It’s almost that time of the year again. Soon we’ll all be setting life goals for 2021, writing down lists of resolutions and a massive bucket list of things we want to do and try. Cos you know, there’s plenty we need to transfer over from 2020.
And yes, the apocalypse didn’t make it easy to cross them off so for once we might actually have a viable excuse why we didn’t reach our 2020 goals. But let’s be honest, is it the first time you’re transferring them over from year to year?
We all tend to get a bit too excited with the prospect of a new year and all the awesome things we could do and achieve in the next 12 months. Often ending up with a list so long that it seems daunting. Naturally, we either push it to the side and pretend it’s not there or we start with the easiest and most minuscule tasks just to get that feeling of crossing things off.
While there is nothing wrong with gaining momentum by ticking off some easy to-do’s, this can become a problem if we use minor goals as an excuse to procrastinate on our biggest, widely important goals. Cleaning out your garage will not have the same impact on your life as getting in shape or turning your passion into a profitable business would. That’s why it is important to set goals in the right order and why you should prioritize the right goals.
What is the most important step in prioritizing goals?
The most important step in prioritizing goals is deciding what matters most to you and will have the biggest impact on your life.
Ask yourself – what is the one goal that when achieved will make the biggest positive change to your life? Picture yourself a few years from now – how would your life look like if you achieved this goal? And if you didn’t?
This is one of the most powerful activities for setting clear goals and can provide a lot of clarity and help you define your most important goals in life.
Try implementing this exercise as part of you process for setting goals if you struggle to identify what’s truly important. When you have a clear vision it becomes easier to prioritize the goals that matter most.
How many goals should you set?
Depending on the magnitude of your goal and your deadlines you can set multiple goals. Try to balance goals in all areas of your life.
However, you should only work on one to three goals at a time. This way you’ll be able to devote your all to it and focus on your goal completely.
Goals require a change in our habits and habits aren’t easy to change. Having a strong routine and setting daily goals will take the guess work out of how to focus on your goal.
While some habits go hand in hand and are easier to adopt simultaneously since they reinforce each other (like exercise and drinking more water when your goal or resolution is to lead a healthier life) other habits might require our full attention before we adopt them and can build on top of them (like spending 1 hour writing every day if our goal is to write a novel).
Only when our first goal and its related habits are truly part of our everyday life we can start building on top of them and consider working on our next goal or setting new goals.
What are short term and long term goals and why does it matter?
Short term goals are small goals that can be achieved in a relatively short period of time it could be a day up to a few months.
Long term goals are bigger and more impactful goals that will take at least a few months to complete, up to several years. Long term goals are the big dreams you want to achieve in the distant future.
Long term goals are not easy to achieve and require a careful plan of execution. Among the best tips for setting goals I can give you is to break long term goals down into smaller short term goals (or milestones) and create a goal action plan.
One of the biggest benefits of setting goals this way is that the small victories start to pile up and build momentum and motivation to keep working hard towards achieving your biggest goals.
By breaking down your big long term goals into smaller more tangible short term goals it will be easier to focus on your progress and keep your yes on the prize. This way you’ll also avoid the feeling of hopelessness and minimize the chance for failure.