A new year is right around the corner, hallelujah! And that means I have been working on setting my goals for 2021. I often have way too many ideas for goals than I can reasonably manage. So, before I finalize what my goals will be, I answer these three questions.
1. What is the most important thing for me to focus on right now?
Answering this question creates a sense of urgency. It reminds me to focus on the goal that will impact my life right now. If I choose a goal that is about something in the far-off future, I’m more apt to put off actually starting on the goal.
As I look through all my ideas, I will cross off the goals that don’t fit. I’m not saying no to them, that’s important to remember. I am just saying not right now. These ideas will still be in my notebook and I can come back to them when the time is right.
If you do have a big idea for the far-off future, your current goal may be a smaller piece of the puzzle. It is the sub goal that is more immediate.
For example, your big dream goal is to retire by the time you are 50. You’re currently 40 so you have ten years to go. You know you need to increase your 401K by $100,000 in order to retire. What is most important right now is saving more. So, your goal is to set aside an additional $500.00 every month.
How are you going to do that? Don’t worry about it yet! One of the most important rules about coming up with your big dream goals is to not worry about the how. The how can limit us, stop us. We will figure out the how, but not yet.
What you are going to do, is answer my second question.
2. What goal makes me want to jump out of bed in the morning?
I am an early riser. My alarm is often set for 5am and I will gladly get up (with a big cup of coffee) and go work on my business. I am excited about building this business. It is my big dream goal coming to reality. An early alarm won’t stop me.
Your goal must excite you! And if you’re not a morning person, reframe it to, what goal makes me want to stay up late?
Taking action on your big dream goal is hard work. You have to be committed to that action if you want to see it become reality. You have to be excited about it!
The most important word in this question is ‘me.’ This is your goal. Not your spouse’s goal. Not that goal Instagram is telling you to chase. This is not your kid’s goal. This is your big dream goal. Be true to yourself and set one that lights you up.
The last question you need to answer is the most important. Many of us fall into the trap of setting goals, writing them down, then tucking the pieces of paper away on our desk where it gets lost, never to be seen again. The goal stays just a dream. I don’t want that for you!
I want your dream to become reality.
So question number 3,
3. What am I going to do tomorrow to take the first step towards my big dream goal?
What is the one item you are going to put on your to do list for tomorrow to turn this dream into reality? It will get you one step closer. Moving forward on your big dream goal is really all about small action steps that add up to big changes. Start with just that one step.
Your goal is to lose weight. Tomorrow’s first action step is to research workout from home options.
Your goal is to master grandma’s meatball recipe. The action step tomorrow is to find that recipe!
Your goal is just to make it to the end of 2020 without totally losing it. The only item on the to do list for tomorrow is take a shower.
Whatever your goals are, they must be important for you today. Your goal must excite and energize you. And you need to know the first step you’re going to take to turn that goal into a reality.
While these three questions are what I consider the most important, they aren’t the only ones I answer. Goal setting for me starts with journaling. And I have put together some of my favorite questions to help you discover what your goals are for today, tomorrow, and into 2021. Download a copy of my 20 Journal Prompts to Identify Your Big Dream Goals.
I want to hear what goals you set. Leave a comment below when you have set your big dream goal so we can cheer each other on!