Ready, Set, Goal!

"The starting point of all achievement is desire." - Napoleon Hill

In January’s Blog, I talked about the potential pitfalls of a typical New Year’s resolutions list. We can find ourselves taking on too much, feeling discouraged or getting sidetracked as the year progresses. The Path of Life Inventory gave you an opportunity to discover the most useful areas to direct your energy for the year.

This month, I’m going to show you how to support yourself in achieving your goals using my method of W.O.R.T.H.Y. Goals™ goal setting.

What is a W.O.R.T.H.Y. goal?
We all have goals we want to achieve, both big and small. It’s very common to run up against unexpected details or difficulties which can derail our best intentions. Investing a bit of time in the W.O.R.T.H.Y. Goals process will help you organize your ideas, create a realistic way forward, and focus your energy.

Start with one goal you’d like to achieve and follow the instructions below. It can be a big goal or a small one. Grab a notebook and a pen, and let’s get started!

Be specific what you want to achieve in one sentence. Keep it short and to the point.  Examples: Write a book. Lose 20 lbs. Plant a garden. Run a marathon. Pick only one item to work on for the next steps.

Step 1: OUTLINE - Brainstorm on what’s needed to achieve this goal and write it all down. Be as detailed as possible. Example: GOAL - Write a book: Take a creative writing class, read a book on how to write, find a Meetup writing group, etc.

Make sure to include any further details. Example: Read a book on how to write – research books on Amazon, go to the library. Take a writing class - research writing classes at community college. Join Meetup group – find best group near me, where/when do they meet?, etc.

Step 2ORDER – put your list in order of importance - whatever makes sense to you.

Is your What, your Outline and your Order realistic for you to achieve?  Do these items feel “possible” or “impossible” to you? Can you create the time in your schedule to achieve any or all of these? Do you need to re-evaluate anything? Take the time to make sure your steps are actually achievable and think through any potential pitfalls as best you can. Then, revise your Order as needed.

Congratulations! You now have a realistic and detailed sense of what it will take to achieve your goal. Now, let’s turn these great ideas into positive actions.

Put a due date or deadline on each Order point with the specific date you intend to achieve it. Remember, due dates are placeholders only – they can be moved or modified without compromising your goals. Get your calendar and give yourself plenty of time – be realistic and don’t allow a hitch to throw you off track. Don’t worry if you don’t have every detail complete – just get things as close as you can. You can revise the dates as you go.

Now it’s time for the two most important steps in the process, and the ones that most people don't do! These last two steps can often mean the difference between success and failure with our goals.

Check your Happiness level for each item in your Timeline.  Rank each item 1 to 5 – 1 = unhappy, 5 = extremely happy. Does this item make you feel excited and interested – or bogged down, sluggish, resentful, tired, etc.? Do you think how you feel about an item will affect your ability to achieve it? Yes! This is one of the biggest pitfalls we can encounter. Be honest - if you put 3, 2 or 1 next to any of the items in your Timeline - this may be exactly what stops you from achieving your goal, or has stopped you in the past.

Look at the items you’ve ranked 3, 2 or 1:
- Dump it - will my goal be compromised without it?
Delegate it – can someone handle this for me?
W.O.R.T.H.Y. Goal THAT item - go through all of the steps above with that one item and break it down even further to see if you can get a higher happiness level.

This is the most important step of all! Visualize or think about how you'll feel once your goal is achieved. Make sure to do this before you take any of the actions on your Timeline. What will it feel like? What value will achieving this goal bring to your life? What problems would be solved, what doors might open? What bigger picture goals will be available to you now? Give yourself time to think, feel and write about this in your notebook. Go back and read what you’ve written whenever you need a boost.

Next month I’ll share my fun and unique method of getting rid of those pesky pitfalls. :-)

Until next time – stay inspired!