5 goal setting tips you need to hear



January is a huge month for setting goals, and planning out the year ahead. For all of you goal setters out there, I have my top 5 goal setting tips that you need to know if you want to stay on track and avoid burnout. 

01. Beware of substitute goals

Admitting what we really want is hard.  Often times we come up with a goal we think we want - because we see it as a step to getting what we really want. 

We may come up with a substitute goal - that is a goal that seems more doable - to protect ourselves from something we think we can't have (or can't do). 

Smaller goals are necessary to help us break down bigger, scarier goals. The key is to notice the difference between a smaller, necessary step - and a substitute goal that is creating a road block due to fear.

It is important to get really clear on what you want first. Then break it down into doable steps. Don't add unnecessary steps in the process that could prevent you from reaching the end goal you truly want. 

{A public service announcement about fear}
Remember that fear is inevitable, and sometime necessary. But it is not something we can't control. Overcoming fear is not about completely eliminating it. But rather about controlling the amount of space we let fear take up in our lives.

You have full control over your relationship with fear. 


02. Say it loud, say it proud

You may have heard that it is good to write down your goals, or even tell someone else about them. And that could not be more true. But getting vocal with your goals is about more than just accountability. 

As humans, we are constantly bombarded with thoughts and pressures about what we should be doing. Because of these pressures, we often times ignore burning desires that arise because we know our time should be spent elsewhere. 

More so, big scary goals = big scary changes - saying it out loud can make it all a bit too real.

When you speak your goal out loud, it is as if you suddenly have to take responsibility for it.

Once it is out there - you are obligated to follow through. If you really take the time to honestly admit what you want - you may just have to do something about it. 

This admitting process can be terrifying - but also liberating. Getting vocal about your goals can help clarify what you really want - and where you are holding yourself back.

So say it loud, and say it proud.


03. There is nothing wrong with course correcting 

When we are working towards a goal, at times we may be presented with an unexpected bump, or fork in the road.

It is so important to remember to be flexible in these times.

When we are planning out our 6 months, that doesn't mean everything has to be set in stone. Sometimes course correcting is necessary to not only keep us on track, but to also shift us down an even better path to reaching our end objective. 

When we focus too hard on a single thing, it can narrow our vision so much, that we may miss out on additional peripheral clues.

We want to stay focused, as to feel in control. But when we are too hyper-focused, we can miss out on important cues that at times may help us avoid disaster. 

So remember to stay focused, but still keep your peripheral vision clear for signs and cues. Sometimes a course correction is necessary to save us from failure - or to make reaching our goal even more successful. 


04. Have fun

No one ever said goal setting was easy. But setting goals should be invigorating and exciting. Remember not to lose sight of the fun throughout your goal setting process. 

Setting goals means you are changing and moving forward. And that is exciting. But if there is one thing I have learned, it is that sometimes growth = discomfort.

Just as a baby has growing pains, when you are working on your own personal growth, you will have some discomfort as well. 

But, with every goal, there is a light at the end of the tunnel - no matter how long that tunnel may be. So keep pushing on, and remember to have fun along the way. 

Because if it's not fun, then what's the point? 


05. Give yourself grace.

When we are setting goals, and especially when we are trying to develop new habits, we have to remember to give ourselves some grace.

Cut yourself some slack. Getting off track for a day or two, isn't going to undermine your entire goal or development of a new habit.

We are going to mess up. We are going to get off course. But we are in full control of course correction. We can pull ourselves back onto the path - or sometimes even change course where necessary.

A hiccup here and there doesn't mean we have to scrap the whole thing - it just means we may have to work a little bit harder to get back on track. 

But remember to give yourself a break, and be open to going with the flow.

When we let structure box us in, we are less open to new and exciting things that may happen across our path. 

Growing through our goals is so exciting. But it is important to remember these 5 simple things to keep us moving in a forward direction, and to prevent us from burning out.