Goal Setting System and My Mid-Year Goal Refresh

I know a lot of us love setting goals on January 1. It's such a powerful time, those temporal landmarks like that, but then... we fall off. We forget about or goals or just get too busy. Or our system just fails, because we need to do more than just write a goal down. So this 6 month mark we're at is the perfect time to redesign the goals for the rest of the year, and hopefully my system can help you figure out what you'd like to get done before 2022.

Goal Setting System

1. Figure out an umbrella word. It's very easy to come up with goals. But they just won't stick if you don't have a why. People often do this backwards - pick a goal and then figure out the why. And these goals fail because the why isn't strong enough. Instead you want to pick goals that are in alignment with how you want to feel, and that's where an umbrella word comes in. I find this to be an essential part of my pre-goal setting work. This word should capture exactly how you want to feel, the person you want to become, and it's usually the opposite of how you're feeling right now. Peaceful instead of stressed, joyful instead of sad, sociable instead of lonely, or whatever it is that you're personally struggling with right now.

2. Have a life clarifying brainstorm session. There are a lot of journaling activities that can help you clarify exactly where you're at right now in your life - something that's essential if you want to figure out where to go next and how to get there. I personally enjoy the start and stop list that comes in the PowerSheets goal planner I have. It's exactly what it sounds like, a list on one side of the things you want to say yes to, start, or continue, and the other side is the things you want to say no to and stop doing. You can even journal exactly how you'll do that, if that's helpful. It's a very simple but effective way to get clear on where you are now. There's also the perfect day journal exercise, as well as the opposite of it - journal about the absolutely perfect day, as well as what your life would look like if you don't take any of the actions on your start/stop list. These both help to clarify what your life looks like now and in which ways it isn't ideal.

3. Brainstorm goals. You won't be able to pick all of them as immediate goals, but go ahead and list out every goal idea you have. Think about what you're avoiding that you need to be doing, what makes you feel good that you should be doing regularly, and what things, if you accomplished them, would make everything else easier or unnecessary?

4. Decide the goals. You can't pick every one on your list so you'll need to decide which ones get to be your goals for the rest of 2021. It's hard to do, I know, but that doesn't mean that the others will never make your list. Just not this list. I recommend having one most important goal. Just one, that if it were the only thing you achieved in the next 6 months, you'd still feel pretty good about it. And then add other mini-goals as you see fit. Personally, I work best when I have one main goal and two mini goals to focus on at one time. I do have a top 8 in my PowerSheets but I don't focus well on all 8 at a time. I need to pick one each month and add a couple other small tasks in there, but I simply can't split my focus 8 ways and still be as successful. Neither can you. So to narrow it down, ask yourself how excited you are about the goal (your top one must have this excitement factor!), how doable the goal is, and how much it will impact your life.

5. Determine the exact outcome, but the focus on the process. You need to know exactly what you want, because there's so many different ways a goal can look and many ways to get there. So what outcome will feel the best? Be very clear about what that is, but then remember to get back to the process. Don't want to get stuck in that future mindset and forget to put the work in. 

6. Create a plan. Listing the goals and outcomes is great but don't stop there. Create a plan to follow through. If you've ever thought of yourself as lazy or unmotivated, maybe you're struggling with a lack of clarity about exactly what you need to do next. You need to constantly reclarify what step comes next. What habits will bring your goals to life and what are the next action steps. No need to plan every single step from start to finish of the goal, but just what comes next in the coming week or month.

7. Stay consistent with your goals. Consistency is, of course, where most people fall off. But we are not going to be most people! Ultimately, you have to find what works for you to keep you consistent but for me, I absolutely need an accountability partner. I'm very extrinsically motivated, which means I don't really have that internal drive to get stuff done for my own sake. I need to tell it to someone else, to have someone that will encourage but also hold my feet to the fire when I'm being resistant to getting my goals accomplished. You can pay for a coach or join a group online, but you can also just find someone in your own life that you can meet with once a week to check in on how your goals are tracking. For mine, it depends on the goal. My go to is Betsy, but I also have similar health goals to my friend Megan, so I always check in with her for those. The key here is the regular check in - I text them both daily, but I need at least a weekly goal specific check in. You may also want to do a weekly journal exercise to determine how things are going, what's holding you back, and how you can improve. Use this information to plan out your week ahead. Actively schedule the time in that you need for your action steps and general goal related to dos.

