It’s that time of year. Resolutions promised. Vision boards created. Business plans crafted. Performance and development goals set at work.
Do you want to make changes in 2018? Become a better version of yourself? Take a step (or leap!) towards achieving a dream? Instead of just thinking about change, make a plan to achieve it.
As most of you know, I am launching a business in coaching and facilitation while I write a book on getting the most out of development experiences at work. I am also writing a children’s book around mindfulness and emotional awareness – with ideas for more that I want to explore. I had general goals for my business and writing, but I knew that I needed to be much more specific so that it wouldn’t take years to get there – and so I would even know where “there” was! It is hard to hold yourself accountable to ambiguity.
In November I spent a few hours on the floor of my condo surrounded by index cards and Sharpies to make this happen. I followed a simple process to articulate my vision and then work backwards to goals and tasks that were easy to achieve. The only required materials are index cards and a pen – but feel free to add color and creativity as desired! Here you go!
Brainstorm your vision for 2018. Do you want to run a half marathon? Write a book? Start a side business? Write each idea on a separate note card.
If you are unsure of your vision, ask yourself:
- What would a successful 2018 look like?
- What could you change that would improve the quality of your life in 2018?
- If you own a business, what targets will you achieve? What impact will you create for your clients?
Line up your goals. If you have more than 5, I recommend pairing them down. The fewer goals you have, the more likely you are to accomplish them. One goal complete is better than 10 goals left unfinished.
For each goal, ask yourself: What do I need to do by the end of June to accomplish this goal in 2018? Perhaps you run a 10K in preparation for the half marathon. Write 50,000 words of the novel you’re going to complete. Create a page on Etsy. Write each action on a notecard.
Now take it three months out – to the end of March 2018.
Repeat for the end of January 2018.
Finally, what do you need to do each week in January to reach your first set of milestones by the end of the month?
I had goals around writing my books, networking, building coaching clients and speaking engagements, and the logistics of running a business. I also included goal setting as a task to complete each weekend to make sure that I’m staying on track and adjusting my actions as needed throughout the year (or change my goals – that is also allowed!).
Finally, I got out masking tape and put them up on the wall – a visible reminder of my goals and what it will take to get there.
This process was a fantastic kick for me to get moving. It created structure, clarity, and process for goals that were too high-level and future focused to be attainable in the short-term. It motivated me to get moving TODAY. I hope it does the same for you! Cheers to achieving your dreams in 2018!
Heather Whelpley is a coach working with people that want to have a meaningful career and live up to their own potential, but feel stuck in their job. See her home page to learn more. She is also the host of Destination Soul Shine, a community dedicated to nourishing your soul and making your spirit shine. Like Destination Soul Shine on Facebook or follow us on Instagram @destinationsoulshine for resources to inspire you to live a meaningful, healthy, creative life.