Following on my from Increase Your Productivity blog post, this week I wanted to give you guys some of my top tips on Goal Setting. There’s no point being productive and efficient if you’re not heading anywhere, or haven’t thought about what you truly want. So – let’s get right into it!
‘Where do you want to be in 5 years?’ or ‘What makes you happy?’ for me are some of the hardest questions in the world. Yet they’re also the most important. Knowing what makes you happy, not just on a day to day basis but longer term, is the only way for you to reach it. You may think you want a promotion but will it actually make you happy, or will more shores, a fitter body, a higher salary, more time with friends definitely be what you want. Try to visualise that life – not just the highlights reel – but the day to day. Does the life of a full time fashion blogger genuinely make you want to jump out of bed in the morning? Once you can answer these questions about what in your personal and professional life you really want, you can start to progress towards achieving it.
Make a 2×2 grid
My dad is a business teacher/life coach and one of the best things he ever taught me was this technique. (If you want to follow is blog you can do so here – Chris Croft Training Blog). Being happy is about both Enjoying and Achieving – just enjoyment is too hedonistic and you won’t feel like you’ve left your mark, but just achievement will leave you in a pile of money and possessions with no substance. Similarly, you need to cover both of those in your Personal and Professional life – only enjoyment at home and achievement at work will mean you never learn to play the piano or run a marathon (achieve at home), and similarly you won’t travel for business or work with fun people (enjoy at work).
So – here’s a template for the grid and a demo – now fill yours in.
As you may have noticed these goals and quite specific, ideally with numbers attached, and set in an ambitious but attainable future (about 5-8 years away). The theory (and we’ve proven it first hand several times over) is that once you write these things down they magically come true. Just the act of putting them on paper reprograms your mental sat nav to -> ‘do this’. Ideally you look at the list every day, visualise the life, and employ my other efficiency techniques, but even without all of those this has miraculously worked for us – to a scarily accurate degree. One you’ve achieved it, simply draw another one with bigger goals on. Gotta be worth a shot right?!
Change your mind
Although I’ve said you need to be clear about what you want, I also think there’s no shame in changing your mind. If you get that dream job and it turns out to not be what you hoped than pack it in – it may feel like admitting failure and that everyone will judge you, but what you need to realise is: No One Cares. Once I took that on board it totally liberated me – everyone is too swept up in their own crap to notice you changing paths. Sure, some people might ask how it’s going, but just be honest and then start talking about their life again – I promise it won’t keep them up at night. So just go wherever your heart takes you and don’t be ashamed that when you’re 20 you think you’ll never want kids, and when you’re 30 it’s all you can think about!
A photo posted by Louise Croft (@louisecroft) on
This links a lot to point 1 – but don’t just put down what you think you should want. Your goals need to be genuinely thrilling to you or you won’t run to them with full force. You need to be confident in your ability to do it, and strong in your desire to create it. Half hearted thinking isn’t going to get you working non stop in pursuit of that future.
Once you’ve got your goals laid out you can start to work backwards to create monthly or weekly milestones. For example, if you want to make £100k a year then you’ll need either a 50% raise through promotions each year for the next 5, or to make a side income of £40k pa. However you want to work it just reverse engineer your goals until you have manageable tasks to do to get there.
Now – you need to go read my Productivity post if you haven’t already. This is going to tell you how to fit all your dreams into a daily schedule of super efficiency.
If you’ve read my New Years Resolutions post you’ll know I like my goals to be specific and tangible, and that I divided them into monthly focuses. So far I’m on track to achieve almost all of them (hopefully a clean sweep) because I’ve been dividing them up and adding them to my Google Calendar every month. However you work, just make sure you’re covering the practical side of making all your dreams come true – we can’t all kiss a frog and become a princess!
A photo posted by Louise Croft (@louisecroft) on
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