Most people love setting goals and resolutions in January and I’m certainly in that number. At the start of a new year I always commit to pursuing lofty aspirations. But for years these goals would often be abandoned by April! Finally, I figured out what I was doing wrong. Chances are, you’re making many of the same mistakes.
On Wednesday, January 6, I hosted a goal-setting workshop for members of See Jane Write. I walked the women in attendance through my own goal-setting process and shared anecdotes about some of the mistakes I’ve made when goal-setting in the past.
Here are five mistakes you may be making when setting goals:
1. You’re setting too many goals. When I was a teenager every December I would make a list of 99 things I wanted to do the following year — 99 things! Obviously, I never accomplished all of these. In fact, by spring I’d completely forgotten about most of the things on my list! I recommend setting about 3 to 5 major goals for the year. If you need help culling your list, remember that your goals should always be a reflection of your values. Don’t take on a goal just because someone told you it would be a good idea. Do what’s best for you and the life you want to create.
2. Your goals aren’t big and bold enough. Yes, your goals should be realistic. If your aspirations are too outlandish you might feel defeated from the start. But this doesn’t mean your goals should be small. They should ruffle feathers and raise eyebrows. Challenge yourself! Otherwise, you won’t be very motivated.
3. Your goals aren’t measurable and specific. Don’t simply say you want to be a more successful blogger or get in shape. What do these things look like? Do you want to earn a certain amount of money from your blog? Do you want to run a half marathon? Specificity will give you the direction you need.
4. You’re only setting long-term goals. One reason I didn’t accomplish many of goals of the past was simply because I got bored with them. If you know me well, you know I get bored with things VERY easily. But I realized that by breaking my 3 to 5 one-year goals into several 90-day goals I stayed excited about my pursuits. At the end of each quarter I could set new 90-day goals so I felt like I was taking on a shiny new project, but I was actually still working on the same one-year goals I set on January 1. These 90-day goals will also keep you from feeling overwhelmed.
5. You’re not sweating the small stuff. While 90-day goals are great, you need to break down things even further. You need what I like to call momentum moves. These are things you do on a monthly, weekly, and daily basis to help you accomplish the 90-day goals. So if you want to earn more money from your blog you’ll probably need to blog more. Your momentum move could be to take devote four hours each Sunday to writing three blog posts for the week.
If you need more help with goal-setting this year, consider enrolling in my new time management e-course How to Write and Have a Life. In this course, I will walk you through my goal-setting process and show you how setting goals in such a way will save you time and make you more productive.
*Cross-posted at WriteousBabe.com