“Our Dreams become Reality, when we first, give ourselves permission to Dream, wildly and without limits. Then we turn those dreams into Goals, which is the bridge between the world, imagination and the reality we create for ourselves.”Nara Lee
Who else is bubbling with excitement at the thought of 2019 coming to an end?
This year has really been something, if I do say so myself. No matter how crazy it has gotten, I am still grateful for being able to see its end. I am also excited about what 2020 holds because I am certain it’s going to be a great year for everyone reading this!
So, if you’ve been doing some deep reflection about how 2019 went and you have started thinking of setting goals for 2020, then you’ve come to the right place!
You may currently have decided on some goals you want to achieve in 2020, but may have decided to just “wing it” and “see what happens”. Quite a number of people in recent times have hopped on the “no new year resolutions” and “just gonna go with the flow” trains. While there may be nothing wrong with this, setting your goals and putting pen to paper might just be the best thing you decide to do for your 2020.
Goal setting is really important because it gives you long-term vision and short-term motivation. It focuses your acquisition of knowledge, and helps you to organise your time and resources so that you can make the most of your life.
When you have a goal written down, you have a destination, a standard, a sort of benchmark. You are conscious of achieving this goal and are constantly reminded of same. The goal means a lot to you so most of what you do during the year, months and days are intricately tied to achieving this goal.
Furthermore, when you set goals, you develop effective action plans that will help motivate and guide you towards them. You are therefore able to navigate life keeping your goals in mind and can return to your why when you find yourself in a demotivation pit.
So here are 5 helpful tips for effective goal setting in 2020:
1. Write them down!
This is the part where I emphasise how important it is to actually write down your goals for 2020 and not just make a mental note of what you hope to achieve. While I am not writing mental notes off, I believe (and this has been backed by years of scientific research) that written goals are more likely to be achieved than those not written. The physical act of writing down a goal makes it real and tangible so it is hard to forget.
“By recording your dreams and goals on paper, you set in motion the process of becoming the person you most want to be. Put your future in good hands—your own.”—Mark Victor Hansen
Let’s do a little exercise that requires honesty: Think of the goals you set at the beginning of 2019. Now, take a slow but careful look back on how the year went in terms of your goals. How many were achieved and how many were not? How many of the goals not achieved were because you genuinely forgot or felt you could not “keep up”? No need to beat yourself up if you feel you fell short this year, there’s always next year. Besides, you are not your goals!
Your answers should motivate you to write down your goals going forward. You actually stand to lose nothing if you write down these goals.
2. Set goals that align with your purpose
It is very important to set goals that align with your purpose and calling in life.
A number of us get caught up in setting goals based on what we think we should be doing or accomplishing (saving up for a new car when it’s not needed or getting a higher paying job in an industry you hate) rather than based on what our purpose is.
While these goals may be achievable, you’ll find that they are much easier to drop during the year because they are not aligned with your purposed and/or calling. You may set them because you feel you need to, but if you dig deep, you’ll find that you are not passionate about these goals and/or they are not in sync with your deepest dreams and desires.
“So, when you set your goals, go for your deepest dreams, desires, passions and calling. Don’t let the voice inside your head tell you “it’s impossible”, “it’s too complicated”, etc – because if you don’t set that goal, you will never do, what you were put on earth to do.”
You may be wondering “well, what exactly is my purpose and/or calling?” To that, I say, you already have your first assignment of 2020. Now get to it.
3. Set SMART GOALS
SMART stands for Specific., Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time Bound.
- Specific: Do not be vague. Ask yourself exactly what you want. Write it down. Do not be scared to be specific about when, how, how long and even how much you want?
- Measurable: Quantify your goal. How will you know if you have achieved it or not? Set simple milestones and celebrate little victories.
- Attainable: Be honest with yourself about what you can reasonably accomplish at this point in your life while taking into consideration your current responsibilities. Ask yourself “Is this goal attainable?”
- Realistic: It’s got to be doable, real and practical. Do not get overwhelmed by people’s input of what their version of reality is. You may also be tempted to, out of fear, rule certain goals out as “unrealistic”. Do not let fear rule your goal setting for 2020.
- Time: Associate a time frame with each goal. When should you complete the goal? It is advisable to have short time frames for smaller goals within the bigger goals rather to prevent getting discouraged or demotivated.
4. Use unconditional love as the starting point
“When you use unconditional self-love as the starting point when setting any goal, you remain aware that perfection is not tied to the end result, but rather the reality of the present moment.You were perfect at the onset and you are perfect now; you are perfect throughout. You are aware the entire time that the end result won’t define you. It is through the practice of awareness that you are able to see the perfection that exists in yourself, which also lets you see perfection in the world around you and in each being in it.”
This is so so so so important because you need to remember that you are setting goals because you want to, you desire to, and not because you need to. You need to remember that you are not the goals you set, neither are you the accomplishment or otherwise of these goals.
When setting your goals for 2020, use unconditional love for yourself as a starting point. By doing this, you understand that you are already perfect and complete in God as you are. These goals (be it getting married, moving to a better apartment, having kids, getting a better job, getting into school etc) are amazing bonuses that do not define you at your core.
You are already perfection. Never forget that.
5. Develop an Action Plan
This step is often missed in the process of goal setting. I must admit that even I have missed this step a lot of times in setting goals. I would just write down my goals and try to keep it moving.
However, it is important to develop an action plan which entails a breakdown of all the steps needed to achieve the goals along the way. By writing out the individual steps, and then crossing each one off as you complete it, you’ll realize that you are making progress towards your ultimate goal. This is especially important if your goal is big and demanding, or long-term.
I recently attended a vision board party hosted by VisionBoardsNigeria and it was an amazing time for me reflecting on my goals for 2019 and which ones I was able to accomplish. I was able to reflect on those I was yet to accomplish and why.
It was a defining moment for me when I realised that although I did not accomplish some goals I had set out, I did not feel any less about myself. Instead, I was spurred to try again in 2020.
“Goal setting is much more than simply saying you want something to happen. Unless you clearly define exactly what you want and understand why you want it the first place, your odds of success are considerably reduced.”
Here’s to a productive and goal-smashing 2020 filled with unconditional self-love. 🥂
Love and Light,
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