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For the first time in my life, after my brother passed away, I had set myself a successful goals list. This came after years of setting myself goals that followed everything I thought I was supposed to, following all the right goal setting ideas. I made them SMART goals. Specific, measurable, actionable, realistic and timely. But somehow, no matter how many times I wrote the most specific goals and broke them down into yearly, monthly and daily goals, I could never follow through. This post is all about how to break that pattern of setting a goals list and not being able to follow through. I’m sharing the goal setting ideas that helped me to create a goals list that allowed me to change my life.
Goal Setting Ideas (That Changed My Life) To Help Inspire You For 2020
Think about how you want to be and feel, not what you want to have
The first of the goal setting ideas that truly changed my life was when I started asking myself different questions like who I wanted to feel, who I wanted to be and what experienced I wanted to have in my life.
Usually when we set goals, we think of the material end of things. My goal setting ideas were also based around external beliefs on what I thought I needed. Majority of those times those beliefs weren’t even my own. A big example of this is meditation. We hear all about meditation and how amazing it is for us. More often than not, being the over achiever I try to be, I set myself a high and mighty goal of meditation every day for 20 minutes. I put hardly any thought into what type of meditation I’d want to do and how I’d want to feel doing it. This was the same with my fitness goals. I’d write that I wanted to workout 5 times a week, without thinking about what type of exercise, how I wanted to feel, or what I’d actually enjoy.
When I started my list of goal ideas after my brother died, I took a much different approach. With such a big change in my life and with it an even bigger change in perspective, I decided to think of goal ideas based on who I wanted to be and how I wanted to feel. The material things no longer interested me.
After changing my goal setting ideas, my goals list changed to things like walking outside every day with the dog & getting fresh air. Finally mastering a forearm stand in yoga. Nourishing my body with good foods. Finding a new amazing direction for my blog and starting a podcast. It wasn’t about numbers any more, it was about feelings. I wanted to feel energetic, I wanted to do work I loved, I wanted to exercise and eat to nourish and appreciate my body. So I made a huge list of goal ideas that were more suited to me.
Out of all the goal setting ideas that were most helpful, this one definitely kick started me. There was no more talk about money, or just how many days to work out. It was also about writing things down that made me feel good, without thinking about the external benefits of them. For example, working out wasn’t to get to a certain dress size, it was about feeling strong. Whether it was a walk outside, or a circuit, it was about using my body, appreciating it for all it could do and all the while empowering myself.
So when you’re writing a list of goal ideas for yourself, try asking yourself how you want to feel. Who do you picture yourself as when you’re at your most loving self? Then think about the goals that you’ll enjoy and will help you to become more of that person.
Be specific with your goals but not so specific that you become in-flexible
Sometimes with goal setting we can get so specific that we forget that we can change them if we need to. Our goals are for us. There are no rules that say we can’t adapt how to get there. This is why I always suggest setting goals based on how you feel first.
A great personal goal example of this for me is meditation. For a long time, all of my goal lists had meditation on it. I wanted to meditate every day. But when I think back, I realize a lot of this was based on beliefs that weren’t mine. I tried every app. I tried to sit there and practice and yet nothing worked for me. I never thought about how I wanted to feel or what I truly enjoyed. Over summer, I read a book called The Life Of A Yogi, and tried the Self Realization method of meditation instead. As usual, I struggled to stay consistent. Finally, when I saw my naturopath she suggested Qi Gong (a moving form of meditation). I love it! I truly enjoy it and look forward to it. I feel the benefits of it during and after practice.
The most important lesson from this goal setting idea though, is yes we can be specific with our goals, but the way we get there can change. I explored what meditation suited me and found out that worked for me. We’re often so hard on ourselves when we don’t follow through with our goals in the exact way we planned them to. We need to be more flexible with ourselves.
When you’re setting a goal, for example, to workout daily, and you find you’re not following through, don’t beat yourself up. Maybe it’s time to look at how you’re working out and try a different way. If it’s not making you feel good, then why do it. There are so many ways to go about reaching our goals. When I started to be more opened minded and think about the different ways I could reach the things on my goals list I was a lot happier.
Break your goals down into chunks while keeping the long term in mind
The last of my goal setting ideas is one that has truly always been useful for me ever since I heard it. Breaking your goals down or “chunking” them is a strategy I learnt from Tony Robbins. To this day, breaking down my goals has helped me to create long lasting habits in my life.
When I started exercising, instead of going with my usual hard headed goal of 5 days a week, I decided to break it down. Instead, I started with 3 days. All I wanted to do was walk (because I found I’d really enjoyed it) 3 times a day and my journey continued from there. When we break down our goals we allow ourselves more mental space to create these habits and feel a lot less overwhelmed by them.
When you figure out how you want to feel, write your list of goal ideas based on that and allow yourself flexibility with how you’re going to get there, the chunking part is easy to implement and makes it more exciting.
My biggest goal setting ideas for chunking are:
- Start small and work your way up (don’t jump straight to the big things, start with small days, small figures etc)
- Break things down into weekly and daily tasks (if you want to know how I do this, I’ve created a free goal planner with a template that goes through how I break things down – you can find it HERE)
- Record it/write it down and celebrate yourself (I used to keep a calendar and I’d write what physical activity I did for that day so I could look back and see what I did) OR tick off the things you’ve done on your list!
Truly, of all the goal setting ideas that I’ve come across, these are the ones that have worked best for me and helped me to become the person I am today. While I believe we’re always a work in progress, I found setting goals based on how I feel and who I want to be has made me really reflect when writing my goal ideas down. I’ve also learnt the hard way how being inflexible with our goals can lead to feel unmotivated. I really encourage that when you look at your list of goal ideas, you remember there are many ways to get there. Allow yourself the space to try new things and work towards them slowly. Finally, we don’t need to feel overwhelmed by goals. When we sit down and break them down, we give ourselves the mental space to create long lasting habits. That’s honestly been the secret for me. So, get started on your goals, whether it’s for now or 2020. I hope these tips come in handy!