How To Set Goals

You've likely heard of setting 'SMART' goals. This means goals that are:
Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-Bound

But what if you don't know what your goals are at all? Never mind being specific- it can be difficult to know what it is you want in the first place.

If you bought a 2024 planner you'll have seen the 'Goal Setting' page which describes a way of working out what your goals should be in the first place.

In order to work out what it is you want- first you need to work out what it is that you value. You might think that this is easy. But really think about it. Because many people are not truly honest with themselves.

If I were to ask you if you value money- your immediate response might be 'absolutely not'. But think about it. Do you? It's not wrong to value money. It doesn't make you a better person if you tell me you value 'helping people' more. We're all allowed to value whatever we want. It's not about saying the right thing. Or trying to be virtuous. Be honest. What do you really care about?

You can find lists of values online, or make up your own. Get a list- and whittle it down to the 3-4 most important values. Take your time doing this. Challenge yourself. Ask yourself if you're being honest. 

The process of doing this isn't just good for setting goals; it can be freeing to really work out what it is that YOU want. Many of us spend a lot of time trying to please others, say and do the right thing, being there for other people.... but the best way to be a support to others is to first look after and fulfill yourself. As the cliche goes 'you can't pour from an empty cup'.

Once you have your list of values, this should help you set goals that are right for. And specifically you. 

Sometimes the biggest barrier we have to achieving our goals is making sure we're working for the right thing. If can be disheartening to set off on a path, only to realise you're heading to a destination that doesn't inspire you. And if you're someone who repeatedly gets a good way along, then falls off- question if you're just not heading to the right place. It's not likely because you lack commitment or drive- but because you're not directing them to the right place. 

Over time your values may change. This is normal. And allowed. So make sure you check in with your values periodically- whether it be every few months or years.

But most of all remember all of this is about having the best life. And that life doesn't start at the achievement of the goal. It's happening right now. So don't forget to enjoy yourself.


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