You can research dozens of goal-setting strategies and still not really know where to turn. That’s because no one strategy is tailored to you as an individual. For many of us, we use a combination of techniques to achieve what we want.
The purpose of this article it to make you take a step back and evaluate your method for setting your own goals. No fancy names or titles, no drawn-out strategies – just self-reflection.
Hopefully, this reflection can help you identify what works and what you need to work on.
Do you like to sit down with a piece of paper and write down everything you hope to achieve? Sometimes successful goal planning comes from seeing it all written out in front of you. Are you a list writer? A goal-tree drawer?
There is no one way to write down your plans. Personally, I choose to write my weekly short-term goals down while envisioning my long-term goal(s). But you should choose to break down your goals into daily, monthly, or even annual breakdowns – as long as you keep your big picture in mind.
Now, just because it’s written in ink doesn’t mean that there isn’t room for fluidity. Your long-term goal might change, new goals may pop up, or unexpected barriers may arise. Keep your writings for future reference to have an easier time making adjustments however often you choose to reevaluate and write your goals.
For some people, their preferred method of goal setting is vocalizing their plans and ambitions to friends, family, or even peers. Also, with such a huge social media presence in our lives these days, we see a lot of people taking to various apps and blogs to talk about what their goals are – for the day, for the week, or even for their lives.
The benefit of being a “talker” when setting your goals is that there is a high chance of having someone help keep you accountable. For some of us, we need that person by our side to help us remember to stay on track, realize new ideas, or come up with new methods for reaching what we’ve set out to do.
This may sound a lot like being a writer, but with a bit more rigidity. Where the writer type of goal setter is comfortable with checking off different areas of their lists that they complete, the planner needs to complete goals step by step.
If you’re a planner, you need to keep yourself in line by finishing one goal you’ve set for yourself before moving onto the next one. This isn’t a bad thing, as it can keep you disciplined and see that you finish one thing you’ve set out to do before overwhelming yourself with too many to-do items. Just be wary not to hold yourself back on one thing for too long or else that longer-term goal may take longer than expected.
I like to consider this goal-setter type as the “go-with-the-flow type”. There is no strict list of things to accomplish, no plan set in place or timeline to follow. Instead, they like to think of different goals they may have and methods they have to reach them without any firm plan set in place.
This is one of the more stress-free options for setting goals, because it allows you the freedom of changing gears and adjusting your goals more easily than, for example, a planning type who can only get to step two of their goal after finishing step one.
Being a dreamer type of goal setter isn’t for everyone, as some people need more structure. But, as we’re all different, having more freedom is what allows some of us to thrive.
Let us know if you identify with any of the goal setting types above or if you have your own description of how you set your goals!