SETTING GOALS DURING THIS NEW SEASON
By: Destiny M. Johnson
During this new season of ambiguity, one might find themselves searching for meaning and direction. Things that felt so common and routine like leaving the house to attend an event, going to get food, or going for a walk have decreased due to the easily transmitted and wide spread of coronavirus, COVID- 19. The typical day for many individuals has changed and left much uncertainty about the future. Some pressing questions may be, how do I find normalcy when things keep shifting and changing? How do I make a schedule that fits my new lifestyle of being home with children? How can I still progress in my career while managing homeschooling? How do I measure my productivity?
Although these questions are arising, take heart in knowing you are not alone during this difficult time. Many are in transition and taking stake of what is important to them. Adjusting and setting goals to enhance productivity doing this new season is essential during this time.
Why making goals and writing them down are important?
Setting goals are important because they provide tangible productivity, direction, and degrees of purpose to one’s life. Goal setting yields many with the opportunity to become intentional and an active participant in their life rather than a bystander. Goals allow for everyone to seek out and define objectives and aim to complete them.
Did you know, you are more likely to accomplish a goal if you write them down? Writing down Goals can free up space in your mind, so you can focus on other things or more specifically on things that matter. Also writing down goals helps you remember them and stay attentive to what you want to accomplish.
Here are some tips for Goal Setting:
Define your WHY…. for Setting Goals
· It is good to identify why you want to accomplish a goal. Is this goal for you or others? Why is this goal important to you? Who does the goal serve? What is the purpose of your goal? Is this a Project Goal, Personal Goal, Career Goal, Passion Goal etc.
Find you Motivation
· Ask yourself, what and who is your motivation? Is this Intrinsic or extrinsic motivation? Intrinsic motivation definition refers to behavior that is driven by natural and inborn satisfaction. Someone with this motivation looks for an internal reward such as personal growth and development. There is a strong personal desire to thrive that energies a person to complete a task. The opposite is extrinsic motivation, which is driven by others recognition or external rewards or to avoid punishment. Rewards or incentives can be praise, promotion, fame, or money. Either types of motivations can be used however, it is vital to know where your motivation comes from. Knowing where your motivation stems from will allow you to draw from that place if fatigue begins to occur during your process toward achieving your goal.
Determine the Duration
· Establish if the goal is short-term, weekly, monthly, or long-term and if you are willing to commit to the duration.
Set S.M.A.R.T. Goals.
S.M.A.R.T. Goals are effective because they are:
· Specific – They are clearly defined and identify your uniqueness. Define what you want and do not be vague. Clearly defined goals help you stay on track, so you do not drift away or change the goal midway because it was too general.
· Measurable – They can be quantifiable and able to be proven.
· Attainable – They are reasonable to manage and possible to be achieved. Be honest with yourself and set goals that can be successfully completed.
· Realistic – They are a true representation of you and relevant to who you are. Make it personal!
· Time Oriented – They are planned with a beginning and an ending, deadline, or timetable. Do not fall into a cycle of starting a goal with no set timing of accomplishing the goal. Time sets the boundary and can help with accountability.
You can create goals in bite sizes. This format of goal setting will help guide you, track progress along the way, provide accountability based on the time you have set for yourself and ultimately help you reach completion.
· Use of technology such as reminders and notes on cell phones, excel spreadsheets, computer software, etc. Also, Apps to track progress are great. Some tracking apps that can be used are goal setting tracker, daily planner, todoist, trello, and Monday.
· Journaling and writing down goals using a planner are great accountability. Other fun alternatives are using post it notes, dry erase board, vision board with goals or even writing goals on a mirror. Visibility of goals remind you that you are working toward something and help you manifest them.
· Accountability Partner or Group. Who is in your circle of influence and supports you? Reach out to those family or friends for support and let them in. This connection will help you when things get hard and they will also be there to help celebrate your progress.
Revisit, Reflect, Recalibrate
Not all goals are easy to accomplish therefore, revisit the goal and take time to reflect. It is necessary to check on your progress periodically throughout your process. Remember reflection is part of the journey. Take inventory on where you are mentally and emotionally. Reflection will help you determine if things are going well or if things need to be recalibrated for more efficiency. It is okay to modify the goal, this does not mean you have failed. Things change and we must adjust and keep moving forward.
Trust the Process
Understand that hiccups may occur so be patient with yourself and be open to the process. Achieving goals have their highs and lows and require resiliency. Pace yourself but do not be afraid to push past uncomfortability. Be kind, be gentle, and take care of yourself. Some goals require mental and emotional strength, time, money, and effort. Whatever the goal may need trust that if you are doing your part it will all work out.
Celebrate the Progress and the Wins
Do not forget to clap for yourself. The finish line is not the most important part of the race. The journey tends to be what you spend the most time on, so celebrate each milestone no matter how small. Then when you accomplish what you set out do it big you deserve it.