’m throwing it back to a post I created around this time last year when 2020 was around the corner and there was a twinkle in ALL of our eyes…

If last year has taught us anything, it is to expect the unexpected and work with what we’re given. This post and the accompanying guide (download it HERE before you get started!) will help you head into 2021 feeling ready to take on whatever comes your way. Hopefully, it won’t be another pandemic.

Enjoy <3

New Year, Same You

If you’re not a big New Year’s resolution person, you’re probably going a bit​ crazy right now! Resolutions may not be your thing for a few reasons:

  1. You figure that January 1st is an arbitrary date and every day is a chance to set a new goal and get after it.
  2. You have set so many failed resolutions in the past that you no longer have any confidence in their power or your ability to stick with them long-term. 

No matter which camp you fall into, I’ve got you covered. And, if you LOVE goal setting this may still give you a few new ways to think about creating powerful goals that you’re actually excited and empowered to get after this year. ​

My Goal Setting Philosophy

After leading goal-setting sessions, guiding hundreds of clients through different goal-setting practices, and doing my own research about effective goal setting, I’ve found that setting and achieving goals is less about the order in which you set goals and more about your mindset during the goal-setting process.

In the right headspace, you’ll set goals you actually care about which increases the likelihood that you’ll actually achieve them. Whether you’re starting with a 10-year vision, a 1-year vision, or where you want to be tomorrow, the key is setting goals that are on your heart. Sure, it will always take some hard work, planning, potential pivoting, and learning along the way… I’m not telling you that reaching your goals is going to be easy. But, you’ll be able to push through tougher times if you’re truly passionate about what you’re chasing. 

Today’s go-go-go world constantly tells us to want and be more. And, on the (hopefully) tail-end of a pandemic that has changed the way we live our day-to-day lives it can be tough to take a step back from the chatter of should’s, what if’s and he said/she said’s to define what we want for ourselves.

We often chase goals that don’t light us up, thinking that they’re the natural next step in a progression that leads us to a life we don’t truly want and, when we get there, no longer recognize. 

These tips will help you to quiet those outer voices and learn to listen to the whisper of YOUR heart. If you want to follow along, download THIS FREE GOAL SETTING GUIDE and fill it out as you read! 

​So, where do you start? ​​

THINK BIG

What things are most important to you? ​Ask yourself “will this matter to me when I’m 90 years old?” 

​We spend so much time worrying about little things that don’t make a difference in the long run. Or we waste time focusing on things that don’t align with the greater vision of what we want in our life. The number of followers you have on Instagram, that extra income that is so important to you right now but leaves you burned out and unable to connect and spend time with people you love… Although these things may feel real for you now (and those feelings are totally valid!), it is so important to practice stepping back and really define what you truly want and value in your life.

Put It Into Action…

Make a list (or, fill out the worksheet!)…

  1. What will matter to you when you’re 90 years old?
  2. What WON’T matter to you when you’re 90 years old? 
  3. Ask yourself…am I setting goals from a place of hustle or a place of peace and calm?

​Constantly check in with yourself and ask if the goals you’re writing down are within the scope of what you truly want.

FIND YOUR FAV THREE

“Balance” is like a unicorn. Beautiful… and pretty much non-existent except in dreams and fairytales.

Most people think that “finding balance” is the key to happiness (FINALLY!) but I disagree (SORRY!). 

True joy comes from feeling grounded and confident in whichever season of life you’re in as your goals shift and grow.

Even when you love something SO MUCH it is all you want to do, it is still important to make sure you’re filling the different areas of your life and giving yourself time and space to grow in different areas. Focusing too heavily on one area of your life is the fastest way to burn out and become uninspired. 

Setting goals in (at least) three areas of your life can be a great way to make sure you’re creating space and opportunity for everything that is important to you.

Put It Into Action

Take a peek back at what you’ve determined that you want in your life. Look for themes and ask yourself which of these resonate with you. You can mix, match, add or make up your own! 

