Hello, all you goal-setting wizards! How are your goals progressing? Did you start the year strong, and then lose your steam? Or are you slowly working on those goals like the trusty tortoise? It’s always wise to give your annual goals a mid-year reboot.
If you follow me on a regular basis, you know about my adoration for goal setting. However, I am not (by any stretch of the imagination) perfect when it comes to working on and achieving those goals. I set goals like a champ! But invariably, I bite off more than I can chew.
As we head into the second half of the year, review each of your goals by asking some questions.
Is it still relevant? Sometimes goals drop off because they become irrelevant. If your career veered down a different road the first half of this year, for example, those earlier career goals may be no longer applicable. If that’s the case, just cross those off your list and consider them complete.
Is it still important? Other times, you may have once had a burning desire to achieve a goal, but life changes have made other things more important now. Acknowledge “life happens,” and either modify or cancel a goal that is no longer important to you.
Was it a poorly articulated goal? Here’s where S.M.A.R.T. goals come in. Remember to make your goals:
S – Specific
M – Measurable
A – Achievable
R – Realistic
T – Time-bound
Read more about S.M.A.R.T. goals here. As you review your goals, ensure they aren’t too broad, or are unachievable. Here’s where you should modify the goal and keep going, versus abandoning a goal and eating a Twinkie as a consolation prize.
Is your WHY strong enough? The biggest goals you set require a very strong “why.” You need to want the desired situation enough to do the hard work required to accomplish the goal. For example, saying you want to lose 25 pounds by swimsuit season so you can get a cute new swimsuit might be too weak. It’s too easy to say, “Screw it, I’ll just wear my old suit with the skirt-bottom to cover up my less than perfect body.”
Instead, your desire to lose weight (in this example) needs a bigger purpose. Maybe you read that middle-aged women tend to gain excess fat in their abdominal region, a trait that is hazardous to their health. Worrying about serious health consequences might be what it takes for a big enough “why.” (Note: Any resemblance in this weight loss/swimsuit/health scenario to my actual life is purely coincidental.)
Did you just make too many goals at one time? This is a chronic problem for me. Since I love the idea and ritual of goal setting so much, I tend to overdo it. Always. Fortunately, I recognize this about myself, and instead of losing heart, I rein myself in and re-assign some of those extra goals for another time.
One advantage I’ve found in setting too many goals is I start out strong on most of them, and then my attention wanes on some and laser-focuses on others. As a result, I have continued the practice of setting lots of goals and allow some to fall away over time as others assert themselves (for one reason or another) as more pressing. I’m aware I could force myself to choose fewer goals at the outset, but this goal-setting method has worked well for me, so I’m sticking with it for now.
Spend some time reviewing your goals. Modify where necessary and celebrate successes where you can. Don’t be discouraged if you see little to no progress. Instead, ask yourself why you stumbled with a goal. Then ask yourself how you can make the goal better or more exciting.
Lastly, I’ll put in a plug for BHAGs. Check out my previous post on the subject. Don’t be afraid to think big when setting goals. And when you set a whopper of a goal, don’t lose faith too quickly. Slow and steady progress is what is required, so modify your expectations as you go along. Just stay focused. You’ve got this.
How are you doing on your goals so far this year? Report your progress below. Or if you want some like-minded friends, join the free SimpleMoney Community on Facebook to share your goal-achieving highs and lows!
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