Last Updated on August 31, 2018 by Cathy Jo Johnson
Most of us have heard the phrase, “How do you eat an elephant?”
If you don’t know the answer, it’s “one bite at a time.” This analogy is most often used when someone is working on a large, seemingly impossible project. Coincidentally the same mindset can be applied to goal setting activities.
As a kid, my family often took a summer road trip, and while they had a few similarities to Griswold’s Family Vacation, for the most part, they were a lot of fun.
The vacation planning process always started by everyone perusing several AAA TripTik’s. These were detailed maps and route plans produced by AAA and included potential stops along the way. It seemed like the process took months as we reviewed several destinations and routes. After a little give and take and an occasional fight, we settled on a place, the sites to explore along the way and a daily itinerary.
Living your best year ever is similar to the family vacation planning process; Pick a destination, Choose your route, Decide what to do along the way and Break it into doable pieces.
The 4 top goal setting activities are like a road trip, Identify Dreams, Set Goals, Plan Weekly, Execute Daily
1. Pick a destination-Identify Dreams
If you are committed to living your best year ever it starts with your destination and those are your dreams. Commit the next 15 minutes to doing a little dreaming with this first exercise.
WARNING: If you skip this step it’s like starting to drive without knowing where you’re going and as a result, you could end up anywhere!
2. Choose Your Route-Set Goals
Once you have captured your dreams on paper, review the list and divide it into categories. Zig Ziglar uses a Wheel of Life Balance and Goal Setting to define groups.
My personal preference is to set fewer goals and to focus on the weekly and daily activities to achieve them. To accomplish this, I combine a couple of groups on the wheel; health encompasses physical and intellectual, relationships contains family, and social and lifestyle includes career, volunteerism, and finance.
My circle includes relationships, spirituality, health, and lifestyle.
Use your dreams to help you define
3. Decide what to do along the way-Plan weekly
[Tweet “You can do anything you want, but you can’t do everything! Choose wisely”]
Deciding what to do was just as valid for our family trips as it is for my yearly goals. Now it’s to pick and choose the goals most important to you.
a. Review one category at a time.
b. Write down your goals in order of importance in each group and set a completion date.
c. Look at all the groups together and pick a total of the four most important goals.
d. Write down all the steps it will take to achieve each of these goals.
e. Give each step a deadline.
People often ask why only 4 when there are so many that are important?
What I’ve found in 30 plus years of helping people set goals is that change is hard and we need to make it manageable, like eating the elephant one bite a time. Too many goals require too many adjustments. When faced with too much change, it tends to create confusion and confused people usually shut down and doing nothing.
4. Break it into doable pieces -Execute Daily
Review your weekly plan on a daily basis and from that create a daily task list. Ask yourself, which duties and activities are most important and need to be done today so you can do something else toward your goal tomorrow?
Get sidetracked and had a bad week? Don’t allow it to be the end of the world or perusing your goals. Get real with yourself and decide if you need to adjust the whole schedule.
These goal setting activities sound complicated, and I don’t have the time!
Complicated? No. Take a little time? Yes.
Isn’t it worth a couple of hours to set a plan, so you are living your best year ever?
Time start your goal setting activities and get your road trip started! Pick a destination, choose a route, plan your stops, adjust as needed but most importantly don’t forget to enjoy the journey!
Need more help? Next Monday I’ll show you how I set up my health and fitness goals for 2017.
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P.S. If you are on the journey to eat healthier, make sure to grab a FREE copy of 25 Tricks to Staying Fit Without Feeling Overwhelmed? These changes helped me maintain a 100-pound weight loss for 14 years.
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