  • Body, mind, spirit/faith
  • Professional, personal, well-being
  • Finances, relationships, health

​Now, organize your current goals into your “Big 3(+)” categories. Are you setting goals in only one or two places? Can you set goals in the other areas that you’ve deemed important and influential in your life?

EXPERIMENT AND EVOLVE

​As you begin to narrow down your goals for this coming year, it may be helpful to reflect on the past year. What did you learn? What projects did you try that didn’t pan out? Did you set a few goals that you completely forgot about until RIGHT NOW? There really is no such thing as failure. Every “failed” attempt was an experiment and a chance to evolve​the method that didn’t work. 

Put It Into Action…

Ask yourself…

  • Which experiments didn’t work out the way I wanted them to last year? Why not? What can I learn and tweak for this coming year?
  • Is this goal still important to me? Did I set a goal that wasn’t really on my heart? Is that why I completely forgot about it?
  • Does this goal really serve me or should I put my time and energy into something else?

GRACE OVER GUILT

When you hear the word “resolve” (as in, resolution), what comes to mind? What kind of taste does it leave in your mouth?

When I “resolve” an issue, I have to think about the problem I faced and all the things that went wrong so I can adjust and avoid those pain points going forward. When you set goals based on what has gone wrong in the past, it causes you to set future goals aiming to “fix” these problems. In other words, you end up setting goals from a place of guilt instead of grace

Guilt is a powerful emotion in the short term but it doesn’t last long and keeps you grounded in negativity and what went wrong in the past. Setting goals from a place of guilt leaves you with a list of things not to do

Instead, what if you set ambitions for the year from a place of grace? Grace has a more positive and empowering ring to it, don’t you think?

Clearly outlining and communicating (for yourself and others) an ambition for what you want your year to look like will allow you to create a list of actionable steps to get there. Aka – you’ll have a “to-do” list instead of a “not-to-do” list.

Put It Into Action…

  • Make sure you’re in a happy headspace when you sit down to outline your year. Goal setting should not happen after a major loss, letdown or when you’re feeling down on yourself. 
  • Make your goals actionable and positive (ex: “start to…” vs. “stop…”) 
  • Dig deeper and ask “why”. If you feel like your goal comes from a place of negativity ask yourself why you want it in the first place. Want to lose 20lbs? Okay! Why? What will this change give you access to that you don’t currently have access to? For example: 
    • “I want to change my body” why?
    • “It will make me happy.” why?
    • “I will have more confidence” why?
    • “I will have healthy habits and sticking to them will make me feel strong and empowered!”

Now, maybe the goal sounds more like “Invest in a coach who can help me build healthy habits so I can lose 20 lbs this year.”

THAT is a goal set from love and grace, right? It is okay if your goal still sounds the exact same (or really similar) to when you first started; that means the goal itself still hits home for you. But, now you’ve uncovered a positive reason to chase the goal instead of a negative one and can connect back to it when you need a little push.

Keep asking yourself “why” until you uncover what is already present for you but that may be buried under guilt or other emotions. Then, you’ll know what is on your heart and can rebuild from there.

TARGETS AND TRICKLE BACK

When you don’t have a clear target, your aim is sure to be off. Your goals need to be check-off-able. Write them down, then read them and ask yourself “can I definitively say ‘yep, I did that’ or ‘nope, I didn’t’.”?

Put It Into Action…

Make your goals measurable by adding numbers and specifics. Want to run a marathon? Instead of “run a marathon” try…

  • Run “x” marathon on “x” date in “x” city.

Want to eat more veggies? Try…

  • Eat 2 fist-size portions of veggies at lunch and dinner every day. 

From here, you need to trickle back your goals for the year. If you see yourself running that marathon, what do you need to be doing in one month to start working towards that goal? What about one week? What about tomorrow? What about right now?

Put It Into Action…

Goal: Run the New York City Marathon on November 1st.

