In today’s fast-paced world, it’s easy to get caught up in the daily chores and responsibilities of caring for everyone, our homes, our jobs, our relationships…the list goes on. To be honest, it’s all too easy to lose sight of our long-term goals. Therefore, we’ve found it essential to have an intentional goal-setting routine to help us stay focused and motivated to achieve aspirations.
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Here are some tips for creating a goal-setting routine that work for us:
1. Set realistic goals
The first step in creating a goal-setting routine is to set realistic goals. Especially when caring for others, it’s crucial to understand your limitations and set goals that align with your lifestyle. It’s important that the goals you set are realistic for your own daily rhythm.
2. Prioritize your goals
It’s essential to prioritize your goals and focus on the ones that are most important to you. Make a list of your goals and rank them in order of importance and visit your list frequently. This will help you to focus on the most significant goals first and avoid getting distracted by less important ones. I (Jenna) love to journal and review my goals in the morning using PowerSheets by Cultivate What Matters when I’m snuggled up with Charley on the couch. It’s our special time together and I like setting this example for her.
3. Break down goals into smaller tasks
Breaking down your goals into smaller tasks can make them more manageable and achievable. Divide your goals into smaller milestones and create a timeline for achieving them. This small-step approach can help you to track your progress and stay motivated.
Shan, for example, recently set a goal that she wanted to improve her family’s nightly routine. The last couple of months were focused on tweaking the routine until it’s where she likes it. Now, Shan loves her routine and says it feels like she has such a good rhythm. Dinner is prepared at a more consistent time. They eat at the table most nights. The regular dinner clean-up doesn’t seem to be such a chore and tidying up as they lay Max down before watching a show makes for such a peaceful morning.
Shannon’s next goal is to focus on one unfinished home project at a time and set intentional time to complete it!
4. Make a schedule
Creating a schedule can help you to stay on track with your goals. Schedule time each day or week to work towards your goals. I like to revisit my goals every month and every week to reflect on the progress I’ve already made. I’ve found this time to be a very quiet, peaceful, and thoughtful spot in my rhythm. I love to be intentional with my time and my goals and prioritizing things for the week gives me focus for the coming days.
5. Keep track of your progress
It’s essential to track your progress towards your goals regularly. This will help you to stay motivated and make any necessary adjustments to your plan. I love to use my PowerSheets tracking my progress, but there are also plenty of great apps out there too for goal tracking.
6. Celebrate your achievements
It’s no secret that we love a good party, but your celebrations don’t always have to be that big. It’s important to celebrate your achievements, no matter how small they may be. Celebrating your success will help you to stay motivated and encourage you to keep pushing towards your goals. Celebrations might include sharing your good news with others, having your favorite dessert, or lighting your favorite candle.
7. Make your goals visible
Make your goals visible to remind you of what you want to achieve. You can create a vision board, write them on sticky notes and place them around your house or workspace, or set them as your phone or computer wallpaper. I like to write them by hand in my PowerSheets. Any way you can take your abstract thoughts and goals and turn them into something more concrete is a win and can help you to stay focused and motivated.
8. Get support
Finally, getting support from your family and friends can help you to achieve your goals. Share your goals with them and ask for their support. Having the people you love encourage you and hold you accountable can make a significant difference in achieving your aspirations.
How this routine looks in the real world
I look at my life in seasons/quarters. It’s impossible to focus on all areas of life at once–and it’s not healthy. So, much like Shan, I focus on a few top goals at a time. Right now, I’m focused on Wellness, Family and Work. If it doesn’t fall under those areas, I have the freedom to let go.
Every month I sit down and look at what worked and what didn’t work the previous month on my PowerSheets from Cultivate What Matters. I write down what I’m grateful for and where I’m getting stuck. And then I map out that month’s goals. Then every day, I check in every morning with my goals to see where I’m at and write down any progress. Some goals are big-picture goals (i.e. research animal based diet so that I’m able to have more energy to live a long healthy life) and others are habitual goals (i.e. go to the gym every day).
The benefits of a goal setting routine
Goal setting helps me focus on what matters most in each particular season and let go of distractions. I tend to be a people pleaser and always say yes to others. By identifying concrete goals for myself, it allows me to say no when needed because it does not fit in with my goals at that moment. For example, Sundays are our non-negotiables. Meaning our routine and family comes first so that we can have a smooth start to our week.
Goal setting is self-care
Goal setting is a way to love myself because I get to live my life with my big picture in mind. PowerSheets encourage you to start with the end in mind. What is the legacy I want to leave when it’s my time to go? What would I want people to say at my funeral? And how do I want to feel, live and be when I’m 80? I start there and then work backwards and focus on what I need to do TODAY to get there.
Remember: achieving your goals is a journey, and it’s essential to enjoy the process and celebrate your success along the way! What goals have you set for yourself and how are you turning those into a routine?
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