How to Set Goals and Achieve Your Dreams in 2020
The start of a new year is the perfect time to set new goals, dream about what’s possible, and start working toward those goals, but regardless of when you read this article know that the best time to set new goals (and dream a little!) is now! With just a little dreaming, planning, and action, you can make those distant goals your reality.
So, how do you actually set goals and – much harder – how do you actually achieve them? Here are 5 steps to help you set and achieve your goals in 2020 and beyond.
5 Steps to Set and Achieve Your Goals in 2020
Step 1: Brainstorm
Your first step is to sit down with a piece of paper (or a Google doc) and brainstorm all the things you want to achieve this year. You may already have some goals in mind, so write those down and think about the other areas of your life you haven’t considered, such as:
Changes you want to make
Expanding your team
Health and Fitness
Changing the way you eat
Running distance/weightlifting targets
Pay off debt
Family and Relationships
Spend more time with [insert family member]
Join a class/club to make new friends
You’ll be able to think of other areas personal to you, so keep going until you’ve got all the goals you care about (try to limit yourself to one or two per category). If you start making goals for the sake of making them, stop. You’ll be less motivated to achieve these goals and they’ll draw your attention away from the ones you care about.
Step 2: Get Specific
Are your goals specific or are they vague? We’ll break your goals down in the next step, but if you can choose a specific target for the whole year that you feel is achievable but challenging, that’s ideal. For example, you may write down “save money in my emergency fund” which is a great goal, but it’s not specific. A better goal is to “save £4,000 in my emergency fund”.
Step 3: Break Those Goals Down
Now it’s time to break those goals down. You may have already done this some in the step above, but now it’s time to break those goals down so you can start working on them. Generally, breaking your goals down into smaller goals by quarter works best. Why? Because a quarter gives you enough time to work on your goals but isn’t so long that you’ll lose motivation. You can also break down that goal further by month, but only do that at the beginning of every quarter, don’t try to do this now.
Step 4: Go Deeper on Q1
You’ve got a whole quarter ahead of you right now, so right down your start and end date for your Q1.
Look at your Q1 goals (that you broke down in the step above) and break them down further into actionable steps. For example, if your overall goal is to “grow my team to 5 in the next 12 months”, and your Q1 goal is to “add one team member and develop an onboarding system”, your actionable steps may be:
Research options for team members (hire a VA/use contractors and freelancers/hire someone part or full time)
Contact prospective team members
Do a trial run for a week with my favourite prospect
Write down or save all the information I give them for future team members
Decide if my first choice (VA/freelancer/hire) is really best
Hire my first team member
Do you see how that big goal of hiring a team member is now actionable? Do this for each goal.
A word of caution: be realistic. If you overwhelm yourself you’ll struggle to achieve anything. It’s better to achieve everything before the end of the quarter and have to find more things to do than struggle to achieve any of them in your given time frame.
Step 5: Schedule It
Don’t get paralysed by all you have to do – take that first task and schedule it onto your calendar. All you have to do to achieve your goals is keep taking one step after another!
Remember that you don’t have to do it all alone – why not outsource some of your work? (After all, all your mentors have been telling you to do so for some time now, haven’t they?).
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