  • Next month: Consistently follow my training program and research local 1/2 marathons to get a longer race under my belt before November.
  • Next week: Schedule running into my planner for this week (repeat each week) and research a local 5k to get practice with race-day jitters. 
  • Tomorrow: Start Day 1 of training program.
  • Right now: Look up a couch-to-marathon training program and schedule running into my planner for the week.

COULD OVER SHOULD

Stop “shoulding” on yourself. I mean it… the fastest way to set a goal you don’t really care about is to set goals because you feel like you “should” want something, do something or be someone. The fastest way to not achieve a goal is to set a goal that isn’t on your heart. 

A quick note: I have definitely found myself setting goals based on the beautiful lives I see other people leading on social media or because that goal seems like the natural next step in my life-long progression. I still have to catch myself in that mindset now and then – we’re all human and we’re all figuring it out!

​I’ve found that when I set goals like this, I feel down, less than and/or I forget about them. Then, when I don’t feel driven to work hard at this goal (or something reminds me that I set a goal in the first place), I feel like there is something wrong with me, my work ethic and my ability to achieve a goal. When, in reality, I just didn’t listen to my heart-voice and set a goal that didn’t align with what I truly​ want.

Put It Into Action…

Ask yourself:

  • “Did someone tell me to want that?”
  • “Did I set this goal because other people are doing it?” 
  • “Do I actually want what I’m saying I want?”
  • “What would it look and feel like to have that thing? Would it bring me joy?”
  • “Do I think about this goal at least once a week or do months go by before I remember it?”

What COULD happen?
From here, take away all constraints. Try your best not to worry about how much time you have, how much money a goal will require or if it “fits in” to previous plans. If your goal is important to you, you WILL make it happen in some way or another. Ask yourself what could be possible and write. it. down. 

Put It Into Action…

Ask yourself…

  • “Does this goal make my heart race and palms sweat?”  If not, dream bigger. 
  • “Is this something that keeps me up at night?”
  • “Is this a give in goal?” ​In other words, is your goal something that will likely naturally happen (ex: “graduate with Master’s degree” if you’re finishing up this semester anyway or “get married” if you’re already engaged!) If so, skip it. BIG goals aren’t meant to be written down and then checked off a few minutes later just to make yourself feel good. They’re meant to challenge you and guide you to your bigger vision.

ASK FOR MORE

In the “experiment and evolve” section I talked about learning from things that didn’t quite pan out. But, you can learn just as much (if not more) from what is working really well for you. This way, you’ll have a proven, actionable list of habits or steps that have helped you reach your goals in the past.

Put It Into Action…

Think about last year and ask yourself what went really well for me? Then, level up those goals. For example:

  • Did you finally start your new business? AMAZING! What habits, mindsets and routines made it possible? What are the next big milestones for your company that you can work towards this year?
  • Did you hire a nutrition and/or fitness coach and learn a TON about self love, trust and healthy habits? GO YOU! How can you can continue to push yourself this year? Is there a competition or race coming up you want to enter?

Then, ask for MORE of the things that are working really well for you. 

Asking for more can also look like creating accountability systems and enrolling others in your goals. This is how you can create true abundance in your life and open up opportunities you never knew existed. What could happen when you ask for what you want and share your goals with others? At the very most, they may know someone or have the knowledge they can share with you to get you closer to your goal. At the very least, they’ll be able to check-in with you about how things are going and give you support where and when you need it. 

Set goals you'll ACTUALLY achieve because you ACTUALLY care! Plus, a free goal setting workbook to walk you through it, step-by-step.

Now What?!

  • Download this goal setting guide and write down your goals and aspirations for the coming year. 
  • Hang your goals on your refrigerator, on your bathroom mirror, on the bulletin board in your office or stick them in your planner. Make sure they’re somewhere you can see them every day! 
  • Create a vision board that inspires you to take action.
  • Share your goals with at least 3 different people in your life. 
  • Reach out to one person RIGHT NOW who can help you start working towards one of your goals. 

I can’t wait to hear what is on your heart! Drop a comment to share and let me know what you think about the guide!

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