canstockphoto16567266It’s time to take step 1: figure out what you want.

Some of you will find this very easy because you’re the sort whose always known where you’re going, while others aren’t sure which path to take. If you’re not sure where you’re going, or where you want to go, just pick a path and start – it’s amazing to just be on the journey. Plus, once you start moving in some direction, you start learning more and experiencing more, which can help you decide if you’re on the right path. If you find out later that it’s not the right path, then you can change it, but if you never move, you’ll never know.

A few success strategies for goal setting:

  1. DO NOT LOOK AT YOUR CURRENT TO DO LIST, OR LAST YEARS GOALS, YET. Our priorities change throughout the year, and the conditions under which we wrote those goals have changed. But don’t fear, we’ll re-visit last years goals in a bit, just not now.
  1. Don’t censor yourself. Just write down what comes to mind. You can sift through it later.
  1. Get in a good emotional state. What would you do in your life, if you could push a button and make all your fear go away? Before you start the goal setting, put on some good music. Get up and move around a bit. Stand for two minutes with your shoulders back, your stance wide in the Wonder Woman or Superman pose, put a grin on your face. Dr. Amy Cuddy of Harvard just proved something that Tony Robbins has been promoting for decades – your physiology affects your psychology.

Now, break out your journal, open up a word doc or grab a paper and pen and describe the life of your dreams. Write as if you are nearing the end of your life, and you’re passing along your life story to one of your kids.

For some of you, you’re down right now. If your life is about being in the moment, and enjoying the process you may never have to get farther than this. Some people are just internally driven towards having that life. But if you’re not one of those people, or you need some help in this area, answer these questions:

  1. What do you want to accomplish in your life?
    1. Professionally
    2. Personally
  2. What kind of person do you want to be? (i.e. how do you want people to talk about you when you’re not around)
  3. What are your values (i.e. what behaviors are most important to you?)
  4. What kind of stuff do you want to own?
  5. Why are you here? What’s your purpose in life?
  6. What are something’s you enjoy doing that you would like to do more of?

Next, write down some goals or activities related to these areas of focus:

  1. Physical health and fitness
  2. Mental health and improvement
  3. Emotional well-being
  4. Spiritual growth and development

I am a fan of Stephen Covey’s roles and tribute statements, so after you’re done with previous assignment of writing down what you want. Write down the key roles you play, like husband, boyfriend, wife, girlfriend, daughter, son, dad, mom. Personally, I don’t write down business related roles – those are more aligned with my professional projects and tasks, but use what works for you.

Next to each role, write down a statement about what success in that area looks like, from the perspective of the people it most affects. Such as: role: “Father.” Statement: dad was always supportive of me; I knew when he was around, I was the priority; he didn’t spend my childhood years with his head down staring at his phone and ignoring me. He was engaged with my life and I knew he cared.

Once everything is written down, set it aside. You can add to it later, but give your brain a bit of a rest to consider what you’ve put to paper.

Next up – Refining the process into actionable, sustainable and easy-to-accomplish action items.

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