Plus: A new goal-setting challenge!
Here we are, on the brink of 2018, ready to hurtle into a new year and accomplish spectacular things!
Oh… wait… you’re probably thinking something like this:
“We’re still a couple of months away from 2018.”
“How in the world should I know what I’m going to do next year when all I can think about is how to get through the rest of THIS year?”
Well, then. Let me be totally blunt and say now — yes, NOW — is the perfect time to begin goal planning for next year.
Let’s break it down. We’ll look at why you need to set goals, why now, and what sort of goals an overwhelmed overthinker should make.
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Are Goals Really That Important?
Okay, that question was a setup. Of course you need to set goals. Otherwise I wouldn’t be writing this post for you.
Now, I’ve heard several people recently say they don’t believe in setting goals for one reason or another. Usually the reasons are one of the following:
“I always fail, so why bother?”
Because, as Wayne Gretzky said, “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” If you don’t set goals, you’re giving yourself permission to remain in the same position you are now, never improving. You’re sabotaging yourself and your confidence.
“I don’t need anything else on my plate.”
I get it. Everyone is busy. And to be honest, some people really are in a season of survival, where just getting through each day is a battle. When that’s the case, survival IS the goal, and it’s a good one.
But most of us tend to just drift along, doing more and more busy things, never challenging ourselves to see what we could really accomplish with real focus. Sometimes it’s a matter of letting go of the busy to make room for true priority goals.
Think about it for a minute. Do you really need to be doing all the “stuff” you do every day? (guiltily thinking of Netflix and “staying in touch with family” read: hours lost to social media every week) Okay, I’ll answer that for you: Probably not. What could you let go to make room for pursuing a true priority?
So maybe you know you should set goals, but… does it really have to be right NOW?
Why You Need to Start NOW
Planning is half the battle, so do it now before 2018 smacks you in the face.
I know it seems like there’s still a lot of 2017 left on the calendar. You might even be thinking, “I’ll just get through the next few weeks, and then I’ll plan for 2018.”
Overwhelmed overthinkers NEED MORE TIME. More time to plan, and more time to accomplish those plans.
Because believe me, if you’re an overwhelmed overthinker like I am, it’s extremely likely that if you don’t begin to figure this stuff out PDQ (pretty darn quick), you’re going to find yourself some day next May or June with nothing accomplished and wondering how the year is already almost half over.
I don’t want that to happen to you.
The simplest method is to sit down with a pen and paper and make a list. It’s an excellent way to begin because you can do it as sort of a mind map — grouping similar things, doodling, whatever gets your mind working.
Some planners also have places for listing goals. This Tools4Wisdom planner was very popular with readers last year. (In fact, it was so popular that I purchased one for myself to use for 2018.)
For people who prefer something tech-based, you can always make a list in a spreadsheet or an app like Evernote or Google Keep.
The important thing is to get the thoughts and ideas out of your head and down in writing. Once that happens, you begin to look at things differently. What was once just words or a picture in your head begins to take shape and become a possibility.
Types of Goals to Set
It’s tempting to set several small goals and avoid thinking about big goals. Small goals seem achievable, big goals are scary.
But I want you to think about the big goals you have — the big projects, dreams, even the thoughts that wander through your mind but haven’t completely materialized yet.
Because those things are your priority goals. Setting clear priority goals with mindful focus will motivate you more than an endless list of the same small goals you think you should set (and ultimately fail at) every year.
“A comfort zone is a beautiful place, but nothing ever grows there.” – Unknown
Obviously, the goals you end up setting are a personal decision. One person’s huge goal is another person’s mini goal. But it doesn’t matter how your goal looks to anyone else. What matters is the change accomplishing that goal will make in YOUR life.
You don’t have to set rigid goals for the entire year at once, or plan to accomplish “X” number of things each month during 2018. But you do need a direction and something important to strive toward on a regular basis.
What if you already know what your big goal is?
If you’re ready, there’s no reason you can’t start working toward it before the calendar changes. January 1st is, after all, just an arbitrary date. The important thing is to know WHAT you’re working toward, WHY you want it, and then actually DO it.
If want to begin goal planning for next year but you’re having trouble figuring out what your priority goals really are, sign up below for the free 4-day “Define Your Priority Goals” email challenge. This short challenge will help you get clarity on your goals and decide what’s most important, so you can be ready and motivated to make real improvements in your life.
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