Hopefully those steps will help you set and achieve your goals for the rest of this year!

As for my next 6 months? Well, I have to look back at the last 6:

My PowerSheets Top 8

At the end of June (actually every 3 months), there's a section to do an overall check in and change any goals that you need to and set a new focus. Here's what my goals were at the start of January and my rating of my overall progress:

1. Take Care of Parents. I've accomplished a lot on this front - taken care of my mom, her house, her dog, we got the life insurance done, the taxes, the gravestone, updated the will and trust, honestly just a whirlwind of things. I've also become my mother's project (well, my house has), so she's been over almost daily to work on my garden. It's her therapy.

2. No Spend Year. I'm keeping track on a spending tracking post for the end of the year and this goal gets a 'meh.' I've definitely bought things that would break a strict no buy, things I definitely did not need at that exact moment. My spending isn't up a crazy amount, but it's still too high for my comfort.

3. House to Home. I've done a ton of small things to make it more homey and now we're getting the big project done - the construction.

4. Create Routines. I had a list, when I started, of routines to create. And for me, create includes stick to regularly and adopt as habit. I've consistently worked at this goal but there's never been a month where it was the main focus, it's just always a side project. Which is okay, it just means it's slower progressing.

5. Love John and Hawkeye. I've done both well and not great at this. I thought I had defined it well enough and given examples of what success would look like in this area, but I guess not enough because I feel like I haven't made much progress. But simultaneously, I feel like we spend a lot of quality time, we've been going on lots of walks (a big goal of mine), we've brushed Hawkeye's teeth, I've been better about the meal planning and prep for John... I can name a lot of things! 

6. Lose 50 Pounds. I'm at about 35. Pretty nice.

7. Blue Zone Living. If I had to pick the top two I've rocked at it, it's the former and this goal. I completed the challenge on the website and I've beens steadily working at the Power 9. A few I've mastered, like the plant based diet and putting loved ones first, but some are still in progress.

8. Profit from Podcast. So far, so good! It's at least making a profit. Had to invest original earnings back into it, but it's once again in the black. It's slightly under what I wanted to hit by the halfway through the year mark, but that's okay. 

Overall, it's good progress. But based on my own system, it's just not ideal for the rest of the year. So here's what I changed it up to:

1. Quality Family Time. This goal includes my mom, John, and Hawkeye. I had them separate before but all my family goals revolve around those three so it's easier to group them together. I want to come up with different ways to spend consistent quality time together.

2. Maintain New Budget. No spend wasn't working this year so I opted instead to give myself a budget for the next 6 months for non-essential items. So bills, groceries, gas for the car, etc. wouldn't be counted but things like candles, books, decor, organizing items, and new clothes (see goals 3 and 5) would be.

3. Finish Construction and Decor. The construction will be done by the end of this year, but it's a huge part of the next few months so that's why it makes the list. And it's something that makes me feel super unsettled, as is not having the space finished. So decor also makes the list - making the new space feel like home.

4. Master All Ideal Routines. Routines make so much more calm and balanced. I know I'm not forgetting things when I have everything on a list. So I need to gather everything about the routines I've been working on, decide if there's anything else to add, and then commit to an ideal day or week of following everything perfectly to decide what needs to be tweaked.

5. Complete Wardrobe Update. In order to have more fun with my goals and keep motivated, I need a reward system. So hitting my goal weight would mean none of the clothes I currently own would fit anymore, and being able to start a new wardrobe from scratch actually sounds like a lot of fun (albeit pricey). The light at the end of the tunnel.

6. Lost 50 Pounds. This remains as is until it's complete! And then I get the wardrobe prize.

7. Master Blue Zone Living. I'm looking for more consistency in this area. I need to go back to the Power 9 list and track how well I'm doing at each thing, and then see what needs improvement.

8. Increase Podcast Income. Since I already profited as my previous goal required, I need to up my game and profit more in the second half of the year than I did in the first.

So these will be the goals I reference when I make my PowerSheets tending list each month for the rest of 2021. Well, the next 3 months at least, because that's the great thing about this planner - there's a refresh section every quarter.

Have you done a mid-year check on your goals? Anything you're changing for the second half of 2021, or are you setting all new goals?

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