Why even have goals? Isn't it enough to know what you want in your mind? Well, there is something powerful about writing things down. It is MORE likely you will do something if you write it down. It is less likely if you only verbalize your goals, and it is even less likely you will follow through if you simply think of your goals. Furthermore, you will get more clear about your goals as you sit down to write them down.
How to write your goals:
Step #1: Do this alone. If you do it with someone else or with distractions around you, you are less likely to take it seriously and may be influenced by another person. This about you and only you. Your goals can include other people but let that come from you.
Step #2: Have fun with your goals. It doesn't have to be doom and gloom over here! If writing your goals makes you uncomfortable, its probably because you're being faced with some big decisions. These can be daunting for some people, but ultimately let's remember this is about you and creating the life YOU want. It is a creative, fun process and you are the painter!
Step #3: Group your goals into three sections: short term, long term, and longer term. This way, you can be more realistic with your goals since you may have a lot of them. Decide what is feasible within six months, a year and five years. You can pick other time frames if that works better for you. Six months really isn't as long as it seems, so make sure these are goals that are within reach for the given time frame.
Step #4: Write down action steps. How will you achieve your goals? One of my goals is to spend more time outdoors. My action steps will be to do some sort of outdoor activity for at least 15 minutes per day, even if its just a short walk.
Step #5: This is perhaps the most important step. We don't want to overwhelm or berate ourselves here. The purpose of this exercise is to get a better sense of what we want from our lives and how we can go about doing so. Some of your goals will be quite doable while others more challenging. Either way, goals are meant to be helpful in staying on track, not meant for you to worry or stress over.
Your goals will help you stay more accountable to what you said you were going to do. Even though you may never look at your goals again after you've first written them, now at least you've established a pact with yourself and its down on paper. Goals may change, too, so stay flexible! I recommend revisiting goals every six months or so to evaluate your progress and to make changes as necessary. Remember, this should be fun! If its your first time writing down goals, be patient. It gets easier each time you do it and before you know it you'll be a pro.